Is There Hope for Politics?
Article by Matt Carver
For the Lord is our Judge, The Lord is our Lawgiver, The Lord is our King; He will save us…
In light of the recent wrestlings on the part of our governing authorities to find anything to agree on besides animosity toward each other, I thought it would be a good time to encourage us with the beautiful promise given above. The message of Isaiah 33:22 is that God is in character and will be in position all that our best political systems attempts to be. Therefore we look forward to a hope for politics.
How does this verse display that? Consider the three characteristics given to God that are referenced in this passage. They match exactly what, in the United States, we would call the three branches of government: the judicial (he is judge), the legislative (he is lawgiver), and the executive (he is King). To see why this is such an incredible statement, let’s consider why these three branches exist. Patrick Henry gives us an answer: “Power is the great evil with which we are contending. We have divided power between three branches of government and erected checks and balances to prevent abuse of power.” The abuse of power is an undeniable fact, it is a historical fact, it is a present observable fact, and it is a fact that was stated long ago in the Bible.
Consider what Peter implies in 1 Peter 5:1-3 concerning the abuse of power: "So I exhort the elders among you … shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.” If the abuse of power is an effect of man’s sinfulness in a spiritual position, how much more in a political position? Our forefathers, fleeing from the tyranny prompted by the abuse of power, and having an understanding of man’s depravity that arose from a culture saturated with Christian ideals, anticipated man’s abuse of power with a system in which power might be checked by other power. In other words, ours is a system of wrestling—one power with another. That's why we observe that, in a world of corrupt people, the best systems are those that infuse into them the wisdom of accountability—A church has multiple elders, families have two parents, and businesses have at least three people on their board of directors. In the light of this, then, when we turn on the news and see one branch (Trump) bickering with another (Pelosi), its not a total surprise, it is the way it is suppose to work—to a degree. But we would all agree that our system is not ideal! What are we left with then? Is resigned to a state of continual political bickering? Is there a hope for politics?
Yes—in the Lord! Considering the passage above, who must this God of ours be that He would say that He Himself can carry on his shoulders the entire weight of the three branches of government? This verse implies three things about the character of our God’s reign that will never be true of politics until he rules over the world: unity, transparency, and benevolence. First it tells us that He is not divided within Himself as our current political structure must inevitably be. There are no wrestlings within God concerning what is right or wrong, therefore there is no division of power necessary. He is righteous from beginning to end: in judgment as Judge, in writing the law as Lawgiver, and in administering the law as King. Thus He displays a unity that we will never see in current politics until He reigns. Second, this passage also implies that in God, all that makes man have to divide up his government—the abuse of power, is absent. God will never lie for the sake of selfish gain, He will never say one thing and then contradict himself, there is no shadow of turning with Him, He is what He is, behind closed doors and in the open square. Thus he displays a transparency and a consistency that we will never see in current politics until he reigns. Finally, this passage declares that He is benevolent, which means He will never abuse His people to bolster His own power, but rather His concern will always be to act on behalf His people. This we see in the very last part of the verse, “He will save us.” When He rules he will do so to serve and to save. Therefore he displays a benevolence that we will never see in current politics until He reigns. …”and the government will be on his shoulders…”
Until then politics will be a war of wrestlings between Presidents and Representatives, Republicans and Democrats, the Supreme Court and the Congress. There will continue to be complaints of lack of transparency in impeachment proceedings, questions of the wisdom of foreign policies, abuse of financial power to curb the success of certain dis-liked institutions, questionable applications of constiutional statements, a bunch of bickering, and a general sense that politicians, while saying they care for their constituents, really just care for their agenda. BUT…that’s all simply because God hasn’t come to rule yet. “Behold I am coming…”
Therefore for the Christian alone is there hope in politics.