Thoughts on the Presidential Election

Like so many I was stunned and saddened by the election results on Tuesday night. And I am terribly sad not because my choice for office lost but because of the awful repercussion the re-election of such a liberal administration will bring to our land. Actions have consequences; elections have consequences.

Insightful analysis is made by Dr Al Mohler here; let me share a few excerpts with you (emphasis added).

Evangelical Christians must see the 2012 election as a catastrophe for crucial moral concerns. The election of President Obama returns a radically pro-abortion President to the White House, soon after he had endorsed same-sex marriage. President Obama is likely to have the opportunity to appoint one or more justices to the U.S. Supreme Court, and they are almost sure to agree with his constitutional philosophy. …
Clearly, we face a new moral landscape in America, and huge challenge to those of us who care passionately about these issues. We face a worldview challenge that is far greater than any political challenge, as we must learn how to winsomely convince Americans to share our moral convictions about marriage, sex, the sanctity of life, and a range of moral issues. This will not be easy. It is, however, an urgent call to action.

Christians must now pray for our President, he also reminds us, citing 1 Timothy 2:1-2. You can read all of Dr Mohler’s thoughts here. (Some have labeled the election in even stronger spiritual terms, such as Tom Chantry at his blog).

Wednesday night at our church prayer meeting, I wanted to address these concerns, and move beyond political language and context. So I shared two verses from the Bible, from Isaiah 3:10-11. This was the text chosen by the puritan Thomas Watson for his farewell sermon, when hundreds of “non-conformist” pastors were ejected from their churches in 1662. This passage of Scripture gives clear words of encouragement for the righteous, and, words of woe for the wicked.

“10 Tell the righteous that it shall be well with them,
for they shall eat the fruit of their deeds.
11 Woe to the wicked! It shall be ill with him,
for what his hands have dealt out shall be done to him.”

Those who are walking uprightly, by the mercy and grace of the Lord, have much for which to be thankful! And horrible circumstances around us cannot change that. Our God also gave us Romans 8:28 in the New Testament, to emphasize His sovereignty and His good designs for His people in all circumstances. Yet, evidently, believers must be told these things. Repeatedly.

This text from Isaiah 3 also puts forward a warning to the wicked, to those who do not walk rightly with their God – such as those who destroy life in the womb, and who boldly promote immorality as marriage, etc. Things will not go well for you, says the Lord. There will be an accounting.

The New Testament text to keep in mind here, for Americans and people everywhere, is from Galatians 6:7-10

“Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”

Amen.
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UPDATE: Further post-election help for Christians (“Dear Post-Election Self, Reading this letter, you know which man will reside at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for the next four years….”) can be found from Colin Hanson here.

Isaiah blossoms at “Bloom & Grow”

My oldest daughter, Kathryn, a student at Grove City College (PA), has been writing some wonderful blog posts as she studies her way through the book of Isaiah.

Her blog is called Bloom and Grow, and recent posts have included:

Weighed Down” on idolatry — 

I’ve been reading about and studying the topic of idolatry a lot this semester… It’s not something that is fun to talk about because you have to dig deep into your heart and ask the Lord to refine your passions and desires. They ought to be all for him, but we so easily give them to other things… Our idols do nothing but wear us down. We try to fashion them into beautiful things, but that just makes them more heavy.

Never Forsaken” on God’s promise in Isaiah 49:15-16 —

We often write things on our hands to help us remember things. God says that he has engraved us on the palms of his hands. To engrave means to “carve, cut, or etch into; to impress or affect deeply.” You name is impressed into his hands, where it will never be erased.

And a post today called “Love is Here” from Isaiah 54-55.

God’s love is powerful – it can wipe us clean and leave us unashamed. It is steadfast – it will never leave us no matter what. It is fulfilling – it will satisfy us so that we never go hungry. It is compassionate – it will pardon us in ABUNDANCE (an overflowing fullness or ample sufficiency, copious supply; superfluity). It is intricately woven into his word – which will never return void. It has a purpose. It is so great!

Click through to read more.
— a proud and thankful dad (pdb)

The end of Isaiah….

Yesterday, I preached our 79th and final sermon on the Old Testament book of ISAIAH, using the final 2 paragraphs as our text. ISAIAH is such a glorious book — this was a moving experience for me.

During the week I finished reading several of the commentaries I had been using for these past two years. Perhaps the finest of them all is Alex Motyer’s IVP commentary on ISAIAH. His closing words are indicative of the detail and passion of his work:

Isaiah by James Tissot (1836–1902)

Isaiah by James Tissot (1836–1902)

“There is a grandeur about ISAIAH not found elsewhere even in the most majestic of the rest of Scripture, a majesty full of glory and of solemnity, plain alike in the revelation vouchsafed to him and the language in which he was inspired to express it. But with the grandeur went a stern resoluteness, that if the glory does not win us to the life of obedience, if visions of the coming King, the sin-bearing Servant and the liberating Anointed Conqueror will not suffice, then maybe the unmistakably horrible rewards of disobedience [see 66:24] will drive our wayward hearts to tremble at the word of the Lord.”

Thank God for His Word.
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God is waiting…

Amazing grace to us is preceding by an amazing God! A wonderful truth about the character of our God is expressed in Isaiah 30:18, the text from my sermon yesterday —

Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.
(esv)

Waiting? Why would God wait to be gracious to His people? A good answer is found in the writing of a great baptist divine of nineteenth century England, John Gill —

[The LORD] waits till the set time comes to arise and have mercy on them; he has taken up thoughts and resolutions of grace and favor concerning them, and has fixed the time when he will show it; and he is, as it were, panting and longing after it, as the word used signifies, until it is up; he waits for the fittest and most proper time to show mercy; when things are brought to the worst, to the greatest extremity, and when his people are brought to a sense of their danger, and of their sins, and to repentance for them, and to see their need of his help and salvation, and to implore it, and to depend upon him for it; then, in the mount of difficulty, and in the most seasonable time, does the Lord appear; and hereby the mercy is the sweeter to them, and
his grace is the more magnified towards them: so he waits to be gracious to his people….
(emphasis added)

If you see your need of Him now, you need not wait. Flee to Christ Jesus the Lord for grace and mercy. There is no safer nor sweeter refuge to be found.

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P.S. — I must share this too: we have a report that after the service yesterday, a young mother who has been attending CPCC for just a few months, prayed to confess her sins and profess faith in Christ Jesus as her Savior and Lord. PTL for this new believer! Amazing grace! Amazing God!