As another election cycle comes around, Exodus 18:21 provides the measure Christians are to use in selecting our political leaders.
Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, brought Moses’ wife and children to visit Moses in the wilderness. Jethro observed Moses serving as judge for the people all day. Jethro offered his wisdom to Moses saying that sitting alone as judge was not good. He then offered these incredible requirements to create the first form of government with moral tests.
“Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.”
We as Christians must require these things of those we vote into office:
Does your candidate have the necessary qualifications? We are all called by God to a purpose (Ephesians 2:10), but we are not all called to run for office. Sometimes it takes testing an individual at a small, more local level office before we can know whether they can be entrusted with representation over larger responsibility. I was recently teaching my son about the parable of the shrewd manager, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much…” (Luke 16:10), explaining how as a young man that he must prove himself in the small things and over time with wisdom, experience and continued competency, he would be able to handle increasing responsibility. Know your candidates record, require an accounting of their past performance in office.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7 NKJV) To call yourself God-fearing should raise the expectation from voters extremely high. Fearing God means not caving into our own sinful nature. Paul talks about “perfecting Holiness in the fear of God.”(II Corinthians 7:1) With true fear of The Lord, a candidate understands that above all else they will answer to their maker, before their lobbyists, before even their constituents.
Is your candidate characterized as a seeker of Truth, are they truthful? Teach me Your way, O LORD; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name. (Psalms 86:11 NKJV) We should expect two things from our candidates when it comes to Truth. They should be a seeker of The Truth, walking in Truth, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life”(John 14:6) We should expect truth be spoken…always.
To covet is to have a strong desire to have that which belongs to another. Coveting after other peoples things can lead to sin. Covetousness also means to gain dishonestly. Make sure your candidate understands that they are caretakers of Liberty. Our Liberty comes from God, not government. It is the governments responsibility to protect that Liberty with all their being.
We the people are responsible for our own Liberty. We are created with a free will, understanding that we are responsible for the choices we make. We, as voters, must utilize that free will to place candidates that are able, God-fearing, truthful and without covetousness, lest we face the consequences of voting the wrong candidate or worse not voting at all.
“You shall appoint for yourself judges and officers in all your towns which the LORD your God is giving you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment. You shall not distort justice; you shall not be partial, and you shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts the words of the righteous. Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue, that you may live and possess the land which the LORD your God is giving you.” (Deuteronomy 16:18-20 NASB)