OceanSide church of Christ
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POLITICAL DECISIONS CAN BE SPIRITUAL DECISIONS
Victor M. Eskew
The principles of Christianity found within the Bible are to permeate every area of our lives. They are to be our guide at home, in the church, at work, at school, in our recreation, every realm that we can think of. We are not free to “pick-and-choose” where we will allow Bible teaching to be applicable to our lives. The will of God is pertinent to every aspect of the Christian’s life.
We are fast approaching a time of very important decisions. My friends, some of the political decisions we will make will also be spiritual decisions. Is the statement we have just made a true statement? Can political decisions also be spiritual decisions? Let’s consider an Old Testament example. After the death of Solomon, Rehoboam came to the throne. At his inauguration, Jeroboam and the congregation of Israel gave an ultimatum to the new king. Their words to the monarch were: “Thy father made our yoke grievous: now therefore make thou the grievous service of thy father, and his yoke which he put upon us, lighter, and we will serve thee” (I Kings 12:4). Rehoboam refused to make the taxation lighter. In fact, he promised to make the yoke heavier (I Kings 12:14). This decision caused the kingdom of Israel to divide. “So when all Israel saw that the king hearkened not unto them, the people answered the king, saying, What portion have we in David? neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: to your tents, O Israel: now see to thine own house, David. So Israel departed unto their tents. But as for the children of Israel which dwelt in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them” (I Kings 12:16-17).
After the division of the kingdom, Jeroboam, the king of the northern tribes, was concerned about the nation’s returning to the house of David, especially when it came time to “go up to do sacrifice in the house of the Lord at Jerusalem” (I Kings 12:27). To keep this from happening, Jeroboam did three things. First, he set up calves of gold in Dan and Bethel, and proclaimed to Israel: “…behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt” (I Kings 12:28-29). Second, he formulated a priesthood, “and made priests of the lowest of people, which were not of the sons of Levi” (I Kings 12:31). Third, he “ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like unto the feast that is in Judah, and he offered upon the altar…” (I Kings 12:32).
At this point in the history of Israel, many individuals had to make some important decisions. These decisions were both political and spiritual in nature. Would those who revolted against the higher taxation policies of Rehoboam continue to side with Jeroboam? Would they go along with his idolatry and transgression of the Law of Moses? In I Chronicles 11:13-15, we read of the Levites who returned to Rehoboam. In I Chronicles 11:16, we read of others who returned as well. As you read I Chronicles 11:16, listen to the reason they returned to Jerusalem. “And after them out of all the tribes of Israel such as set their hearts to seek the Lord God of Israel came to Jerusalem, to sacrifice unto the Lord God of their fathers.” This was a political decision. They would leave one king and yield allegiance to another. The Israelites mentioned in I Chronicles 11:16 made their decision based upon their desire to follow God. Note: Their political decision was based upon their religious beliefs. Their decision was both political and spiritual.
As stated earlier, our nation is approaching a time of very important decisions. We, as Christians, will be involved in this decision-making process. Sometimes our political decisions are also spiritual decisions. Sadly, some do not see it this way, or, they have formed some type of reasoning that allows them to compromise Biblical principles.
One of the decisions we must make involves the issue of abortion. Abortion involves the killing of human life while it is still in the womb of the mother. It is the shedding of innocent blood. This, according to Proverbs 6:16-19, is something that God hates. As voters, and, as Christians, we are casting a vote either for or against abortion. This is not just a political decision. It is a spiritual decision as well. We have a choice to make just as the Israelites of old had a choice to make.
Another decision we must make revolves around homosexuality, especially as it concerns gay marriage. This, too, is both a political and a spiritual decision. Why is this the case? Because God has made it clear in His divine Word that homosexuality is a sin. In Romans 1:26, He calls homosexuality a “vile’ affection. In Romans 1:27, homosexuality is referred to as “error.” In I Corinthians 6:9-11, homosexuality is labeled as being unrighteous and the verse proclaims that those who practice it “shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” Will we be for or against homosexuality as we cast our vote? Yes, we have a choice to make just as the children of Israel had a choice to make.
Let’s read I Chronicles 11:16 again. “And after them out of all the tribes of Israel such as set their hearts to seek the Lord God of Israel came to Jerusalem, to sacrifice unto the Lord God of their fathers.” What was the key element that caused some in Israel to make the decision to return to Jerusalem and subject themselves to Rehoboam? It involved the set of their heart. Did they desire the higher taxes of Rehoboam? No. Did they appreciate his oppressive style? No. But, they set their hearts to seek the Lord God of Israel. When Jeroboam opposed the law of God, their decision was simple. They returned to Jerusalem. These individuals had made up their mind that the law of God must rule all of their decisions.
Sadly, the majority of the Israelites did not return to Israel. They compromised their values and sided with the policies and practices of Jeroboam that went against the teachings of God. The result of their decision was total apostasy. Not one righteous king ruled in the Northern Kingdom. Ultimately, Israel was carried away into Assyrian captivity in 722 B.C. The promise of God held true for Israel. He had said through the psalmist: “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all nations that forget God” (Ps. 9:17). Do you think this promise still holds true today? Please, dear reader, remember that political decisions can be spiritual decisions as well. God is watching. He will weigh us in the balances of His divine justice just as He did Israel of old.