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Do we have the leader we deserve, need or both? Revisited

Look at the candidates we have running for president of the U.S. today.

Do we need either of them?

Do we deserve both of them?

I wrote on this topic about a year and a half ago.  The original is here.

Now that our candidates are set (presumptively set to be correct, although I may have invented a new word there) .

The first one started off with this –

In the Old Testament, we read about God raising up (literally – allowing) leaders to come to power in order to teach His chosen people a lesson.  Think Pharaoh in Egypt and Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon, for starters.  
Is that where the U. S. is now?

So now God is allowing Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump to be raised up as our candidates?

Yes – there are others, like Gary Johnson who is running in the Libertarian Party.  But let’s face it – he’s not gonna win.  And if he did – would he be any different?  From the Politics and Elections Portal, we read this about Gary Johnson (sorry, the article has been removed from libertarian-party.org) –

In politics, compromises are frequently seen as a sign of selflessness which places the greater good of the country ahead of principled, yet divisive stances. Some would even venture to suggest that partisanships are shortsighted and the surest way to hinder progress, and represents the greatest challenge to national unity.

And yet, between 1995 and 2003, during his tenure as governor of New Mexico, Gary Earl Johnson vetoed almost 800 bills (including line items) sent by the state legislature which led to arguably the state’s worst ever legislative gridlock. But his principled stand also massively reduced government spending, decelerated spending growth and wiped off the state’s budget deficit. By the end of his term, the treasury even reported a $1 billion surplus – all achieved without raising any taxes!

The son of a public school teacher and a government servant has always been viewed as too principled for politics. But as he had demonstrated during his two terms as governor, his methods work. Not all the time mind, as evidenced by his failed school voucher proposal and calls to decriminalize marijuana and reform drug laws, but the results speak for themselves.

So let’s ask the question of all the candidates – 
Do we need any single one of them?
Or are we getting what we deserve?

Or – the worst possibility – both?
Do we want both of them?
And do we need both of them?

Well – there is also the question of Bernie Sanders.  A socialist.  He ‘s also someone that lot’s of democrats – and probably independents – want as well.  
He’s planning on giving away lot’s of “free” stuff.  That certainly makes him popular.

No matter what – I submit – this is a sad state of affairs.

The answer to my question – need, want, or both?

I submit to you that the answer is both.

Do we Want them?

All four of the candidates I’ve mentioned are wanted – by someone.

Donald Trump got more republican votes in the presidential primary than anyone else has ever received.  That sounds like “want” to me.

Hillary Clinton – has moved further to the left the longer the election dragged on.
Why? Because a lot of people wanted Bernie Sanders – and she had to become ever more liberal to try to beat him and get the nomination.  Of course, that wasn’t really necessary – since the democratic election process is so rigged that what the people want doesn’t really matter.  Those in power in the party will get what and who they want.  Gee.  What other country does that sound like?  Russia?  China? Any other authoritative dictatorship?
And yet – many people still want her.

Bernie Sanders – yes – a lot of people want him too.  I just talked about that above.

And the surprise – Gary Johnson.  No – he won’t win.  But there are more and more libertarians every election.  Add the fact that he wants to legalize marijuana – and he’s likely to pick up more support from that part of the population that wants to openly indulge in that form of “recreation”.

Do we want these candidates?  Absolutely!

Do we need them? 

This is where God comes in.  Remember the quote from above – from last year’s post –

In the Old Testament, we read about God raising up (literally – allowing) leaders to come to power in order to teach His chosen people a lesson.  Think Pharaoh in Egypt and Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon, for starters.  
Is that where the U. S. is now?

That all three of them are so far from what we would need to get us back on the track that our founding fathers started this country on – one that clearly involved the God of Christianity, no matter how strongly some will try to tell us otherwise today – can mean only one thing.

This is a slate of candidates that God things we need to have.  It’s what He wants us to have.

Why?

Because we need a wake up call!

