As Christians shouldn’t it be a simple task to pray for direction regarding which presidential candidate we vote for? In today’s world, however, choosing who to vote for seems like trying to fly a kite in a hurricane! James the Apostle seems to sum it up well with his statement in James 3:16; ”For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.”(KJV)
I believe we can draw from Bible history to give us some added direction in the midst of the crossfire of character assassination currently going on all around us. Three main types of leaders are found in the Old Testament at is relates to God’s theocratic form of government. They were the prophets, the priests, and the kings. To cut to the chase, two of those three groups were called to walk a walk of a life free from sin, which was only possible back then under special anointings given by the Holy Spirit as they obtained help from God through prayer.
The difficulties of the calling of a prophet or prophetess were unprecedented. If a prophet’s prophecies did not come to pass, the prophet was considered a false prophet and by Old Testament Law and was condemned to be stoned to death. A prophet’s daily walk was to be one of complete holiness and righteousness before God. The proof that God was truly with them was demonstrated by the life that he or she lived. A common denominator of Old Testament prophets were that they were called to a meager life of trusting God daily to meet all of their needs. Some had seasons of prosperity such as Daniel, Samson, and Moses but for most prophets standard equipment was a robe, a staff, sandals on their feet and often the star lit sky over their head at night. True God called prophets were called to a very hard life, full of persecution and sometimes near poverty living conditions.
The priests also were called to a very restrictive lifestyle in two ways. First of all, they had to be of priestly descendants. They had to be from the tribe of Levi, direct descendants of Aaron, Moses’ brother. Secondly, like the prophets they also were called to strictly pursue God’s righteousness and holiness. If a High Priest attempted to go into the “Holy of Holies” to make atonement for the sins of the people and he had any sin in his life, he was smitten dead by the judgment of God. So we see that God called both the prophets and the priests to very high standards of near perfection in their lives. The fact that the Old Testament is replete with examples of both false prophets and false priests does not negate the fact that the highest of standards of behavior were expected of those in these two leadership positions.
God’s original plan called for the priests and the prophets, to be His instruments, which He had chosen to use to govern His people. We must remember the office of the “king” came later. For years God’s people complained, wanting to be like other nations and have a king as their ruler. First Samuel chapter eight tells the story of Israel going to the prophet Samuel and demanding a king. God tells Samuel to warn the nation regarding what would happen if they had a king, but they wanted one anyway. So then the kingly line started with King Saul lasting for about seven hundred years. God then out of reluctance, but in giving His rebellious people what they wanted, began to utilize the office of the king to govern over the Hebrew people’s practical needs.
Even a casual reading of the Old Testament reveals very clearly that every single king from King Saul all the way through to the last king, King Jehu had serious character flaws. Do not get me wrong. there were many basically good kings during that time period. The most notable was King David followed by King Solomon. Of David God said, “He is a man after my own heart.” Solomon was given the distinction of being described as the “wisest man who ever lived”. Yet these kings all had serious issues in their character, which are portrayed in vivid color in their life stories. It is not a stretch to see that God seems to choose kings whom He knows will accomplish what He has called them to do in spite of their personal flaws! Daniel 2:21 reveals, “And He changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men and knowledge to men of understanding.”(NKJV)
We read with horror about King David’s adultery, his ordering the death of Bathsheba’s husband, and his blatant disobedience in numbering Israel. We are incredulous when we hear of Solomon’s foreign wives who enticed his heart away from God. We shudder at the wicked choices of King Saul or prize revivalist King Hezekiah’s foolish pride, which caused him to come under God’s judgment. Flaws could also be discussed of many more Hebrew kings. Therefore, when we read about our own leaders in our countries history books we can only draw one conclusion. God has used both kings in Israel and presidents in our country in incredible ways. However, to our amazement we see that He used them in spite of the fact that they were not perfect people; quite the contrary! They each demonstrated in grandiose ways that they were seriously flawed! Perhaps God understands, for Him to receive all the glory, leaders who are obviously imperfect should not be a stumbling block but a recognizable requirement! Does this mean that you can then flippantly choose to vote for anyone to be our president? God forbid. Just realize that as you pray for direction, God will choose an imperfect candidate as He has so many times before! It will be God then, and not a person who receives the credit for their successes.