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The Test on November 4th: How a Presidential Election Will Reveal Our Belief in God’s Sovereignty

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Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were all given a test before King Nebuchadnezzar: worship the king’s gods and live or don’t worship them and die (Daniel 3:13-15). Without hesitation, the trio responded with their allegiance to the one true God. They knew He was still sovereign whether He delivered them from the fiery furnace or not (3:16-18).  

These three men did not allow the pressures of the circumstances to rattle their convictions about God. On November 4th, the day after the election, we will face a similar test—though thankfully not one that involves a fiery furnace or a lion’s den. We too will be tested with the questions, “Do you worship God alone?” and “Do you trust in the sovereignty of this God?” Our response to the outcome of the election will reveal what we worship and believe about God’s sovereignty.

All Things Happen According to His Will

The Bible is clear that God is sovereign over all things. He is in control or ordains all things that happen according to His will (Ephesians 1:11). It is the Lord that declares the end from the beginning and accomplishes all that He purposes (Isaiah 46:10). There is no one, whether that be Satan or human will, and nothing, whether that be chance or a malevolent outside force, that is outside of God’s sovereign control (Isaiah 14:27). If God has purposed it to happen, then nothing can thwart His plan from coming to fruition (Job 42:2).

God is sovereign over nature (Job 37:6-13), animals (Matthew 6:26; 10:29), and even over the random roll of the dice (Proverbs 16:33). God wrote every one of our days before one of them even came to be (Psalm 139:16). Nothing is outside of God’s sovereign control—even political rulers and governments. 

Over Political Powers

This ultimate sovereignty rules even over the affairs of nations. The rise and fall of nations is in the hands of God (Job 12:23; Acts 17:26). The Lord directs the heart of whoever is in power to do whatever He wills to occur (Proverbs 21:1). And the Lord establishes all of those who have governing authority (Romans 13:1:2). 

We can say, then, that God was in control of the rise of the nation of Israel as well as the rise of the wicked nation of Babylon who would later conquer Israel. The sovereign Lord has directed the hearts and established the reign of everyemperor, every dictator, every monarch, and every president to accomplish His good purposes. Whether those authorities were good or evil, for freedom or for oppression, just or unjust, God has appointed them to rule.

So what does all of this mean for the day after this election, November 4th (or whenever we find out who wins the presidency)? It means we can say with full conviction that God is sovereignly in control over the outcome. God’s sovereignty means there is no external force that is manipulating the vote outside of God’s control, and there is no malevolent force bringing about a result other than the one that God wills to happen. Whoever wins the election is exactlywho the Lord wills to be the President of the United States. To say otherwise is to deny that God is sovereignly in control.

So how you and I respond to the election results will reveal what we truly think about the sovereignty of God. If your response is mainly despair, anger, or fatalistic, then perhaps it is exposing three cracks in your understanding of God’s sovereignty: 1) God is not truly in control over all things; 2) God is not truly powerful enough to accomplish His purposes; or 3) God’s plan is not truly good. But if your response is mainly contentment and trust in the Lord, then it will reveal a solid, foundational conviction in the sovereignty of God. You will be content knowing that the God who works all things for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28), who works all things according to the counsel of His will (Ephesians 1:11), has a plan and a purpose for whoever sits in the oval office. With that assurance, we can find rest and comfort in the sovereignty of God. 

An Election and A Test

All this means that for us as Christians, while November 3rd is an election, for us November 4th is the real test. Will your and my responses reveal that we truly trust in the sovereignty of God? Or will it expose how our theological convictions waver in the light of undesirable circumstances? May we be a people who are prepared, whatever the Lord wills, to trust in the good purposes of our sovereign Lord. May we humbly and joyfully submit to our God who is in control, who alone is our hope, and who is the true King and Ruler over all. Let us be a people who faithfully trust in His sovereignty over all these things, no matter what the outcome may be.