Rambling of the Day: Promises, promises

4 Oct

What tumultuous times we live in. What serious choices we have set before us. Where will we go, and what will we choose to believe, to uphold, to fight for?

So many issues loom before us. Tonight we will hear the two candidates for president address one of these issues: the economy. And what an issue it is. But it is certainly not the only one we face.

I have been reminded of late that, even though the many problems before us seem so significant, and the country is so obviously divided between which path to take in attempt to solve them, that our devotion to a candidate is not the one and only answer. These men are simply that – men. Hear me out; I’m not going to crack a sexist joke.

The candidates we support, no matter how strongly we support them, are still just men. They cannot defy the bounds of logic, of mathematics, of their own human capabilities, and solve every single one of our problems for us. I have heard proponents of both sides of the argument who are so convinced that their candidate is the absolute, unmistakable answer to the problems of our nation that they are unrealistic with their expectations.

I think we have certainly learned from the election four years ago how unrealistic it is to place unwarranted amounts of faith in the capabilities of one man to lead our country. The truth is, the people who were ecstatic about Obama because they believed they would no longer have to pay their mortgages or worry about putting gas in their car – well, I’m sorry, but those people are foolish. They don’t live in reality. And, if they are followers of God, they are really bordering on idolatry by placing that amount of faith in a person, when that kind of blind and unwavering faith belongs only to their God.

That’s really what I’m getting at today. Men can be good and men can be bad, and our views about which one they are can oftentimes be subjective. But at the end of the day, they are just men. They cannot stop the oceans from rising and they cannot change the past. The only hope these men have rests in their humility and willingness to seek help from God and from the wise council He provides.

Promises from these mortal men will be broken. We all know that the promises of politicians are more like statements of what they hope they will be able to achieve. That’s if they’re good guys. For some, promises are simply catch phrases they spew to get elected. The promises that we, as the people putting them in power, must hold onto are not the ones we hear from these men.

The promises we must remember during these trying times are the promises of God. His promises are the ones that will always be fulfilled and will never be broken. And He is the one we should be crying out to in our time of need, in this time when our country so desperately needs to return to its Creator and seek His wisdom in our affairs.

I love the story of Benjamin Franklin addressing the Constitutional Convention during its heavy debate over state representation. The gravity of this debate was so large that it had the potential to divide the new nation. Benjamin Franklin, at the time 81 years old, stood up and gave the convention a powerful reminder of their need to consult God in their affairs.

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“I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth: ‘that God governs in the affairs of man.’ And if a sparrow cannot fail to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.

I firmly believe this. I also believe that, without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel; we shall be divided by our little partial local interest; our projects will be confounded; and we ourselves shall become a reproach and a byword down to future ages.

And what is worse, mankind may hereafter, from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing government by human wisdom and leave it to chance, war, or conquest. I therefore beg leave to move that, henceforth, prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven and its blessing on our deliberation be held in this assembly every morning before we proceed to business.”

How right he was then. This is what we are missing today. In our attempts to appease the extremists of certain religions, to be fair to the small percentage of declared atheists, and to remain politically correct to the point of ridiculousness, we are losing our foundation in faith. It is undeniable that the people who first settled this country did so to escape persecution of many kinds in England, and one of the most significant was their freedom to worship God the way they believed was right. And it is undeniable that the founding fathers of the nation sought the help of their Creator in settling their disputes and coming up with the framework for this incredibly successful nation.

We have become a nation that no longer calls out to God. Like Franklin said of his fellow founders, “Have we now forgotten this powerful Friend? Or do we imagine we no longer need His assistance?” Such arrogance! This nation needs to get on its knees and humble itself before God, before things get so far out of our control that we destroy ourselves. We must remember the promises of the One who has proven Himself faithful to keep them.

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chron. 7:14).

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