Scott Tibbs

Some will trust in chariots, some will trust in horses...

By Scott Tibbs, January 27, 2023

As we were singing Psalm 20 in church a couple weeks ago, I started thinking about how Christians should apply this Psalm to politics. This applies both to Christians in society at large and especially to Christians who are serving as civil magistrates.

King David wrote this particular Psalm, along with many others. What is interesting is that David is explicitly telling the people not to trust in him or the armies he is leading into battle, but to trust in God. David is not interested in the people of Israel glorifying him as king, but tells the people that their strength is in God. It would have been easy for King David, after all of his accomplishments and military victories, to hold himself up as the protector and savior of Israel. He chose to glorify God instead. 

Many politicians today could learn a lot from this Psalm. They see themselves and their grand plans as what will save the people. They are larger than life, and the people should trust the leaders and what the leaders are saying. There is no humility, only personal glory and expectations of cheers at rallies. There is certainly no recognition that God is in control and that those political leaders can do nothing apart from Him. 

Christian citizens should take the same lesson. I saw an enormous amount of fear among Christians in 2016. If Hillary Clinton is elected, that is the end of the country and Christians will be persecuted. She had to be stopped at any cost. Much of this fear was faithless, as if the God who owns the cattle on a thousand hills cannot defend us from an aging 60's hippie. Could she have done great damage? Yes, but only if it was God's will that she be allowed to do so, as He allowed the pagan nations of Canaan to persecute His chosen people to discipline them for their idolatry and human sacrifice. Our faith should cast out unreasonable fear.

Does this mean that Christians should give no thought to politics, culture or government at all, and leave everything in the hands of God? Absolutely not. Many Christians are called to be civil magistrates, and many more are called to be a witness for God's Word, protecting the defenseless and defending civil liberties. God does work though weak and sinful men, after all. But while God is working through us, we should never think that we are the ones doing the work. The hammer, the screwdriver or the wrench is not greater than the mechanic who is using it, and we are not greater than the God who is using us.

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