Because we need to reach a point where we decide whether we want Him to be part of our lives – part of the foundation of our country – or not.

When I first wrote on the topic, I included the statement about Nebuchadnezzar.  It was appropriate to show what I was talking about.
Now – it seems even more appropriate.  We seem to be even deeper into a cycle of wanting the wrong things – and God trying to show us that simple truth.

This time – let me include what that was about, from the Book of Daniel –

It starts with a dream by King Nebuchadnezzar.  The dream scares him.  None of his wise men can interpret it for him.

We probably won’t literally have a dream.  Plus – our leaders change every so many years.  At least they do until one of them declares some kind of emergency and suspends elections.  However – we the people have enough true Christians – enough true followers of God to recognize where we are going.

Let’s see the dream –

Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream of a Tree

Da 4:1 King Nebuchadnezzar,

To the peoples, nations and men of every language, who live in all the world:

May you prosper greatly!

Da 4:2 It is my pleasure to tell you about the miraculous signs and wonders that the Most High God has performed for me.
Da 4:3 How great are his signs,
how mighty his wonders!
His kingdom is an eternal kingdom;
his dominion endures from generation to generation.
Da 4:4 I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at home in my palace, contented and prosperous. 5 I had a dream that made me afraid. As I was lying in my bed, the images and visions that passed through my mind terrified me. 6 So I commanded that all the wise men of Babylon be brought before me to interpret the dream for me. 7 When the magicians, enchanters, astrologers and diviners came, I told them the dream, but they could not interpret it for me. 8 Finally, Daniel came into my presence and I told him the dream. (He is called Belteshazzar, after the name of my god, and the spirit of the holy gods is in him.)
Da 4:9 I said, “Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in you, and no mystery is too difficult for you. Here is my dream; interpret it for me. 10 These are the visions I saw while lying in my bed: I looked, and there before me stood a tree in the middle of the land. Its height was enormous. 11 The tree grew large and strong and its top touched the sky; it was visible to the ends of the earth. 12 Its leaves were beautiful, its fruit abundant, and on it was food for all. Under it the beasts of the field found shelter, and the birds of the air lived in its branches; from it every creature was fed.
Da 4:13 “In the visions I saw while lying in my bed, I looked, and there before me was a messenger, a holy one, coming down from heaven. 14 He called in a loud voice: ‘Cut down the tree and trim off its branches; strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit. Let the animals flee from under it and the birds from its branches. 15 But let the stump and its roots, bound with iron and bronze, remain in the ground, in the grass of the field.
“ ‘Let him be drenched with the dew of heaven, and let him live with the animals among the plants of the earth. 16 Let his mind be changed from that of a man and let him be given the mind of an animal, till seven times pass by for him.
Da 4:17 “ ‘The decision is announced by messengers, the holy ones declare the verdict, so that the living may know that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest of men.’
Da 4:18 “This is the dream that I, King Nebuchadnezzar, had. Now, Belteshazzar, tell me what it means, for none of the wise men in my kingdom can interpret it for me. But you can, because the spirit of the holy gods is in you.”

He knows there’s something wrong.  
He knows it’s about God.
He knows it’s about him.
But he can’t figure it out.
Because even though he knows it’s about God – he doesn’t “know” God – so he cannot possibly understand it.

And isn’t that like our leaders?  
They all claim to believe in God.  But do they “know” Him?  
Like too many of us – they don’t.  
And so the leaders and too many of the people see things are wrong – they call out to “god” – but they don’t get it.  
They don’t realize they’re calling out to a false “god”.  
The “god” of themselves.
Just like Nebuchadnezzar.

Next- Daniel interprets the dream for the king.
Note – Daniel can do that because he is a man of God.

Also note, for us today – the leader – or at least enough people who are willing to speak up and get the attention of the leader – need to speak up loudly and correctly enough to get the message to the leaders / the rest of the people.

If that doesn’t happen – the dream will never be interpreted.
If that doesn’t happen – we will never realize that we’re worshiping the false god of ourselves.
Because those who worship the true God never made it known.

