2 Samuel 23 records the words of David, Israel's singer of songs, as his life drew near to its end:
1 These are the last words of David:
"The oracle of David son of Jesse,
the oracle of the man exalted by the Most High,
the man anointed by the God of Jacob,
Israel's singer of songs:
2 "The Spirit of the LORD spoke through me;
his word was on my tongue.
3 The God of Israel spoke,
the Rock of Israel said to me:
'When one rules over men in righteousness,
when he rules in the fear of God,
4 he is like the light of morning at sunrise
on a cloudless morning,
like the brightness after rain
that brings the grass from the earth.'"
As we prepare for beginning of our new president's term of office, some of us within Christ's Body may be greatly encouraged by the hope President-elect Obama promises to bring while others are disheartened by the prospect of policies and practices that cause deep concern. Whatever our hopes, whatever our concerns; whatever our partisan loyalties and principled convictions:
- Let's keep perspective. The world is not much different today than it was yesterday – it will take a lot to change it for better or for worse. Let's be sure we're on the side of better. An anonymous Second Century saint once wrote of the Christians, "Every foreign country is their homeland, and every homeland is a foreign country." Our ultimate loyalties are not political.
- Let's keep talking. They may not be ultimate, but political discussion belongs in the family of faith, for politics, too, are the domain of our sovereign God – "if Jesus is not Lord of all, he is not Lord at all."
- Let's keep praying. Let's pray that Barack Obama will be one who humbly seeks to rule in righteousness and in the fear of God. It is not too much to expect that God still desires that, while we await the coming of his Kingdom, we work for times of cloudless mornings and a brightness like after the rain.
There are a hundred good reasons to sense pride and privilege in being an American this morning. The reasons to rejoice that Jesus is Lord are infinitely more.