New American Standard Version
21 “It is He who changes the times and the epochs;
He removes kings and establishes kings;
He gives wisdom to wise men
And knowledge to men of understanding.
22 “It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things;
He knows what is in the darkness,
And the light dwells with Him.
23 “To You, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise,
For You have given me wisdom and power;
Even now You have made known to me what we requested of You,
For You have made known to us the king’s matter.”
So, who REALLY elects Presidents, Senators, Congressmen, etc.? As we approach the last two weeks of this 2012 election season. Daniel, being a captive of the Babylonians, was asked to eat and drink from the King's own table. This was against Daniel's faith. At the time, Daniel was a young man. In verses 3-7 the story is told of how four young men of Israel were chosen:
3 Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, the chief of his officials, to bring in some of the sons of Israel, including some of the royal family and of the nobles, 4 youths in whom was no defect, who were good-looking, showing intelligence in every branch of wisdom, endowed with understanding and discerning knowledge, and who had ability for serving in the king’s court; and he ordered him to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans. 5 The king appointed for them a daily ration from the king’s choice food and from the wine which he drank, and appointed that they should be educated three years, at the end of which they were to enter the king’s personal service. 6 Now among them from the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. 7 Then the commander of the officials assigned new names to them; and to Daniel he assigned the name Belteshazzar, to Hananiah Shadrach, to Mishael Meshach and to Azariah Abed-nego.
These young men, Daniel being one of them, were young, strong and wise. They were the "cream of the crop" so to speak. Later, three of them would be put into a furnace of fire yet lived to praise God! Daniel however was given incredible wisdom by God. Why?
It all goes back to the verse at the top: "he chose not to defile himself". He was pure, he was faithful to God. WE Americans have chosen to defile ourselves. We have made movie stars and sports stars our heroes. We have allowed alcohol, drugs and pornography to ruin our families. We have let television divide our time with our maker. We have established "idols" and "false gods". We have skirted as close to the things of this world as we can but don't expect there to be consequences. Sometimes we've even done this with politics. The most well intentioned "patriots" of the "tea party" movement, thinking that the US Constitution is the "end all, be all" have missed the mark. GOD is the one (as it states above) who "removes and establishes kings". GOD knows the hidden and profoun things. GOD knows all, we know nothing. Yet, as with Daniel, if we do not defile ourselves, listen to His voice through His Word, we can know enough! We, as His ambassadors, must vote, and we must vote with our Spirit led hearts but ultimately GOD is the one that will make the decisions.
What America needs to focus on now more than ever before is to STOP defiling herself! The church in America needs to stop being a "feel good" place and preach the Gospel of Christ which says there is only "ONE way, ONE truth and ONE life" to the Father. Jesus Christ. There is NO other way. The church once led this great nation in all matters, but now, sadly it is relegated to the back room. Time to stand up!
When you vote, pray for God's holy wisdom to help you in each and every decision. God's not a Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, tea party or any other party, He is GOD, the I AM! HE knows what is best for us.
By the way, on the Daniel and his 3 friends story? Here's how it ended:
28 Nebuchadnezzar responded and said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, who has sent His angel and delivered His servants who put their trust in Him, violating the king’s command, and yielded up their bodies so as not to serve or worship any god except their own God. 29 Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation or tongue that speaks anything offensive against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego shall be torn limb from limb and their houses reduced to a rubbish heap, inasmuch as there is no other god who is able to deliver in this way.” 30 Then the king caused Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego to prosper in the province of Babylon.
Point being: the faithfulness and the fact that they did not "defile" themselves even in the face of death brought the mightiest king in the world to his knees before the ONE true God and caused his nation to believe! THAT is how Americans need to behave. THAT is how nations will once again admire and respect us. I believe old Nebuchadnezzer had a real "come to Jesus" moment and it was all because of the faith and resolve of these four young men.