For Godward Leaders
“Have you seen how Ahab has humbled himself before me?” (1 Kings 21:29)
Dear Fairview Family Near and Far,
We are entering a patriotic month. Many celebrate July 4, when the 13 colonies officially cut ties from England. It cost the blood of soldiers, and became official with the signing of a declaration of independence on July 4. Today we stand upon the work and sacrifice of others. But through history, we also stand upon a lot of evil in our nation, too.
But this means, whether in good times or in bad, as the Bible instructs us in 1 Timothy 2:2, it is crucial we pray for ‘kings and all who are in high positions’. God commands for us to pray for our leaders. That means, praying your Congress and Senate, praying for your governor, for your President Trump and your Vice President Pence. It means praying for your local councils, mayors, and county commissioners.
Have you ever prayed for your political leadership? For others of you, do you ever grow weary of or give up praying for your political leaders? I admit that for seasons, I have given up praying for leaders, for this very reason. It seems to do so little. They never seem to change.
But I want you to see something. There were two kings in Israel and Judah, who were famously wicked. Ahab and Manasseh. Ahab led his people into idolatry, Ahab once listened to the conniving ideas of his wife Jezebel to lead his own local leaders to do an awful thing. He had a man named Naboth killed just so he could have Naboth’s vegetable garden. Elijah the prophet showed up after this. The prophet prophesied against Ahab, promising a dismal end to his life, where dogs would eat up his wife and people. This was enough for Ahab. 1 Kings 21:27 states, “And when Ahab heard those words, he tore his clothes and put sackcloth on his flesh and fasted and lay in sackcloth and went about dejectedly.” Ahab repented. And, many years later, the infamous Manasseh, in 2 Chronicles 33:12-13, also repented. For both, their nations would suffer from their wickedness. But yet they repented. And the nation benefited.
My point is this: If two of the most wicked kings in Israel repented before they died, we shouldn’t be too sluggish or give up in praying for our leaders today.
As you celebrate July 4th, pray for your political leaders, that they would be Godward, seeking to do God’s will, for the flourishing of people.
Yours in Christ the king, Pastor Jeff