This week, as if I were sitting around the Thanksgiving dinner table, I’m daily saying, “I am thankful for …”
Frustrated | Whether you’re a Republican, a Democrat or an Occupier, you’re probably disillusioned with our national leadership. A recent Rasmussen poll found that only 20% of likely voters believe that “the government has the consent of the governed” . Congressional approval ratings remain at an all-time low – now, 13% . Nearly 90% of Americans say that they are “frustrated” with U.S. politics and more than half are downright “furious” . Republicans are having a frustrating primary season and President Obama’s approval rating has hit its lowest point since he took office – 41% .
Pattern | Overall, the kings of the divided kingdoms – Israel and Judah – were terrible. In Israel, Ahab was the worst – he “did evil in the sight of the Lord more than all who were before him” . He ignored the word of God – referring to Elijah as the “troubler of Israel” , and saying of another prophet, “I hate him for he never prophesies good concerning me” . He unjustly oppressed his people – murdering and stealing from a farmer who refused to sell his land . In the end, Ahab was killed in battle and buried in Samaria, where “dogs licked up his blood” . In Judah, although Ahaziah was king for only a year, “he too followed the ways of the house of Ahab, for his mother encouraged him to act wickedly” . Although there were bright spots during those years, the overall outlook was bleak.
Plan | Yet, like the judges and the prophets, the kings were never intended to save the people. Instead, they were meant to leave God’s people frustrated with imperfect human leadership. Although God longed for His people to rely on Him alone, they persistently relied on every other possible means. Once they were morally and emotionally exhausted, they would despair of trusting in another king and finally turn to the only king who could save – the Lord Himself.
Prayer | Our Father, You are in heaven, where you sit as king forever. We thank you for imperfect leaders because, in our frustration, we turn to you. Thus, although we pray that you make your name holy in the lives of our leaders, as they seek your guidance and model your servant leadership, we know that our hope and salvation is in you, not them. Give us our daily bread today, as we feast on the gospel – that Jesus died to secure our place by your side in your kingdom. Amen.
Footnotes:  “20% Say U.S. Government Has Consent of the Governed.” Rasmussen Reports. 3 November 2011. |  Lydia Saad. “At 13%, Congress’ Approval Ties All-Time Low.” Gallup. 12 October 1011. |  Laurie Kellman. “AP-GfK Poll: 37 percent support ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protestors; politics angers most people.” AP-GfK. 21 October 2011. |  Jeffrey Jones. “Obama Job Approval Average Slides to New Low in 11th Quarter.” Gallup. 21 October 2011. |  1 Kings 16:30 ESV |  1 Kings 18:17 ESV |  1 Kings 22:8 ESV |  See 1 Kings 21 |  1 Kings 22:38 ESV. See also 1 Kings 21:19.). |  2 Chronicles 22:3-4 NIV1984. See also 2 Kings 8:27 NIV1984.