Thursday, November 06, 2008

4 Minute Devotions: Obama's Election

The election of Barack Obama has brought about a new wave of hope across the world; but are we in danger of idolizing him and replacing God?

Podcast version here

Isaiah 49:8 This is what the LORD says:” In the time of my favor I will answer you, and in the day of salvation I will help you; I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people, to restore the land and to reassign its desolate inheritances,

I’ve had some really nice emails from friends in Scotland, expressing their thankfulness about the election and their hopes for a better world. After Barack Obama’s historic win, the world seems to have regained a lot of hope. It appears to be a time of renewal and unity, instead of fear and apprehension.

It is a wonderful time and for black people across the world, who have been treated inhumanely for centuries, it must be an amazing time. To have a black man lead the most powerful nation on earth will bring hope to millions of Africans around the globe. People in the streets Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania were celebrating this historic victory, just as much as the African-Americans in Harlem, Chicago, and Atlanta.

But will Obama save the world? That’s a tough question and perhaps it’s unfair to set such a colossal responsibility upon his shoulders. He has new ideas about peace and prosperity; he has a charisma that is attractive and inspiring; he has the opportunity to restore our land and make up for the deficiencies of the last eight years, but will it be enough to change things for the good, or will his Presidency just become another pile of political promises that are destined to be unfulfilled or broken?

None of us know, but at least there is a new opportunity ahead of us. The President-elect does not need our adulation; he needs our prayers. Tragically, there are still people in our land who hate the idea of a black President. Barack Obama needs our prayers each day for God to protect him.

No matter what happens during Obama’s presidency, we need to remember that only God can truly save His people. Barack Obama will be the most powerful man on earth after his inauguration, but he is also just a vessel and just a servant of God’s purposes. If we ever replace our adoration of God for the adulation of our world leaders, we will be guilty of idolizing that which is only temporal; or as the writer of Psalm 146 so eloquently puts it:
Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men, who cannot save. (Psalm 146 v 3) NIV

Prayer: Lord God, we thank You for these wonderful times and for the election of Barack Obama. We pray that You will protect him and his family. We ask that You will sustain his Presidency. Keep us mindful that he is just a man. Enable him to shoulder the responsibilities of our great nation through You mercy and grace. This is Your world, O Lord, and we are all Your children. In Your Christ’s Name, we pray. Amen.

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