The Election of a President: An Old Testament Perspective

Dr. Mariottini is one of my favorite bloggers (I am subscribed to nearly 150). His post yesterday was thought provoking and indeed, timely.

via Dr. Claude Mariottini – Professor of Old Testament: The Election of a President: An Old Testament Perspective

He asks,

But is God interested in who is elected the next President of the United States? Does the Old Testament have anything to say about God’s dealing with the selection of a political leader to rule a nation? Before I answer these questions, let me review God’s involvement in the political process in Israel.

And then he answers,

The Old Testament also says that God had a part in the political process of other nations. God commanded Elijah to “anoint Hazael king over Aram” (1 Kings 19:15). According to Amos, God was planning to intervene in the political process in Moab because of the Moabite king’s inhumane treatment of the king of Edom (Amos 2:1). Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, was called by God and became his servant to accomplish God’s purpose in the world (Jeremiah 25:9). God called Cyrus of Persia to subdue nations for the sake of God’s people: “For the sake of Jacob my servant, of Israel my chosen, I summon you by name and bestow on you a title of honor, though you do not acknowledge me” (Isaiah 45:4).

In light of all the things mentioned above, what does the Old Testament have to say to us today about the selection of the next president of the United States?

The answer is: absolutely nothing!

The Bible says: “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD” (Psalm 33:12). But the United States is not a “nation whose God is the LORD.” The Old Testament rules for kingship do not apply to the election of the president of the United States.

God does not tell us to vote for John McCain or Barack Obama. God does not tell us to vote Democrat or Republican. God does not favor one candidate over the other; God has no favorites.

This means that we have a responsibility to make a choice and God will work with and through whomever we choose as the next president. For this reason voters must know the issues, the policies of each candidate, and where they stand on matters that will affect our country and the lives of every citizen. Then, they must vote for the one who will be a better candidate for our country, because what is good for the country is good for all.

Joel L. Watts
Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

9 thoughts on “The Election of a President: An Old Testament Perspective

  1. It is true that God may not have a “political” favorite, but He does have His sovereign will and purpose, this is both Old and New Testament doctrine. Our Judeo-Christian God is not some God of mere deism!

    Fr. Robert

Leave a Reply, Please!