We live in interesting times. The future of Britain is uncertain as the Brexit saga plays out. American policy can change on the whim of an early morning tweet. Xi Jinping continues to expand his control over China and extend its influence across the world. Sunni and Shia Muslims fight in Yemen and Syria. What is Putin’s endgame? We all listen to the media and try to balance which commentator has the greatest insight.
As Christians we ask more questions? What is God doing in this world? We do not have an Isaiah or Jeremiah on tap to proclaim: ‘Thus says the Lord …’. But we do have God’s words written into other political situations. This gives us some signposts. First that no political situation is permanent. Empires come and go. Political leaders die or are removed. The only eternal one is God himself. Second that we should always be asking what God wants us to do and not what is politically expedient or seems to advance our own interests.
What God wants is righteousness. Proverbs 14.34 tells us that nations will prosper if they are righteous. When people ignore what God has said; when they forget not just personal morality, but the kindness and care they owe to others; when they regard as good actions what God defines as sin – then a nation cannot expect God’s continuing blessing. They may hold prayer breakfasts or have religious ceremonies for significant events, but God does not hear them. Judgement may come through another nation’s increasing political, military or commercial power, but the most frightening form of judgement is when God gives us up to our own desires. When he says ‘This is what you have chosen. I won’t intervene to stop the consequences.’
Rev’d Ray Porter