“If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
Never has a verse from the Bible been more pertinent as we are deciding the leadership for our country. Looking at our current political landscape, one thing seems to be missing – wisdom. What exactly is wisdom and how can it help us make this very important decision on Tuesday, November 8?
There is a song from the Vietnam era that says, “What the world needs now, is love sweet love.” Yes, this world could certainly do with a lot more love. Little did the writer know that they were actually seeking God in that song, because, quite frankly, “God is love” (1 John 4:8).
But along with love, we need His wisdom. He made everything right when He created the world, but man has time and time again attempted to usurp God’s position or utterly ignored Him in their decision making. What foolishness to assume that we have any answers apart from God! The four political parties that have placed a candidate in the running for the presidential race each claims that they have the answer to all the United States’ ills.
Proverbs 2:6-7 tells us, “For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity” (ESV). Unless those candidates have sought God’s answers, they have nothing to offer, because wisdom does not come from man but from God. He is the only source for perfect wisdom. The wise author of the book of Proverbs also teaches man that the “fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.”
This verse trips up many a reader, who wrongly interprets its meaning. Fear in this case does not mean being afraid of God, but rather, being in awe of Him. It means that we respect Him as our God, who is above all things. With a healthy dose of respect, awe, and honor comes wisdom to make right decisions. That fear of God and the wisdom He imparts is of utmost importance for those we are electing to serve.
When Solomon was to take the reign as king over Israel after his father David – God told Solomon to ask for whatever he wanted. His request was for wisdom in leading the nation. I suspect he knew that he was in way over his head. He rightly acknowledged that he needed God to help him lead and serve the nation properly. He could not do it on his own.
From the young king’s request, we surmise that he was humbled to be appointed as king over the greatest nation in the world at that time. Leading a nation is not a time for pride or even worse, arrogance. Becoming a leader requires an attitude of honestly seeking God for direction.
Read the following words with the upcoming election in mind. “Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who get[s] understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold. She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called blessed. The LORD by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding He established the heavens; by His knowledge the deeps broke open, and the clouds drop down the dew” (Proverbs 3:13-20).
Wise leadership serves the people and that wisdom comes from God alone. The wisest leader ever to walk the earth was also the greatest servant – Jesus. Our leaders and those vying for our votes would do well to emulate His example.
This leads us to how wisdom looks. We find a fitting description of wisdom in action in the letter of James to the church of his day. He said, “Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace” (James 3:13-18).
Wisdom breeds positive character in the one who desires to run for public office in this nation, founded as it were on Biblical principles. That wisdom will lead those seeking leadership roles to bow before our great God and seek His will above all else. Wisdom will also lead us, the voters, to prayerfully ask His direction on who we should elect and who best reflects Biblical directives, such as the sanctity of life.
We must do our duty for our nation and vote, while keeping in mind that wisdom must guide our steps as well as the steps of the new president. Walk humbly and dependently each day before, during and after the election.