Elders at the Gate
But if the man does not want to take his brother’s wife, then let his brother’s wife go up to the gate to the elders, and say, ‘My husband’s brother refuses to raise up a name to his brother in Israel; he will not perform the duty of my husband’s brother.’
Sort of a strange verse to use as a devotional, I know. But there is something that I want to concentrate on being that this is our national election day. My topic has nothing to do with Jewish law or the responsibility of kinsmen redeemership. But the verse fills the purpose that I need it to.
Today we have an opportunity to choose our leaders. We concentrate so much on the Presidential race, but the Presidential powers are limited, and our Constitution is written in such a way to balance the powers of the executive and legislative branches. We will also be electing new Senators and Congressional Representatives as well. Some states are voting on some very important propositions that will effect right to life/abortion, same sex marriage, assisted suicide and more. While our elected officials will stand on their soap boxes and spout that we cannot legislate morality, this is in fact, much of what we do legislate. Abortion, marriage, suicide are all moral issues. When we go to the polls, we are voting our conscience, and our responsibility, our duty, is that as Christians our conscience represents Christ.
Back to our verse from Deuteronomy. The point of using that verse as some of you may have figured out, is the reference to the men at the gate. These men were the judges of the city. While these men, as far as we know, were not elected by popular ballot, they instead earned their positions based on their standing in the community. You earned it because your reputation was one of a trustworthy, honest man. You became an Elder of the city, not because of age alone, but because of character!
Just as God did not choose people because of their popularity, or how much money they could raise for the temple, or how loud and moving their prayers were in front of the people, we too must do the same. God chose people because of their heart, and their character. And he chose many of them in spite of their flaws. Moses was poor in speech, Abraham was from a family of idolaters and was a man without direction, David was the least of his family, Gideon was as far from a warrior as one could get! Yet God chose these because of their character and their heart. So too must we.
Our freedom to participate in this electoral process is a gift from God. Those who oppose its use by Christians because of the ill perceived separation of church and state, have little grasp of what that means, both biblically and Constitutionally. We have a right given to us by God to participate in the election of our officials. Why can I say this with confidence? Because that’s what our forefathers believed, that’s what they taught, and that’s what our Constitution tells us as well.
Do you think that God does not want us to represent Him here on earth? Do you think that God desires that the path of America go down the road of heathenism and debauchery? Do you honestly feel that our Creator’s wishes is that we, His children, stand with our hands folded doing nothing while the nation that He helped to found (again, not my words, but the words of our founding fathers. Read G. Washington’s inaugural address…), falls into a nation of sin just because we did nothing?
I have heard the argument that Jesus didn’t vote. True, but he was not living in a democratic republic that had given Him the right to vote either. Instead he lived in despotic times, and many of his speeches were politically motivated against the laws of the Jews. Moot point. We HAVE been given that right. As I have shared so many times before, God could have placed us in any nation in any time in history. But, but His omniscient sovereignty, we are here, and now. Do your part, vote, and allow Christ to speak through you.