Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
“Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.”Psalm 146:3 (ESV)
Another election has come and gone. The campaign is over, and in that regard we can breathe a sigh of relief (I don’t think I’ve had more campaign calls to my house ever before). Perhaps you were happy with the results of the election, perhaps you aren’t. On the one hand, you might be looking forward to the fact that your side saved us from a fate worse than death because THAT guy didn’t win. On the other, you might worried about what is now in store, and how difficult life might become because THAT guy won. Either hand runs afoul of this verse and the First Commandment. Justin Trudeau is not the saviour who will fix everything, nor is he the devil who will destroy everything. Neither is Andrew Scheer. Or Jagmeet Singh. Both of those offices have already been filled, that you may be saved.
The former position, the position that a politician is a saviour, is the easiest, as it is directly dealt with in the verse above. First, lets make one thing clear—God has put government, specifically the office of government, not necessarily the people who hold those offices, into place. He does this so that we may live in peace and so that the sin that’s in the world would be curbed, however imperfectly that might take place. St. Paul tells us, as we learned last month, that God has given the office of prince, or authority in the government, the authority of the sword to punish the wrongdoer. In this way those who serve in the government are called God’s ministers in the world to ensure that we live in peace and the blessings of God can flow as freely as possible to us and all people. However, this doesn’t mean that we should look to one or another as a saviour that will save our nation from going to hell in a handbasket. They’re not in control. God is. And He is upholding this creation by the power of His flesh and blood, nail scarred hands. The problems of this world aren’t going to be undone by a politician, but by Him who suffered and died on the cross for our sins and the sins of the entire world. Yes, even those as despicable as Andrew Scheer & Justin Trudeau. He is greater than either of them, and He can provide for His creation here in Canada no matter who is in the Prime Minister’s Office. And neither of them are worth your trust, or, in better words, you shouldn’t trust them more than the one who made them, who made Canada and the creation that it sits on.
The latter position, the fear of a politician that he’s going to ruin everything, is just as bad. Now, yes, there have been in history horrible leaders who have killed many people, whether through war, or internal genocides. There’s no denying this. Yet, when we look at the Old Testament, we find that even in such situations God’s in control, using the nations of the world in a kind giant game of chess, or Risk. In the kingdom of Israel, after the kingdom split in two with Israel in the North, and Judah in the South, there was a king called Manasseh. He reigned for a long time, and led Israel to a time of economic prosperity, but he also persecuted the prophets of God and all those who were faithful to Yahweh. Yet God reveals His control over His creation, as following His rule Israel entered into a period of instability, and ultimately were overthrown by the nation of Assyria. Perhaps it didn’t happen as quickly as we would have wanted, yet God still worked His justice, and yes the nation of Israel ceased to exist, yet the people lived on, the faith continued long after it had toppled. God’s people lived on, and He continued to care for them and provide for all their needs, bringing His Word to their descendant, the Samaritans through the preaching of the apostles in Acts. God’s in control, and no politician is going to disrupt His plan, nor will they bring everything to destruction. That, too, is His job. He is coming again to wipe away this sinful creation and bring His new creation for us to live in true peace, free from all sin and death, to live with Him forever. You don’t need to be afraid of the politicians, God is greater. Him you should fear, for He can send your soul to hell. But fear not, He’s died for you. He took the cross for you and now lives for all eternity for you. Trust Him, and be comforted, no matter who sits in the PMO. As the psalm says, “The Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the Lord!” (Psalm 146:10)
Your servant in Christ,
Pastor Tim Schneider