The people you are about to read about were real leaders in history. Pay close attention. You will be asked to vote for one of them. During his term the Incumbent has worked to accomplish three things: Strengthen the national defense, bring the economy under control, and promote faith in God. He is a family man with one wife. Most of his sons have served in the military. In fact, most died in defense of their country during a terrible war. The Incumbent reformed the tax code that included a tax raise. While this didn’t win him any friends on the economic front, he was known for his personal frugality, not taking great advantage of the system for his own financial benefit. On the religion and values front, the Incumbent worked to unify his nation around faith in God and even passed legislation against occult practices in his country.
The Challenger is a long-time military man. He’s been decorated for his service to the country and was elevated, for a time, as an adviser to the Incumbent. However, the two had a falling out and the Challenger is now up for election. The Challenger, though being a man honored by his country, is known widely for a variety of personal problems. He has trouble with the opposite sex, including a severed relationship with his first wife. His family members are not known for their character. Their attitudes of elitism and even rumors of an incestuous relationship among his children have marked the Challenger’s family. During multiple wars the Challenger was known for his extreme cruelty to his enemies, and questionable practices in combat. At one point in his military career his own men were on the verge of mutiny. To make matters worse, the challenger was charged by the government with treason prior to the election, but never brought to trial. For the last year and a half prior to the election he hasn’t even lived in the country.
It’s time to pull that lever. Will you vote for the Incumbent or the Challenger? Which man, at a cursory reading, seems to represent your values, your view on leadership?
If you voted for the Incumbent, congratulations. You’ve just awarded Saul, King of Israel, a second term in office, sending David, the man after God’s own heart, back to Philistine territory.
My trickery aside, there’s a point to this little exercise. Sometimes the man that God wants is not the man that we want. God looks at the heart. In David’s case his heart was given over to Christ. He was not mature or ready when God chose him. But God made him ready and matured him over many years of sacrifice. His life and family may have been a mess, but he had something that Saul never had—a repentant heart. David’s life often reads like a journal going from one sin and repentant episode to another. In fact, it was the repentant episodes that made David a man after God’s heart.
It was repentance that Saul lacked.
While we MUST seek someone who represents our values, we should not assume that someone who does not represent them will always oppose them, or be the same person years from now that they are today. Even Manasseh was given back his kingdom. And he reigned longer than any king of Israel or Judah. Repentance toward God is a powerful thing. Nor should we assume that a person who seems to represent our values now will be faithful to represent them once he assumes power.
Don’t try to match my points above to the lives of our two presidential candidates. Doing so would go far beyond my intent for this article. This is not a commentary about Trump or Clinton. This a commentary about us. Before we concern ourselves about what we think may be “God’s preference,” why not concern ourselves with whether or not our spiritual, social, and political views are viewed through God’s eyes? In the process we may discover something we never expected.