After Election Day

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Psalm 11

Anyone ready to flee to the hills today? Do you feel the wicked have bent their bows, strung their arrows, and are ready to shoot those whose heart is right (v. 2)? Do you feel like the very bottom has fallen out and that a righteous person like yourself can do very little about it?

The psalmist tells us that the bottom has not fallen out. God is still on the throne. This doesn’t mean God controls election results, making our freedom an illusion. Rather, we make decisions that shape the direction of our country. However, our decisions are not ultimate. God is ultimate. God’s action through God’s people is what matters most.

If yesterday did not go as you had hoped, the psalmist reminds us that this is still God’s world. We can take refuge in God. We may need to express our anger in prayer as the psalmist did, that God will rain fiery coals and sulfur (v. 6) on our enemies. We can never ignore our anger. Yet rather than expressing it violently (which the psalmist says God hates), there is no safer or healthier way to be honest with our anger than in prayer before God.

If we trust the biblical witness, we understand that God has known the fire of anger in the face of the world’s wrongs. God understands. We also know that God’s heart is a place that transforms anger into self-giving love. God responds to the hateful and violent in ways that seek to heal. So maybe after honestly sharing our anger with God, we will move into that deeper faith that lets God’s love shape our hearts and lives.

If you are celebrating yesterday’s results, the psalmist reminds you to pray that those elected will remember that God is on the throne and their power is not ultimate. Pray they will use their power as God uses power—to heal and transform, rather than coerce and corrupt.

Life Questions

Criticizing elected officials is easy, but what would happen if we began praying for them regularly? What will your prayer for them be? Pray it now.

Prayer

God, make our hearts right. Help us grow in your transforming love. Amen.

This post originally appeared in Volume 25.1 of Reflections.

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