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Out Our Way: Trust me - Judges 6:11-13/Esther 4:14

 


Out our way, I find I am still a greenhorn in many ways. But I have Charlie to keep me going the right way. There have been times he has pointed me in a direction I did not think was the right way, and I simply had to trust him. And he was always right. The longer I knew Charlie and rode with him, the more I learned to trust him and be guided by him. Thus, I never got lost even in unfamiliar areas.

In my daily devotional reading this morning was an interesting and I think prophetic statement. Although written many years ago, the author shared his concerns about our election process. Even then, the media and politicians tried to sway votes that fit their own agendas regardless of what it might do to the nation. Propaganda, rather than actual news, dominate the media and those candidates who controlled what the news favored got the best press while those they disliked were misquoted, ignored, or even lied about. Sound familiar?  

The devotional acknowledge this the reality of modern politics and part of our fallen human nature. As Abraham Lincoln noted, “You can fool all the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.” Even so, if you can fool enough people, you can take control of all the people.

Josef Goebbels, Hitler’s propaganda chief, was a master of fooling enough people to take control, accusing opponents of being evil, wicked, etc. etc., while promising “freedom and bread” for the oppressed German people. Enough people were fooled to put Hitler into power. Instead, the world saw the rise of the death camps for opponents of the Reich as well as the Jews whom the Nazi propaganda blamed for all the trials and tribulations of the nation.  

Lenin and Stalin also did the same thing, promising the workers paradise that never fully came about, leaving the Soviet Union in bankruptcy and poverty. They also blame all the difficulties on others, creating their own death camps or gulags for any and all who dared raise a voice against the State.

Will the same thing happen in the USA? Clearly there are those who have gained power and intend to keep it by trying to fool the unwary through hate campaigns and propaganda, using the same strategy that led to a Hitler and a Stalin. What can we do about it? Thus says the Lord, “Trust me.” 

Gideon was a nobody, but God chose him anyway. That was the way of things in the days of a free Israel before the rule of kings and the eventual corruption that always follows immense dictatorial power. As John Dalberg-Acton noted: “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” This was not an opinion but simply an historical fact proven in age after age.  

  All this said, the devotional suggested that perhaps as we face the coming elections, we might seek to listen to God instead of the propagandists. No preacher, celebrity or media mogul can be given blind obedience, for faith and trust of God is an individual matter. That Whoopie Goldberg or Rush Limbaugh having an opinion is fine and good, but they are not God. Nancy Pelosi and Donald Trump also have their own views, but they are not God either. Only God is God and my task is to try to seek His will. Who is His Gideon? Who is His Esther? This is my task as the election rolls around. Who are you voting for in November? Why? We may disagree on our choices, but if we are in agreement that we are seeking God’s choice, we are heading the right way and our trails will eventually come together. Hitler and Stalin fooled the masses in their day and some still remain fooled as they adopt the same strategies. But these tyrannies did not last.  

The Midianites were all-powerful, but God raised up Gideon. The Jews were doomed under Persian law, but God raised up Esther. Who can we trust this November and into the future? Only God. Let us seek His wisdom and trust in Him until He raises up a Gideon and an Esher for our time as well.

Be blessed and be a blessing.

Brother John

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The Rev. John Bruington is the retired pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Havre. He now lives in Colorado, but continues to write “Out Our Way.” He can be reached for comment or dialogue at [email protected]

 

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