Daniel Interprets the Dream

Da 4:19 Then Daniel (also called Belteshazzar) was greatly perplexed for a time, and his thoughts terrified him. So the king said, “Belteshazzar, do not let the dream or its meaning alarm you.”
Belteshazzar answered, “My lord, if only the dream applied to your enemies and its meaning to your adversaries! 20 The tree you saw, which grew large and strong, with its top touching the sky, visible to the whole earth, 21 with beautiful leaves and abundant fruit, providing food for all, giving shelter to the beasts of the field, and having nesting places in its branches for the birds of the air— 22 you, O king, are that tree! You have become great and strong; your greatness has grown until it reaches the sky, and your dominion extends to distant parts of the earth.
Da 4:23 “You, O king, saw a messenger, a holy one, coming down from heaven and saying, ‘Cut down the tree and destroy it, but leave the stump, bound with iron and bronze, in the grass of the field, while its roots remain in the ground. Let him be drenched with the dew of heaven; let him live like the wild animals, until seven times pass by for him.’
Da 4:24 “This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree the Most High has issued against my lord the king: 25 You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like cattle and be drenched with the dew of heaven. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes. 26 The command to leave the stump of the tree with its roots means that your kingdom will be restored to you when you acknowledge that Heaven rules. 27 Therefore, O king, be pleased to accept my advice: Renounce your sins by doing what is right, and your wickedness by being kind to the oppressed. It may be that then your prosperity will continue.”

So – Daniel told King Nebuchadnezzar what the dream meant.
And what was going to happen if the king kept on his present course.
And – Daniel told King Nebuchadnezzar what to do to avoid the fate in the dream – 

“Renounce your sins by doing what is right, and your wickedness by being kind to the oppressed. It may be that then your prosperity will continue.”

Surely – with that kind of warning – the king changed – right?

Surely – our leaders will stop calling abortion “woman’s rights” – not only condoning but fighting for the “right” to murder an unborn baby because the child might be inconvenient – all in the name of “health”.  Think I’m overstating it?  Open your eyes.  God gave you eyes and a mind.  Use them.

Surely our leaders will stop hating other people who are different for whatever reason.  Surely our leaders will recognize that people are individuals, and not everyone from any single group – no matter what the group – are all absolutely identical.

Surely our leaders will stop looking out for themselves and start to put the people first.

Surely our leaders will realize that when they say things like “God bless America” – they should find out something about that God, instead of, in effect, calling out to a false idol.  

Well – maybe not so surely.
Let’s see the example of Nebuchadnezzar –

The Dream Is Fulfilled

Da 4:28 All this happened to King Nebuchadnezzar. 29 Twelve months later, as the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, 30 he said, “Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?”
Da 4:31 The words were still on his lips when a voice came from heaven, “This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken from you. 32 You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like cattle. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes.”
Da 4:33 Immediately what had been said about Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled. He was driven away from people and ate grass like cattle. His body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird.

Da 4:34 At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever.

His dominion is an eternal dominion;
his kingdom endures from generation to generation.
Da 4:35 All the peoples of the earth
are regarded as nothing.
He does as he pleases
with the powers of heaven
and the peoples of the earth.
No one can hold back his hand
or say to him: “What have you done?”

Da 4:36 At the same time that my sanity was restored, my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored to my throne and became even greater than before. 37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.

Oops.

So much for the King learning a lesson.

Unfortunately – this example doesn’t bode well for our own leaders learning their lesson.

We need to clean house.  Get in the leaders that would be “God approved” – in the sense that they would follow Him.
If there even are any.

There’s this strange alliance between the “religious” right and the “conservative” republicans. 
Strange bedfellows, so to speak.
How can gun rights – selling of assault weapons be something the part of the true Christian supports?
How can a true Christian support keeping people in a life situation where they cannot support their families?
How can a true Christian be in favor of wars to kill other people?

