Transition of Power
We just experienced one of the wonders of a free republic. Each time that a new President is elected, the nation, out of respect and honor of the freedom that is the foundation of this land, stands in awe as one President leaves the White House and another is inaugurated to become our national leader. The eyes of the world watch in amazement. It is not that our convictions and concerns suddenly evaporate on that day. We are not stricken with collective amnesia of what separates us. Nor is it that we are all in full agreement of just what the nation needs. All of the things that divide us are still within us. But we choose on inauguration day to honor that that which unites us. We are a free republic governed by the laws of our Constitution. We are the recipients of freedom granted by law to elect our own leader. Americans are very vocal for what we love, hate, support, ignore, defend, or defeat. And, we are like family. We fight with each other regularly, but if an outsider picks on any of us, they have to take on all of us.
History is filled with times of great transitions of power. Because of the significance of those moments, they have been recorded. One of those significant times is found in the Old Testament history of Israel.
When Saul became king of Israel, the people had rebelled against God being their “only” leader. Until Saul’s rule, they had been a “theocracy” with God as their King. However, they determined that they wanted to be like all of the other nations. It was a sad day for the people that God had established as His own people. Here is what Samuel recorded about that day….
Samuel said to the people, “Do not be afraid. You have [indeed] done all this evil; yet do not turn away from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart.21 You must not turn away, for then you would go after futile things which cannot profit or rescue, because they are futile. 22 The Lord will not abandon His people for His great name’s sake, because the Lord has been pleased to make you a people for Himself. 23 Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you; but I will instruct you in the good and right way. 24 Only fear the Lord [with awe and profound reverence] and serve Him faithfully with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you. 25 But if you still do evil, both you and your king will be swept away [to destruction].” (1 Sam.12:20-25).
We are not a “theocracy”. We are a Free Republic. It is true that America believes in the separation of church and state. That precept was in the hearts of our Founders to prevent the power of the government dictating policy to the church. And to keep the government of prohibiting the influence of the moral and spiritual training of the church to the nation’s citizenry. The church’s impact should influence the people to seek God and conduct themselves in accordance with His will.
What Samuel states as a warning to the Israelites is applicable to our nation’s citizenry to come under God in submission as we pledge to be “one nation under God”. So, what can we do to strengthen America? Read again the bold type in the verses above. That is a good admonition for all of us that know the Lord Jesus Christ and for a prayer for this country.