The impeachment is over: the House voted to impeach President Trump, and the Senate has now officially acquitted him. During his 2020 State of the Union speech given before the acquittal vote, photographers captured images of the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelisi’s outstretched hand, which the President for whatever reason, failed to shake. Then after the actual speech, the media captured her tearing up her personal copy of his speech. And the really sad part? Both sides of the political divide loved it: conservatives felt the Speaker got what she deserved, and liberals felt she paid the President back in kind. Yet what is God’s take on these kinds of things? And what should our response, as those who claim to love and follow the Son of God, be?
“As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die…If someone who is righteous disobeys, that person’s former righteousness will count for nothing. And if someone who is wicked repents, that person’s former wickedness will not bring condemnation. The righteous person who sins will not be allowed to live even though they were formerly righteous.” (Ezekiel 33:11-12 NIV)
Did you catch that? God cares what we’re doing right now. He doesn’t care that you’ve spent your entire life trusting in Jesus and living as He wanted you to if you stop doing it; correspondingly, if you’ve turned away from Him and come back—or never actually believed Him before but now see that He’s real and what He says is right and good and turn to Him in faith and obedience—He accepts with open arms, and your former life is forgiven and gone!
How does this reflect on the recent news cycle? Well, instead of picking sides and alternately cheering or booing depending on how our favorites behave, what we should instead be doing is fervently praying for the repentance of our leaders across the political spectrum.
So, if you support our President, let me ask—when was the last time you really prayed for Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and every other political leader you disagree with—that God would reveal Himself to them, give them wisdom, and draw them closer to Himself? If you believe President Trump is a bad man, as some do—that God help him become more pleasing to Christ and really give Him a heart for His righteousness? Because that’s what God wants us to do—we are to pray for our leaders! The Message is a paraphrase of the Bible, so it’s not always accurate, but I feel it really explains I Timothy 1:1-2 well:
“The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. This is the way our Savior God wants us to live.
He wants not only us but everyone saved, you know, everyone to get to know the truth we’ve learned: that there’s one God and only one, and one Priest-Mediator between God and us—Jesus, who offered himself in exchange for everyone held captive by sin, to set them all free…” (1 Timothy 2:1-7 MSG)
God wants everyone to come to believe in Him; to understand what true holiness and righteousness is; to know that it can only be found in Jesus Christ; and to live holy lives through faith in Him. And—He wants us to wish this on the worst of people!
Got that? He wants us to wish HIM on the worst of people—on those we feel are beyond forgiveness or redemption. Why?? Because God isn’t for good people (or at least those who aren’t convicted—those who don’t realize they need Jesus and how bad they really are regardless of how much they try).
No. God is for bad people. Remember what Jesus told society’s “good people” when they complained that He socialized with the “bad ones:”
“Later, Levi invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. (There were many people of this kind among Jesus’ followers.) But when the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees saw him eating with tax collectors and other sinners, they asked his disciples, ‘Why does he eat with such scum?’ When Jesus heard this, he told them, ‘Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.’” (Mark 2:15-17 NLT)
So, the next time you see another installment in the saga of Democrats versus Republicans—pray for our leaders—all of them! Pray for those we agree with and those we don’t; for those we like and those we don’t; for those we identify with and feel a kinship toward, and those we in no way, shape or form do. Why? Because God can redeem them; He wants to redeem them—remember: He IS in the redeeming business!
And, He doesn’t just want those who agree with Him; He wants those who are diametrically opposed to all He stands for, because when someone like that finally gets it—when they understand the truth and come to Christ—that brings Him glory and shows the rest of the world how incredible Jesus truly is!
Regardless of how evil they formerly were, He forgives and changes everyone who comes to Him to be like His holy Son, Jesus Christ, and gives us membership in His family! Remember, He “takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live.”
Dear Lord God,
Help me always remember that You’re not happy when we ignore You—that You take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but want every single human being to come to their senses, repent of their disobedience to You, and be healed! Please heal us! Please heal everything we feel we control and everything we feel we can’t—help us to live by faith and trust that You can do what we cannot, because YOU CAN. Heal us; heal our leaders, each and every one of them; heal our nation; heal our world. We thank You that You are God, Lord Jesus—“the same, yesterday, today, and forever.” We worship You and thank You for everything You will do, because “all power has been given to You in heaven and on earth;” because You can and You will! Amen.