True or False?
God is sovereign.
God always provides a path to redemption.
God longs to rescue and restore His people.
God is for us, not against us.
If you answered True to each of these statements, this post is for you.
First off, I am a sinful human and I know it. I am not always right and my opinion does not matter more than any other. Those qualities belong to God alone. So before you decide this is another random soapbox, please hear me out.
If you agreed with that list of statements, then you probably agree with my belief that God is righteous and His Word is inerrant. He always provides a way of escape, a path to redemption, a chance for correction. His Son is living proof and His Word is packed with evidence that He longs to rescue His people and restore their hearts.
What if we apply these truths to the presidential election?
God is faithful to offer His children His best, but He is also fair to offer us the freedom to choose. (In that way, God is pro-choice!) Sometimes, though, our choices are not optimal. Like choosing between chemo or death, occasionally we do indeed have to choose the lesser of two evils. As my family is currently learning, sometimes you don’t like ANY of your options but you must choose one if you want to move forward.
I promised myself I wouldn’t post anything political because honestly, my heart and mind can barely navigate a usual day right now much less the mess that is our current election. But today I felt such a strong urge of The Spirit that we — God’s people — have a choice set before us and if we aren’t careful, we risk being the same stiff-necked, rebellious people we’ve always been.
I’ve read countless posts and articles and listened to endless rants from Christians who cannot stomach the thought of having “no choice” but to vote for Trump. And I get it. He’s not our first choice nor does he embody the morals we wish to see represented in the White House. But what if, perhaps, he is the better choice God is offering us?
What if Donald Trump, worts and all, is the vehicle by which God will lead us out of captivity?
I was prompted to read Isaiah 48…
“’Listen to me, O family of Jacob, you who are called by the name of Israel and born into the family of Judah. Listen, you who take oaths in the name of the LORD and call on the God of Israel. You don’t keep your promises, even though you call yourself the holy city and talk about depending on the God of Israel, whose name is the LORD of Heaven’s Armies…
‘Listen to me, O family of Jacob, Israel my chosen one! I alone am God, the First and the Last. It was my hand that laid the foundations of the earth, my right hand that spread out the heavens above. When I call out the stars, they all appear in order.’
“Have any of your idols ever told you this? Come, all of you, and listen: The LORD has chosen Cyrus as his ally. He will use him to put an end to the empire of Babylon and to destroy the Babylonian armies. ‘I have said it: I am calling Cyrus! I will send him on this errand and will help him succeed. Come closer, and listen to this. From the beginning I have told you plainly what would happen.’
“And now the Sovereign LORD and his Spirit have sent me with this message. This is what the LORD says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: ‘I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is good for you and leads you along the paths you should follow. Oh, that you had listened to my commands! Then you would have had peace flowing like a gentle river and righteousness rolling over you like waves in the sea. Your descendants would have been like the sands along the seashore— too many to count! There would have been no need for your destruction, or for cutting off your family name.’
“Yet even now, be free from your captivity! Leave Babylon and the Babylonians. Sing out this message! Shout it to the ends of the earth! The LORD has redeemed his servants, the people of Israel.”
Isaiah 48:1-2, 12-20 NLT
God made it clear– He chose Cyrus to do His work and restore His people’s freedom. Okay… So who was Cyrus?
Cyrus II The Great founded the Persian empire, the kingdom that would become modern-day Iran. Yet he was the very man God would use to end the Israelite’s bondage in Babylon and restore them to their rightful land. God even prompted him to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem (2 Chron. 36:22-23; Ezra 1:1-3).
Sounds interesting, right? The more I read of Cyrus, the more I’m reminded of Trump. Paul D. Gardner’s commentary on Cyrus sounds oddly similar to our current situation. Check it.
Gardener writes, “The Lord even says of Cyrus: ‘He is my shepherd and will accomplish all that I please (Is. 44:28). In Isaiah 45 He calls Cyrus His ‘anointed’ whom God will use to rebuild the city and Temple.”
“I have raised up Cyrus to fulfill my righteous purpose, and I will direct all his paths. He shall restore my city and free my captive people–and not for a reward!” Isaiah 45:13
Perhaps a modern Cyrus might have the slogan “Make [Jerusalem] Great Again”? And perhaps he would accept no “rewards” from lobbyists?
Gardner further writes, “It is not clear how Cyrus knew that he had heard from Yahweh. However, many have suggested that he may have heard the word from Daniel or someone like him: a person who held a high position in the empire and therefore had the ear of the king.”
Cyrus surrounded himself with God’s people. Enter Mike Pence.
Further commentary says, “The details of how Cyrus oversaw the start of the Israelite return to Jerusalem and initiated work on the Temple is recounted in Ezra. Even more remarkable is that Cyrus encouraged the work by ordering gifts to be given to the returning people of Israel and by returning to them the Temple treasures that had been taken from Jerusalem when the city was conquered.”
Sounds a bit like returning jobs and restoring wealth that had been shipped elsewhere, doesn’t it?
Lastly, it is clear that even though Cyrus was used by God, he himself was not a man of God. Gardener writes, “There is little indication that Cyrus actually became a follower of Yahweh. Probably his enlightened policy of administration of such a huge empire meant that he showed respect for the religious beliefs of many different peoples. However, his rise to power at that particular moment in history was subject to God’s authority and such a political policy was conceived within God’s purposes for the sake of the protection and resettlement of His own people.”
Believers, what if Donald Trump is God’s choice for our particular moment in history? What if he is the man God will use to restore our freedom and economy? Trump has clearly been gifted with “an enlightened policy of administration” or else the man could not have built the “empire” he has today. He is not without fault, but he is also not without skill.
If we agreed with the list at the beginning of this post then we have to believe God is offering us a path to redemption in this election. And if Trump is the choice we have, then we as Christians must stop complaining about him. We must stop whining about how grotesque his comments are, how he is not godly enough or Christlike, or how he doesn’t represent the morals we desire. No, he’s not a godly man but he may be God’s chosen man.
It’s hard to accept, I know, but what if he is the one to pave our nation’s path to restoration? Will we complain about our way of redemption? (Isaiah 45:9-13)
Before we vote, I believe we must ask ourselves these questions again. Do I, a follower of Jesus Christ, truly believe:
God is sovereign?
God always provides a path to redemption?
God longs to rescue His people?
God is for us, not against us?
If I do, then perhaps I can trust God to use Donald Trump.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
Jeremiah 29:11 NLT