US Election: Keeping a Bigger Perspective
It might be a little odd to talk about the US presidential election when this column, Spotlight Singapore, is generally meant to share Christian perspectives of local news. But then, the American election is unique in that it is followed by most, if not all, countries around the world.
It is undeniable that when relationships among superpowers are strained, it can affect the economic well-being of our tiny country.
In some ways, the situation reminds me of how Israel in the Old Testament must have felt when they were surrounded by giants such as Assyria, Egypt, and Babylon. These political and economic giants dominated the Middle East at different times, and what happened internally—such as who ruled within them—could also affect the well-being of smaller, weaker nations. Good, kind kings heralded a time of peace and prosperity for all, while evil, ambitious kings brought the fear of conquest and subjugation.
It was in such times, that Israel’s prophets often reminded them of several simple yet powerful truths:
1. God is sovereign over all.
No matter what happened around them, Israel was always reminded that their all-powerful God was fully in control of the situation. He put good kings on their thrones, and He allowed evil kings to reign for a reason. Nothing happened without God’s permission; everything that happened was a fulfilment of His sovereign will.
For example, God made clear that He put Nebuchadnezzar on the throne in Babylon—the behemoth that destroyed Jerusalem and took the Israelites into exile. This may have seemed harsh, but God showed that Nebuchadnezzar was His tool to punish the Israelites for their sin, calling the king “my servant” (Jeremiah 25:9). God also anointed Cyrus, the king of Persia (Isaiah 45:1, 13), to help the Israelites to rebuild their city and their temple later.
Though we may not understand what is happening at this time—in the US and around the world—we can be sure that God is in control, and that His purposes cannot be thwarted. He declares:
I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me.
I make known the end from the beginning,
from ancient times, what is still to come.
I say, “My purpose will stand,
and I will do all that I please.”
2. God is the only one we should rely on.
Facing threats from a powerful aggressor, Israel sometimes sought to form alliances with other powerful nations for protection. When Assyria threatened to attack, for example, Israel turned to Egypt. While this may have been a natural response, Isaiah reminded them that at the end of the day, “the Egyptians are mere mortals and not God” (Isaiah 31:3).
Today, we see similar things happening, with smaller countries needing to be watchful and mindful of the shifting sands of world politics.
But as believers, we have an eternal perspective that offers stability in times of uncertainty: no matter what happens around us, we know that the only One who is completely reliable and unchanging is God. May we always rely on Him completely, and place our hope and security in Him, and not in men.
In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength,
… For the Lord is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for him!
(Isaiah 30:15, 18)
3. God is faithful.
Our God is not only sovereign and unchanging, but also faithful, merciful, and compassionate. Amid the chaos of war and suffering, He always reminded Israel that after they received their deserved punishment and discipline, He would forgive them, deliver them from their enemies, and restore them.
Thankfully for us, God is faithful even when we are not. He never breaks His covenant with us. Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection not only redeemed us from punishment, but also seals our relationship as children of God. No matter what happens around us or even to us, we can rest in this assurance and comfort that He is our Father who will take care of us.
Because of the LORD’s great love
we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
And so, as the world awaits the official announcement of the results of the US presidential election, let us remember that God is in complete control of the affairs of this world. Let us rely on Him completely, knowing that He will never leave us. Amid the uncertainties, amid the chaos we see happening in this world, we can at all times rely on Him knowing fully that He will never abandon us. May we, like the writer of Lamentations 3:24, say:
The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.
(Isaiah 30:15, 18)
Lord God of all, thank You for being a faithful,
compassionate God who cares for each one of us.
Thank You that amid the changes and the challenges
we face in this world and in our daily lives,
we can continue to look to You
and rely on You alone.
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