I am sure that Australians have never been as interested in a US Presidential election as they were in the recent Trump-Biden contest. At the time of writing, the outcome is becoming clearer, although still officially too close to call. Whatever the final result, we know from God’s word that it is God who entrusts the US President with his authority: “The Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will” (Daniel 4:17). This does not necessarily mean that God will grant the presidency to the “best person for the job”. It means he grants it to the person he chooses. His purpose might be to bless us, to test us, to punish us – or all three of these at the same time!
The President (like anyone entrusted with authority) should understand that God will hold them to account for they way in which they have exercised their authority. Authority is held on trust from God. A ruler is “God’s servant for our good” (Romans 13:4). If they misuse their authority, they may be answerable to the people or the courts, but they certainly will be answerable to Almighty God.
I cannot imagine what it must feel like to have the weight of the US Presidency on one’s shoulders. (Even Donald Trump once said, “My life was great before I was the President”.) I really cannot imagine carrying out that responsibility without getting down on my knees each morning and pleading with God to help me discharge my God-given responsibility in wisdom, justice and truth.
Over the last few weeks, God has no doubt heard millions of sincere prayers for both candidates to win the election. God has weighed these up and made his decision. We should now sincerely pray for the man elected, that he would recognise his God-given responsibility and discharge it with integrity.
On a different topic, as COVID-19 restrictions lift even further, and as we plan for 2021, it is time we surveyed our congregation about the mix of online and in-person gathering options that might be most helpful. Congregation members will be receiving a survey by email this week. The staff team and parish council would be very grateful indeed if you could complete this survey to help us with planning.