But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, "Give us a king to judge us." And Samuel prayed to the LORD. And the LORD said to Samuel, "Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. According to all the deeds that they have done, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are also doing to you. Now then, obey their voice; only you shall solemnly warn them and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them."
So Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people who were asking for a king from him. He said, "These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen and to run before his chariots. And he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his servants. He will take the tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and to his servants. He will take your male servants and female servants and the best of your young men and your donkeys, and put them to his work. He will take the tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves. And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the LORD will not answer you in that day."
--1st Samuel 8:6-18
God does not believe in democracy. He is the sovereign Lord of creation and the only vote that matters belongs to Him. Although He permitted the Israelites to choose their king, He condemned their desire to make that choice. So it is with us as Americans: God permits us to choose our leaders and I believe that He condemns us for the trust we put in them. We believe that voting for one sinner over another will affect whether our nation prospers or suffers, but prosperity is a gift of God's grace that He can bestow or revoke according to His perfect judgement. We believe that voting for one sinner over another will keep our nation safe, but God has repeatedly shown in scripture that it is He who controls the fates of nations and the outcomes of battles. We believe that voting for one sinner over another will make our country more righteous, but the righteous are those who live by faith, not those who put their trust in man:
'Can mortal man be in the right before God?
Can a man be pure before his Maker?
Even in his servants he puts no trust,
and his angels he charges with error;
how much more those who dwell in houses of clay,
whose foundation is in the dust,
who are crushed like the moth.
Moreover, it is God who raises up leaders and brings them low, even bad leaders. As God said to the Pharoah in Exodus 9:16: But for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth.
In short, this election doesn't really matter that much. God will still be sovereign and His will be done. Am I saying we should not vote? No, I am saying that we should choose who we vote for humbly, prayerfully, asking God for wisdom and acknowledging that our true leader is not a Senator from Arizona or Illinois, He is Jesus of Nazareth, King of Kings and Lord of Hosts. And as your brother in Christ, let me add that I don't care what the atheists and agnostics at National Review say. Whether you vote for McCain or Obama or a third party candidate or even if you write in NONE OF THE ABOVE in all caps, I will pray that God blesses you and continues to sanctify you.
[UPDATE] As either Barack Obama or John McCain will likely be the next president of the United States, we should pray for them: that God would protect them from the temptations their position brings, that He would help them to be humble and that He would guide them to grow in the faith that they both profess. Also, the mean spirited insult comedy that marked previous posts is something God has convicted me of. I'm going to give loving, sober-minded insult comedy a try from now on.