The election is just a couple of weeks away. So far it has been a multi billion dollar event…over $11 billion dollars, actually. The news coverage is frantic, the gossip is all consuming, the speculation is unending. Some people are using their Facebook accounts to lobby for the affirmation of their specific candidate and worldview, some are using every bit of their influence to convert and evangelize others to join their political party, and everyone both sides are fighting for the moral high ground. And along with all the hype and hoopla comes intense speculation about what kind of president Biden or Trump will be in the next 4 years. This is the latest form of idolatry.
Most people really care deeply about the outcome of this election. They have a ton of emotion, money, and energy invested in “their guy.” But others wonder why all of this even matters? Is it really that important? Is this really the “most important election ever” in the history of the world? Because I’m pretty sure I hear that every 4 years!!!
As I consider the upcoming election, I can’t help but to think there is something else going on here under the surface.
It doesn’t matter how you slice it, people are looking for a king. They’re looking for someone to claim as their leader, their savior, their hero. They need direction, leadership, guidance, and they’re even willing to submit themselves to an imperfect person – someone who seems smart, clever, or makes them laugh or cry. This is true both inside and outside the church.Outside of the church, people search for politicians, athletes, authors, actors and musicians to fill this role in their life. Inside the church, people look for a super cool, hip, trendy, relatable, pastor. They really love a young, celebrity christian. Either way, people are looking for a person to inspire them, they want someone to idolize, someone to emulate.
As I’ve considered this, I can’t get my mind off 1 Samuel 8. The people of Israel reject God’s divine leadership, and ultimately demand a human king to lead them (just like all the other nations of the world). Eventually, God tells Samuel to give the people what they want…a young, superstar king. Samuel delivers a speech and lets them know exactly what to expect when they sell out to a king.
“So Samuel spoke all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking him for a king. He said, “Here are the policies of the king who will rule over you: He will conscript your sons and put them in his chariot forces and in his cavalry; they will run in front of his chariot. He will appoint for himself leaders of thousands and leaders of fifties, as well as those who plow his ground, reap his harvest, and make his weapons of war and his chariot equipment. He will take your daughters to be ointment makers, cooks, and bakers. He will take your best fields and vineyards and give them to his own servants. He will demand a tenth of your seed and of the produce of your vineyards and give it to his administrators and his servants. He will take your male and female servants, as well as your best cattle and your donkeys, and assign them for his own use. He will demand a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will be his servants. In that day you will cry out because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lord won’t answer you in that day.”(1 Samuel 8:10-18).
Of course, the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel. And they said, “No! There will be a king over us! We will be like all the other nations. Our king will judge us and lead us and fight our battles.”(1 Sam 8:19-20)
So, God gave them SAUL.
God gives the people what they want, and they experience the injustice and suffering that comes along with human kings. However, God ultimately leads them to a much greater King – because Saul’s reign leads to David, and David ultimately leads to JESUS.
During a sermon back in February, I quoted a guy named Blaise Pascal who famously described our attempts to fill the un-fillable hole in our soul with anything but God. Have you considered yet, that the obsessive posting, arguing, and “voting” leading up to the election in November comes from a similar heart-place, an emptiness inside of us that longs for the ultimate reign of our real savior, King Jesus?
In a few days, we will tune into our favorite news outlets to watch the outcomes of Trump vs Biden. Some will watch it with a frustrated cynicism; others will watch with an idolatrous awe; but I see it as a pointed finger, pointing to a day when we will come face to face with our eternal king, Jesus…and He will never disappoint.
Oasis, I love you. I miss you.
Please go vote, but don’t give your heart to that guy.
Give your heart to Jesus.
PS- I’m not currently on social media, and nobody reads my blog, so maybe you can share?