Monday, November 3, 2008
Finally, we Americans are on the brink of electing a new president. No more robo-calls, no more mailers, no more polls, no more media bias (oops, that’s here to stay, I’m afraid), and no more back-to-back TV commercials–at least until Thursday when the 2012 race for the White House gets started up. Although I have been watching this campaign carefully for more than a year, I will be glad when I can finally stop obsessively checking RealClearPolitics twice a day to see the latest gossip.
As we close the campaign and turn to the actual voting, I feel like I need to get a little perspective on this campaign.
When times are hard–when the financial industry is in meltdown, jobs are disappearing, recession is looming, terrorism is still a threat to our way of life–we automatically turn to someone to save us. Who will rescue us from all our hardships? Who will deliver us from the things that threaten us? Conveniently, there are currently two men auditioning for the role of president of the United States, the most powerful man in the world. And they really want us to vote for them. So it’s a natural campaign strategy to play on our deepest needs and fears. The logic goes like this: We need a savior; John McCain/Barack Obama can be that savior; voila, problems solved!
People rightly call the campaign for president a horse race. Like thoroughbreds, the senator from Illinois and the senator from Arizona are rounding the last turn, almost neck and neck. They are jockeying hard, trying to pull ahead of the other, so that when they cross the finish line, they will be the victor.
And although it’s a good metaphor for a political campaign, we have to remember that whoever wins the race is still a horse…figuratively speaking. When we raise the expectations of the man who will be president, we will only be disappointed. When we pin our ultimate hopes on fragile and fallible men (and trust me, they are), we will only have our hopes dashed. The government cannot be our savior.
Because only God can save us; only the Lord can rescue us from our despair; only Jesus can give us hope for true, abundant, and eternal life. There is only one true Messiah, and he isn’t running for president. Jesus Christ is truly King of kings, Lord of lords, President of presidents, and Governor of governors.
God has already spoken on this subject of horse racing, and it’s worth repeating:
“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” Psalm 20:7 ESV
“The war horse is a false hope for salvation, and by its great might it cannot rescue.” Psalm 33:17 ESV
“Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, who rely on horses, who trust in the multitude of their chariots and in the great strength of their horsemen, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel, or seek help from the LORD.” Isaiah 31:1 TNIV
During the 2000 presidential horse race, I saw a clever yard sign that stood out among all the other Gore/Bush yard signs. It said, “Elect Jesus as your Savior.” Now, I might quibble with their understanding of “election,” but the message was loud and clear. This season, regardless of who’s elected as president of the United States, we need to put our ultimate trust in Jesus Christ, the true Lord of lords.