The citizens of America are in the throes of choosing national candidates for upcoming November elections. Newspapers and TV programs are tunneling in to anything deemed newsworthy – from passport details, comments on race, candidates’ pastors, voting records, etc. Does God have anything to say on these matters? Do the Scriptures offer any guidelines to believers – to humanity – on how to weigh these important issues? What is God’s heart for these elections, this country and all other countries?
A son of the people
Moses speaks on behalf of YHVH the God of Israel in Deuteronomy 17, instructing the Jewish people on how to choose a king.
His first point is that the ruler must be a native born Jewish person, and not a foreigner. “When you enter the land which YHVH your God gives you, and you possess it and live in it, and you say, ‘I will set a king over me like all the nations who are around me,’ you shall surely set a king over you whom YHVH your God chooses, one from among your countrymen you shall set as king over yourselves; you may not put a foreigner over yourselves who is not your countryman” (Deut.17:14-15).
This biblical perspective is reflected in the laws of the United States of America, in the fact that Arnold Schwarzenegger was permitted to become Governor of the Golden State of California, but he is not allowed to run for the office of President and Commander-in-Chief.
Keep your heart pure
The leader of God’s people needs to keep his heart and body pure. God decrees that he must not place his ultimate trust in military might (see also Psalm 20:7; Psalm 147:10-14), in his own wealth or in the wealth of his nation (see 1 Tim.6:17-19), or allow himself to have multiple sexual partners (see also 1 Tim.3:2; Matt.19:8).
“Moreover, he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor shall he cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, since YHVH has said to you, ‘You shall never again return that way.’ Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away; nor shall he greatly increase silver and gold for himself” (Deut.17:16-17).
Recently New York Governor Eliot Spitzer stepped down as a result of the disclosure that he had frequented a prostitute and had violated his marriage vows. He was replaced by Lieutenant Governor David Paterson, who quickly proclaimed that he and his wife had both had affairs. These two disclosures cast a giant shadow, exposing the gap between biblical requirements and current political realities.
Rule your country based on God’s word
The king is commanded to begin his reign with the following action – he is to copy out by hand the entire Five Books of Moses in the presence of the Levitical priests (no cheating or photocopying allowed!). This handwritten personal copy needs to be beside his bed or in his office every day, and he is to immerse himself in God’s word on a daily basis all the days of his rule and his life.
“Now it shall come about when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself a copy of this law on a scroll in the presence of the Levitical priests. And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear YHVH his God, by carefully observing all the words of this law and these statutes, that his heart may not be lifted up above his countrymen and that he may not turn aside from the commandment, to the right or the left; in order that he and his sons may continue long in his kingdom in the midst of Israel” (Deut.17:18-20).
Moses tells us the results of such personal spiritual discipline: the national leader will learn to respect and obey God from his heart; he will base his rule (legislatively, judicially and executively) on the principles of the Scriptures; he will not become prideful and expect that, as king, he can follow a different law; he can expect a solid and continuing rule for himself and for his spiritual and physical progeny.
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Whoever is chosen to lead the mighty nation of the USA, all believers need to pray that these values will fill that person’s life and characterize that person’s rule.
One of the conspicuous examples of an absence of these guidelines in the lives of some previous US Presidents has been the lack of knowing the Scriptures regarding Israel and acting on them. Even the present Commander-in-Chief does not seem to be aware of what the Bible teaches concerning God’s judgment on those dividing the land of Israel.
Indeed, it is sad to say that this President (who has been the clearest of all regarding his personal faith in Israel’s Messiah Yeshua) has also called for the establishment of a Palestinian state on the territory of the Promised Land. It is not enough to declare a belief in the Word of God; one must follow what that Word teaches. And one must “not turn aside from the commandment,” either to the right or to the left, all the days of one’s rule.
In 1 Chronicles 13 King David called together the entire leadership of Israel in order to come to a consensus regarding bringing the ark of God back to Jerusalem. A unanimous popular vote got the ark on its way, but not even David knew the Bible well enough to remember that God has specific guidelines and boundaries of behavior regarding how the ark was to be carried. It was to be only carried by Levites and on poles – not by ox-cart (Exod.25:12-14; 40:21; Num.4). Ignorance of the commandment led to Peretz Uzzah, the outbreak of God’s judgment against Uzzah, a well-meaning helper whose well-meaning attempts ran afoul of God’s order.
Pray for the next leader of the USA, that this person will line up with God’s heart and opinions in every area, and especially regarding the Jewish people and the land of Israel!
In Messiah’s bonds,
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