And yet – this is where we are.
And it doesn’t seem like anything’s going to change any time soon.

Where are we headed?

I can’t help but think that we’re headed on the path Nebuchadnezzar took.
And I can’t help but wonder what’s going to happen when our leaders are out there eating grass.
Or – maybe they already are?

In any case – we have two ways to look at this.

One – God has us headed toward doom.  
God’s going to crush this country.
God’s going to bring the U. S. to an end.

And, He might.

However – the lesson from Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar’s dream tells us something different –

Remember from Daniel’s interpretation of the dream –

Da 4:23 “You, O king, saw a messenger, a holy one, coming down from heaven and saying, ‘Cut down the tree and destroy it, but leave the stump, bound with iron and bronze, in the grass of the field, while its roots remain in the ground. Let him be drenched with the dew of heaven; let him live like the wild animals, until seven times pass by for him.’

There was a stump left behind.  Anyone who has cut down a tree like that knows that the tree can regrow from the stump.  And, if not from the stump, multiple trees can grow from the roots.  So if not one leader from the stump – many leaders could come up from the roots.

Daniel said it would happen until seven times pass by.  This is a specific amount of time.  Something that God would know.   God would know if / when Nebuchadnezzar would have what we might call a “come to Jesus” (literally) moment.  Today – with our knowledge – we don’t know when – or even if.  It could go either way.  Maybe after a time.  Maybe never.  But in large part – it’s very much up to us which way it is.

How will it end for us?

As I said – I believe that very much depends on us.

If we are silent – if we continue to accept the leaders that keep coming up and perverting the message of God into a political message of what they want – we’re doomed.  If our leaders aren’t already out eating grass – they will be soon.

The thing to remember – this isn’t a death sentence from God for the country.
At least it doesn’t have to be.

It’s a warning.
God is letting us know that we’ve gone so far stray that He is concerned.  Very concerned.
But He want us to return to Him.

Way back in Leviticus – God made it clear how He felt about His people.

Let’s start with the warning – since that’s where we seem to be today.  
We have rejected Him.
We have turned away from Him.
And this is what He told us would happen when we do that –

Lev 26:14 “ ‘But if you will not listen to me and carry out all these commands, 15 and if you reject my decrees and abhor my laws and fail to carry out all my commands and so violate my covenant, 16 then I will do this to you: I will bring upon you sudden terror, wasting diseases and fever that will destroy your sight and drain away your life. You will plant seed in vain, because your enemies will eat it. 17 I will set my face against you so that you will be defeated by your enemies; those who hate you will rule over you, and you will flee even when no one is pursuing you.

However – as I said – it doesn’t have to be that way.

When (assuming we even do this) we turn back to Him – 

Lev 26:3 “ ‘If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, 4 I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees of the field their fruit. 5 Your threshing will continue until grape harvest and the grape harvest will continue until planting, and you will eat all the food you want and live in safety in your land.
Lev 26:6 “ ‘I will grant peace in the land, and you will lie down and no one will make you afraid. I will remove savage beasts from the land, and the sword will not pass through your country. 7 You will pursue your enemies, and they will fall by the sword before you. 8 Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand, and your enemies will fall by the sword before you.
Lev 26:9 “ ‘I will look on you with favor and make you fruitful and increase your numbers, and I will keep my covenant with you. 10 You will still be eating last year’s harvest when you will have to move it out to make room for the new. 11 I will put my dwelling place among you, and I will not abhor you. 12 I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people. 13 I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt so that you would no longer be slaves to the Egyptians; I broke the bars of your yoke and enabled you to walk with heads held high.

The choice is simple enough.

Believe in ourselves – and we stay on the path of our current leaders.

Believe in / Believe / Follow God – and life changes so much for the better.  
As one of the candidates claims – this country would be great again.
The issue is – can anyone other that God actually make this country great again.

The answer – No.  Only God can do that. He did it the first time.  And He can do it again.

 

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