Everybody wants to rule the world. And, in a sense, this is good. It is part of who we are to desire to re-create, rearrange and control the world around us. When this goes well it looks like cultivation and gratitude. When it goes poorly it looks like manipulation and conceit. Man, the Bible tells us, was created in the image and likeness of God, and from this we get clues into our identity and our activity in the world. While the Fall marred the image and masked likeness, these things are yet essential to humanity. That we consistently do these things badly is essential to humanity fallen.
I voted this morning, and I didn’t feel good about it. Afterwards, I watched for a moment as people bounced in and bounced out – some with reverence for the process, others clueless, others brimming with pride over having done their civic duty, proudly displaying their “I Voted” sticker. I thought about the angst that plays like background music in this election cycle. I attempted to reassure myself over my own vote, though not successfully. I thought about governments and philosophies, right and wrong, human nature and the image of God. I considered the words of friends, all trying to find the right means of expressing righteousness, conflicting sharply with one another. I thought about babies dying before they’re born, children starving, nations waging silly wars because, to quote Thomas Sowell, “that’s what nations do.” I thought about the stupidity of people who believe nonsense, and about the evil of those who speak it.
Then I thought about God. I considered his goodness, his sovereignty, his Son. I reminded myself of Christ’s victory over sin and the powers of darkness and death when he became sin and was hung on a tree. I reminded myself of his resurrection as the firstfruits of the new creation. I reminded myself that I am an optimist. I didn’t feel optimistic, but I reminded myself of what I knew to be true.
We live in an almost unbearable tension of alreadyness and not-yetness. Most of the time the alreadyness captivates my soul, my imagination, my energy. Today, however, I feel the pain of the reality of not-yetness. So I must remind myself – and perhaps you, gentlereader – of what I know to be true. He is good and he does good. He does all things according to the counsel of his will. He does whatever he pleases. We do not put our trust in princes, but in the King.
The LORD reigns; let the peoples tremble!