Wednesday, December 13, 2017

What Makes You Tremble? An Election Day Thought

People are afraid these days. The politics of fear seem to be running our country. This political season has seen candidates openly criticize each other because he or she will take us some place horrible. People tremble. Years ago I sat in the living room with a family on an election night much like the one we’ll experience tonight. The preferred candidate of one person in the room was going to lose. They were distraught. They went into their bedroom and closed the door. They were overcome by fear. They trembled.

As a follower of Jesus, we need not be overcome by fear of anything! Really!! Nothing!! At the cross sin was defeated, and in the resurrection the death that goes with it. So while there are many things that should disturb us; politics and politicians, war, racism, poverty, injustice, the dismantling of marriage, and unrighteousness at every level, there is only one thing should make us tremble. What is that, you may ask?

God. Tremble at God. Tremble at the awful beauty and holiness and power and majesty and magnificence of God. He should make us tremble. Our knees ought to knock, and our bodies should writhe--the meaning of the Hebrew word for tremble--when we ponder the awful beauty and holiness of almighty God. Jesus said, “But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him” (Luke 12:4-5). The Psalmist puts it this way, “Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord…” (Ps 114:7). “Tremble before him, all the earth” (Ps 96:9) says the Psalmist again [same Hebrew word]. Ironically, where there is godly trembling, there is deep love, deep joy, deep hope, and deep worship (Deut 6:2; Ps 96:9; Ps 147:10-11). God is not trivial. Before Him, we tremble! And in our trembling, we take comfort.

What makes your heart quake? The mismanagement of the government? The presence of unrighteousness? The reality of injustice? The wrong candidate getting into office? “Do not fret because of evil men…” (Ps 37:1-4) says the Psalmist. Instead, trust in the Lord. The government and our country is in his hands (cf Isa 45:1-7). We need not fear evil, evil people, evil policies, or evil actions. While standing for righteousness, we need only fear God. And in that trembling we’ll find real hope, real joy, real peace, and real meaning in life. On this election day, what makes you tremble?

Note: First posted at Moses Lake Alliance Church, November 7, 2016. I decided to post it here on my blog in light of the election in Alabama, December 2017.

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