For the believer, our lessons and our expectations are grounded in the Word of the Lord. Our hope for our nation is grounded not in electoral victories, but in “victory in Jesus” ruling and reigning in the hearts of people who will then move in politics, in entertainment, in economics, in every facet of life out of the core of a soul in love with Christ and broken for the souls of lost sinners.
TO THE CHOIRMASTER: WITH STRINGED INSTRUMENTS. A PSALM. A SONG. Psalm 67
May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, Selah that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations. Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth. Selah Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, shall bless us. God shall bless us; let all the ends of the earth fear him!
The old pastoral master, Matthew Henry, wrote,
Ah, but that such sweetening would come upon us today! And yet it can according to these Gospel promises embedded in this great Word of God.
In Psalm 67, the Psalmist cries out on behalf of the people who are languishing for lack of praise, “May the peoples praise you, O God.” His heart beats not only for his local congregation, his own city as it were, but for the whole world for he says, “May all the peoples praise You.” This is truly a world missions Psalm.
I went to sleep, recently, reading of the last days of the great missionary to the Indians, David Brainerd. His heart increasingly beat, not only for the Indians of the Susquehanna Valley and the Connecticut River valley, but also for those all over the world who did not know Christ. He was appalled that the affections of believers were so unconcerned by virtue of lack of prayer for the world. He died thinking of the coming of the kingdom of God, and that the sufferings of man, which he had witnessed in the indigenous pagan societies here in North America, might be dispelled by the beauties of the truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Jonathan Edwards joined with this young man in his passion. Concerts of prayer began, linked to other parts of the world (even then), which lasted for seven years. Christians banded together to pray for revival that would propel the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Indeed, the first Great Awakening is linked to a dying 29-year-old Presbyterian evangelist with a consuming passion to see the nations, all of them, brought happily and productively under the Lordship of his Savior, Jesus Christ.
Euphoria swells in the hearts of many today as we hope and pray for a change in government policies which will better reflect the government we find in the Bible. I join in that hope. But our economic and political future is tied, not to a party or to any governmental change, but to God. Our hope for recovery lies in the Gospel. I admit that I have no expertise in economic markets per se, or in politics for that matter, but anyone, even the simplest homemaker like my Aunt Eva that reared this orphan boy, knew that good things follow the glory of the Gospel. We knew that in our own lives on our own little hard-scrabble South Louisiana farm.
From Psalm 67, we can know that where the Gospel goes, God brings showers of blessings. Among those many blessings are truths that set men free. Among those blessings are the liberation of the human soul, of the construction of a human government and free enterprise, and the compassionate love of Christ that reflects the Gospel. The land itself “will yield its harvest” and “God will bless us.” Amen and amen!
Bring it on Lord! Bring it on for the world! Bring on a sense of dependence upon those recently elected men and women that they will know that without God we are sunk. Let their first action upon being sworn into office be to go to their knees and cry out for repentance on our nation, for unction, power and divine wisdom from on high, and that God would use our people to reach others who need Christ. To be a politician is to be a missionary. To be a mechanic is to be a missionary. All Christians must be concerned about those who do not have the Gospel, from their own people to the Peoples of the ends of the earth.
Coming back from Cape Town 2010, my heart is stirred by my own lack of prayer for the nations, and I want to change. I want to pray. I want to be one with those who are suffering for Christ. I want to be one with the Church around the world. And I want God to come down in my own nation and shake us so that we see our true condition: no election or government can do what God can do if we will but seek His face.
I ask God to stir the Church up in the West to be concerned again for the conversion of the nations. Let us leverage everything we have, including our time and our prayers, to see that Christ is made Lord of this earth in our generation. And let us remember that the land here will yield its harvest as our true economic recovery is linked to repentance and revival.
God have mercy. Christ have mercy. Lord, let us rain down Gospel truths on our land that we may be all the more encouraged to use that wealth to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth.
Let us join with Brainerd and Edwards in seeking God in concerts of prayer. It is planting time again. We need a Great Awakening in order to know true recovery. That is our lesson. This is our expectation after the election.
The Paraclete Psalter : A Book of Daily Prayer, (Brewster, Mass.: Paraclete Press, 2009).