“they all helped to destroy one another.” 2 Chronicles 20:23
Yesterday, we talked about unholy alliances and how these made life very, very difficult for even good kings. It also serves as a warning to us, today, when we consider who we shall partner with.
King Jehoshaphat had made marriage alliances with King Ahab and went to battle together with him against a common enemy. For that, the Lord promised wrath. Indeed, it came when one day he saw three armies bearing down on him. Ahab was long gone, and Jehoshaphat was all alone.
With no where else to turn, Jehoshaphat turned to the only one he ever needed: God. He declared a nation-wide fast and gathered all the people to seek the Lord. And they did.
His prayer is quite remarkable and worth considerable study which we will leave for another time. Suffice it to say that I don’t think one can say the “perfect” prayer to cause God to respond; it’s a matter of the heart. Having said that, it is wise to study great prayer like Jehoshaphat’s. That’s your homework for today.
God answered Jehoshaphat’s prayer against impossible human odds. In fact, God turned each of the enemies upon the other until none was left standing. None. All he required of Jehoshaphat and Judah was to stand firm and watch what the Lord will do. He did, and God did.
The point of the story is NOT that God will answer our prayer if we just pray correctly. Let’s face it, sometimes he doesn’t. That’s God’s prerogative. It seems to me that the point is that God will not leave unanswered those who enter unholy alliances. Jehoshaphat wouldn’t have needed his prayer had he not cozied up to Ahab. Don’t forget that.
Another point is that some battles are God’s and not man’s. It is futile for us to try to win on our own. Sometimes all we are required to do is stand and watch God do his stuff.
Finally, God is merciful to those who humble themselves and call upon his name. Thankfully, things are different for us in that we are living under the Second Covenant in which God changes us rather than us trying to live up to the law. For the born again believer, we are assured of our salvation. God disciplines our disobedience with the staff and rod, but we will never see his wrath, like Jehoshaphat. Those who are not born again most certainly will.
What does any of this have to do with the U.S. Presidential Election? Plenty. Abortion is an abomination that will NOT go unpunished by the hand of the Lord. Until he does, he has given this nation up to our lustful passions thereby allowing us to sink deeper and deeper in our sin.
God will have his wrath, of that you can be sure. Can we fight and eliminate abortion with our ballots? I’m afraid that ship has long ago sailed, if indeed there ever was a time we could. No, this battle is God’s, and he will have his vengeance. Count on it.
What about all the unborn? Surely we must do SOMETHING to help. Indeed, there is. Like Jehoshaphat, we need to humble ourselves and pray. We are reminded of what God said to Solomon:
2 Chronicles 7:14 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
Will that work against abortion? I’m sure it would if our nation humbled and prayed, but that’s the problem. Only a handful are doing that. Will God listen to this handful and change the nation? He certainly could, but I think the lesson in our bibles is that he has turned us over to our sin and will extend his wrath upon us. Born-again Christians will experience the turmoil, but we will be spared the eternal wrath of the final judgment.
Believe it or not, God’s wrath glorifies him. He will not be mocked. He will judge. He glorifies himself through wrath.
He also is merciful to those with a contrite heart. It is all or nothing with God. Either we repent for all or sins, or we repent for none of them. We don’t get to pick and choose. We are ALL called to repent. No, we are all COMMANDED to repent. And, as our bible tells us, none will. Those on whom he has mercy is done so against our own will. To be sure, he exchanges our heart of stone for a heart of flesh and indwells us with the Holy Spirit. We are deemed holy and one day will be entirely holy in our flesh. Until that day, those who are born again can rest knowing our salvation is secure. This, too, glorifies God.
We know from our bibles that few will enter the narrow gate (Matthew 7:13-14) and that there will be a day of final judgment. Until then, we are instructed to make disciples and remember what the angel told John:
Revelation 22:11 Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy.”
We can’t stop sin. Should we do our civic duty to vote in a way that honors God? Of course. But we must be careful not to make politics our idol. This is far easier said than done. We must remember we are powerless against this horde and that the battle belongs to God. Pray. Vote. Watch. Oh, yeah, and share the gospel. If you want to really do something, do that. Share the gospel. That’s what this country really needs.
Let’s also not forget the lesson of unholy alliances.
So….who am I going to vote for? Well, I have not settled that. There are only two Pro-Life candidates on the Presidential ballot: Donald Trump and Kanye West. I’ll be diving into this next week.
Father, I thank you that you will glorify your name. Having said all I’ve said, I still ask that you have mercy on this country and change the hearts of all. It is only through you that this will happen. Hearts of stone will not hear unless you melt them. Have mercy on us. Amen.
Copyright © 2020 Scott Powers
Photo by Malcolm Lightbody on Unsplash