Thursday, November 6, 2008

Anti-war voices!!! (Part 4 of 4)

In order to refresh your memory regarding the ‘prophecy’ I posted yesterday, go here. Now contrast the spirit behind this ‘prophecy’ with the Biblical story of king Ahab told in 1 Kings 16 – 18. Ahab becomes king over God’s chosen people (Israel), by the popular vote of the people. His legacy, however, is that he was the most evil king Israel ever had, yet God permitted his reign for twenty-two years while other ‘less-evil’ kings like Zimri reigned for just seven days. Ahab turned the people’s hearts from worshiping God, to worshiping Baal. He married Jezebel, the daughter of a pagan king (Ethbaal) for whom Baal was named, and proceeded to build an altar to Baal in Israel’s capital city of Samaria. So evil was Ahab, that God permitted Elijah the prophet to speak a judgment of a three and a half year drought and famine over the land in order to realign the people’s allegiance to Him. After three and a half years, while Ahab and Jezebel are still hell-bent on destroying God’s people and erasing any remembrance of God from their history, God sends Elijah back to Ahab to inform him that the drought is about to end. Ahab, upon seeing Elijah, has the gall to call Elijah “Troubler of Israel.” In his misguided, misdirected perspective of his authority, he believes that Elijah’s drought is the cause of Israel’s problems and not his own ungodly leadership. If you’re tracking with me so far, you might be wondering where this is going. Well, wonder no more as I’ll show you what I consider to be the most remarkable part of this story:

“Now the famine was severe in Samaria, and Ahab had summoned Obadiah, who was in charge of his palace. (Obadiah was a devout believer in the Lord. While Jezebel was killing off the Lord’s prophets, Obadiah had taken a hundred prophets and hidden them in two caves, fifty in each, and had supplied them with food and water.)” (1 Kings 18: 2 – 4 NIV)

Obadiah was in charge of Ahab’s palace? In today’s parlance we’d call him the Chief-of-Staff to the President. Even more amazing is that he was a “devout believer in the Lord.” How incredible is that? You mean, even in the most dire of circumstances, when God’s people have a ‘king’ whose values are diametrically opposed to God’s, God still lets him reign and places His people in direct service to such an evil king? Evidently God is capable of bringing about His purpose regardless of what men do. Ahab did not meet a desirable end (1 Kings 22: 29 – 40), and ultimately God’s greater purpose was served. We fret and panic, cajole and manipulate only because we don’t see the macro-story. We look only at the micro-story. We are constrained by the immediate. And we act as if one battle makes the whole war. In the ‘prophecy’ I shared with you yesterday, no names are mentioned yet it would take an idiot not to recognize who the players in this unfolding drama are. Sadly, such a prophecy does not serve to strengthen, but rather, to polarize the Church, as people begin to respond with indignation to what appears to be ‘God’ cursing Christians who vote for one particular candidate over the other. Last I checked, neither candidate that had a shot at being president of the USA was quite the ilk of Ahab. But what do I know?

I do know this though: I know that our nation would be more inclined to listen to an “Elijah” who demonstrates the power of God against ungodliness, rather than a so-called prophet who tries to manipulate God’s people with threats of God ‘killing’ them because of their political vote. I know that I have greater respect and admiration for an “Obadiah” who serves in the ‘lions den’ and protects the innocent, than I do for volatile rhetoric parading itself as God’s frustration with the Church and the prevalent political climate in the USA. My God is not frustrated by His ‘enemies.’ If anything, He might be frustrated by a Church that would rather manipulate others to establish ‘His purpose,’ rather than pray without ceasing until His purpose is established! Whatever the case, irrespective of all of the ‘prophecies,’ we now know who our new President will be come January, and whether we voted for him or not, it is what it is! By the way, I’ve often heard it said, “You get the leader you deserve not the leader you want.”