“… so Absalom stole away the hearts of the men of Israel.” (2 Samuel 15:6b)
The current mid-term elections have taken over much of the media, and one can hardly go anywhere without being confronted by the claims of the perspective candidates or their supporters. Mudslinging abounds and in many cases replaces any actual debate of the relevant issues. Will conservatives capture the House or the Senate or both or will liberals retain the majority? The battles we see going on today are not new and remind me a bit of King David and his son Absalom.
King David was a good leader, certainly not perfect. He sometimes allowed his own desires to get in the way of his service to God and leading his people. The result was at times devastating to the nation. However, for the most part, the population prospered under him. It wasn’t expected that the nation would fix each individuals woes but that all had responsibility to provide from themselves and help the less fortunate in their area. There was a sense of national pride and unity. Over time this began to change as others arose and created dissatisfaction in order to wrest leadership and change the nation with promises of a new form of justice. For example, King David’s son, Absalom became a community organizer, gathered disgruntled citizens around him and listened to their claims. Regardless of whether they were legitimate or not his response was always the same:
“See, your claims are good and right, but no man listens to you on the part of the king.” (2 Samuel 15:3)
He then followed up with the call for support:
“Oh that one would appoint me judge in the land, then every man who has any suit or cause could come to me and I would give him justice.” (2 Samuel 15:4)
Justice, ah yes. Getting what I want regardless of who it effects. Absalom did this for forty years at the end of which time he set out to take over the government. Hope and change were afoot. (2 Samuel 15:7-12)
There has been a battle for the heart and soul of the United States and like Absalom, much of it occurred behind the scenes since the early part of the 20th Century. Progressives/Socialists have been busy gaining the ear of part of the population with promises of wealth redistribution, homes whether they could afford to pay the mortgages or not, cradle to grave care and a change from personal responsibility, the right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” with no guarantee of the outcome. One could become wealthy or may work long hard hours all the days of their lives but they would live as a free people.
The continuous work of Progressives behind the scenes is reminiscent of Absalom. An appeal to the disenfranchised. The “war on poverty” has left more in the ranks of the poverty class inspite of the billions of dollars thrown at the problem (after Federal employees and officials took their cut). Community organizers who contend that those who have done well are evil and their wealth should be taken and distributed to all in order to be “fair.” So, somehow, theft is now honorable. The Constitution and the 18 enumerated powers it provides to the Federal government is now largely ignored. The groundwork over much of the 20th Century has paid off and the values of middle America as well as the protections the Constitution have provided since the founding of the nation are being kicked to the curb as the nation is undergoing a gigantic change from a Democratic Republic to a Socialist nation. An upcoming film, “The Socialist” givs a bit of an overview of how far things have come. Like Absalom, they worked at this with a minority of the people behind them. Unlike Absalom, they have so far been successful. The latest plan is to “…seize private 401(k) plans to more “fairly” distribute taxpayer-funded pensions to everyone.” Why theft from those who have worked and planned for their retirement on such a grand scale? Because of the mishandling of union pensions, federal, state and municipal pensions, in many cases by these very same leaders. The end of this is predictable and we can even see it in action in France where riots are under way for simply attempting to raise the retirement age by 2 years. Socialism is a failure whereever it is tried and bankrupts nations, financially and spiritually.
How does this impact believers? The current government is fairly opposed to Christianity. Christians who hold to biblical teachings are regarded as narrow minded, knuckle dragging Neanderthals, or worse. How are we to respond? Who should we vote for? I can’t really say. The predominate parties are populated by conservatives and liberals. It seems liberals are the dominate worldview in the parties although not in the population. Conservative values outnumber liberal values by about 2 to 1 in the general population. It seems that as believers our task is to honor God regardless of what our government does. If it continues in its current unrighteous path we still need to proclaim the gospel, remain faithful to Him who called us and will likely suffer increasing persecution. We will keep our eyes fixed “on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)