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A Christian Perspective on Idolizing Political Figures

Author: Jordan G Estabrook

"But the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel. And they said, "No! but there shall be a king over us, that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles." - 1 Samuel 8:19-22

I've been meditating on this piece of Scripture. Clearly evident, Israel doesn't really want God to just lead them - they want a real king like every other nation. They want someone on the ground "fighting their battles."

Strange though. Going back to the previous chapter, God had just finished defeating the Philistines. The hand of the Lord was now against Israel's enemy. As 1 Samuel 7:10 says, "...the Lord thundered with a mighty sound that day against the Philistines...and they were defeated before Israel."

Read the chapter for context, but you get the point: wasn't there already a king fighting their battles? The king of the world? Fighting for Israel? Yet they still wanted someone else to fight their battles and clean up their messes.

This isn't so different from what I see today. In the pursuit of security and justice, we falsely place more of our hope in whatever leader, whatever law, whatever ideology, or whatever else will give us peace.

Notice I said, "more hope." The people of Israel still wanted God, but also a king. They wanted to have their cake and eat it, too. As a Christian, I fear that I do the same. I have fooled myself into believing that I trust God just because I keep Him in the mix but keep Him out of the center of my life and the world around me.

This applies to the left, right and everything in between. Conservatives have seen the battle between Steven Crowder and The Daily Wire. They put their hopes in flawed, sinful people. The democrats and republicans promise change just to let us down. We have put more hope in politicians and cultural figures than God. We are left disappointed and surprised. We shouldn't be.

I've asked God to heal our land and have sought repentance. I specifically think of mass shooting in California, killing 11 people. My heart breaks. Yet, I immediately look to thought leaders for answers instead of immediately asking God the questions and trusting that He is a just ruler. He is the King. As the book of Samuel continues, God was still in control and masterfully navigating, working through sinful men. I believe God does the same thing today.

I'm not really saying to sit on your hands and do nothing. It's more to question our priorities: do you trust God to fight your battles, or do you trust someone or something else "more"? The answer to that question will then guide how we choose to navigate. Seeking Him will require us to lay our pride at the altar, take our hands of the reins, and admit how ignorant we are next to the Creator and King.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent those of Resident Skeptics.

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