Rev. Dr. Ross L. Riggs June 2, 2016
I suppose, like many people whether a died in the blue Democrat or a rolling in red Republican; there has been a great deal of consternation over this year’s presidential election processes. Many people are shaking their heads looking at those who currently command the top nomination slots for the position of president. Many, myself included, are bemoaning the fact that these individuals, Donald Trump, the egomaniac who has no political foundation for his plans because they change with the wind and are built upon shifting sands; Bernie Sanders America’s answer to Lenin (and I don’t mean John}; and the former Secretary of State, Hillary (Bill 2 the sequel) Clinton, who should be tried and convicted of treason and we are saying that these are the best we have to offer! I had begun to console myself with the notion that regardless of who wins, the system is bigger than just the one person sitting in the Oval Office. That consolation plummeted when I went with part of my family to watch a small town parade and Memorial Day event at their community cemetery. The honor guard approached with the colors. My family stood, children and grandchildren with hands over their hearts, because of the uniform hat I was wearing, my son and I rendered a hand salute as Old Glory went by. But it wasn’t held by a military unit. It was a Boy Scout troop and, don’t get me wrong, I love the Boy Scouts. As the Scout Master passed us, he turned and said “Thanks”. I wonder if we were the only ones that stood for the colors to pass? I don’t know. The parade was a short one, the cemetery event well planned and the flag there was raised by the Scouts. There was not one single military person, unit or representation of the military except the We Support our Military flag flown on the Holidays Snow Festival Queen’s Court miniature float. Where did all the veterans go?
I was back in my doldrums about the election and the future of our country when I happened across an old Bruce Willis movie titled: Live Free or Die Hard. Often a grain of wisdom can be learned from the dialogue in a movie. In this scene, Willis plays a NYPD Detective Lieutenant trying to get a teenage hacker to Washington from New Jersey because an evil ego maniac had planned a cyber-attack against the country and had duped this kid into unknowingly aiding and abetting his strategy. Now major destruction is looming for the country. The kid confesses that at one time he thought such an event as this type of cyber-attack would be cool to “reset the system.” Willis makes the most profound statement of this part of the movie. John McClain, (Willis’ character) replies, “It’s not a system, it’s a country.” (imbd.com) He goes on to explain that there are people sitting in their homes, scared to death, people in hospitals…
America is not defined by its politicians nor even its elected leaders. It is made up of millions of individuals; some who remain very quiet about who they support for the presidency or for congress; but they are there every time the polls open to do their patriotic duty and VOTE!!
As I considered it some more, I thought about those people. The Holy Spirit is the One to whom I am to relinquish my concerns and troubles. My Mom was perhaps the classic worrier of all times and she was astute at telling God all about all of her concerns in prayer and then turn around and carry all of those worries with her all day every day. Perhaps that is why she became so stoop shouldered in later life.
In Psalm 2, the Psalmist writes from God’s point of view of the plans of mankind. He laughs at some of the plans that we create for our country, which: truth be told, America is really His country and he has the right to set up and tear down governments at His pleasure. Here is Psalm 2:1-6 (NKJV)
The Messiah’s Triumph and Kingdom
Why do the nations rage, And the people plot a vain thing? 2 The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, 3 “Let us break Their bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us.”
4 He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall hold them in derision. 5 Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, And distress them in His deep displeasure: 6 “Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion.”
And in another section of Scripture, God speaks, explaining that unless God guards a village, the watchman stays awake in vain. (Ezekiel 33)
God has graciously blessed our nation, not because it deserves blessing but because He is a good and loving God who desired to bless a new nation that was founded on His Word and its founders sought to follow that Word. Like the nations of old, particularly Israel, America has had her ups and down times. I believe that at times, God has given us the president and congress that we have earned. In the Book of Revelation, America is not named. So, any prognosticator must agree that somewhere over these next decades, it is possible that America may start to decrease in importance from the world stage. Still now, we have much for which to be thankful and that no matter who sits in the seat at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. America is a COUNTRY, made up of 323,685,687 people (according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the number climbs every second).
This people that are America need so very much to heed Scripture particularly to a passage in Peter’s first letter to the churches across the provinces. He writes, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, so that in due time He may exalt you.” (1 Peter 5:6 NKJV)
No doubt that at times when God watches what we are doing politically in this country and, at the plans of people like Sanders, Clinton and Trump; He may laugh. But, many more times when He looks and sees how disconnected those who are truly born-again Christians are from their local communities, I believe God cries.