The Foolishness of Trusting in Human Leaders

Posted on August 16, 2022


By David Ettinger

Another Election Season
With every Presidential Election year in the U.S., the nation picks sides, which is overwhelmingly decided by political party affiliation, Democrat and Republican. Also playing into the mix at a much smaller level are independents and smaller-party candidates.

Supporters will extol the virtues of their preferred leader, condemn the deficiencies of the opponent, and pundits will proclaim this the “Most Important Presidential Election of Our Lifetime” – as was declared in 2016, 2012, 2008, 2004, 2000, 19 … you get the picture.

But worst of all, a frightening number of people on all sides of the political spectrum will see their candidate as a savior, one who can provide the answer to all of life’s ills and usher in an era of national – if not global – utopia.

This should come as no surprise to those who don’t recognize God as their sovereign King, but, sadly and unbelievably, far too many Christians succumb to this flawed and dangerous thinking.

To my fellow evangelicals, I say, Oh the foolishness of trusting in human leaders!

All Seen Before
Seeing human leaders as saviors is a scourge which has infected humanity since its early history. In the Bible, God’s Chosen People, Israel, fell under this affliction as well. Israel was to be a theocracy, that is, a nation ruled over by God, both spiritually and civically.

In time, however, Israel asked for a human king, “such as all the other nations have” (1 Samuel 8:5). The people rejected God’s theocratic rule over them as he told the mournful prophet Samuel: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king” (1 Samuel 8:7).

The Lord then ordered Samuel to warn the people of the consequences of seeking a human ruler, chastising them for their foolishness. As it turned out, the vast majority of Israelite kings – in both the Southern and Northern Kingdoms – were declared “evil in the sight of the Lord” as ancient Israel spent most of its existence wallowing in sin and spiritual unfaithfulness.

No Different
Things are no different today. Too many of God’s people still place too much of their hopes and aspirations on political leaders. I was shocked during the 2020 elections when I heard an evangelical Christian I greatly admire say, “If President Trump loses, I’m going to have to seriously consider moving to another country.”

Seriously? This is akin to believing God lost control of the workings on Earth, powerless to stop the “evil Democrats” from taking over, as if God had said: “I don’t know what happened. I wanted Donald Trump to win reelection, but something went wrong. I can’t figure it out.”

How preposterous. Christians should never fear over the happenings on Earth.

We can lament the sinful condition of our respective nations, but to sink to the depths of depression and despair because of an elected official is spiritually weak. It is to say that the Sovereign of the Universe is not “God” enough to control the workings of this planet He has created.

A Helpful Reminder
For evangelicals who foresee the destruction of our fine Republic based on the “wrong” candidates winning national elections, I offer you this helpful reminder from the Book of Hosea, where God, once again, is castigating His wayward sons and daughters:

“Where is your king, that he may save you? Where are your rulers in all your towns, of whom you said, ‘Give me a king and princes’? So in my anger I gave you a king, and in my wrath I took him away” (Hosea 13:10-11).

It is God who establishes political leaders and dethrones them (Daniel 2:21). It is God who controls the fate of nations. It is God who brings blessings and curses. It is God who rewards the righteous and punishes the wicked. And it is God who preserves the lives and souls of His children in Christ.

Believers should never quake in fear based on which humans are running their country. God is our ultimate ruler, and that is enough to instill in us unlimited confidence!

David Ettinger is a writer/editor at Zion’s Hope, Inc., and has written for Zion’s Fire magazine since its inception in 1990.

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