There are some folks who have written that it was God who chose Donald Trump to lead this country and God who is going to make America great. On behalf of God, I would like to point out that God certainly loves Mr. Trump — just as he loves Hillary Clinton and you and me and the homeless man you see walking around with a grocery cart. However, the president-elect was not chosen by God, but by a reasonably healthy, though distinct, minority of American voters. God gave us the free will to make that choice (and accept the consequences).
God has warned us about what we should expect, though, in these words (slightly paraphrased to bring them up to date) from 1 Samuel 8:10-22:
Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking him for a [president] He said, “This is what the [president] who will reign over you will claim as his rights: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. Your male and female servants and the best of your cattle and donkeys he will take for his own use. He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the [president] you have chosen, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.”
But the people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a [president] …”
When Samuel heard all that the people said, he repeated it before the Lord. The Lord answered, “Listen to them and give them a [president].”
That is how free will works.
Jesus, too, made it clear that there is a clear dichotomy between the things that belong in the realm of politics (the things that are “Caesar’s”) and those in the realm of the divine (the things that are “God’s”), as we see in Matthew 22:20-22, Mark 12:16-17 and Luke 20:24-25.
Now, just because the election of the president was the work of mere mortals does not mean that everything is not in divine order. It is.
Also, it does not mean that the election is not an important symbol for our world. It is.
For many centuries the world was predominantly patriarchal, with women forced into a subservient role, with the richest 1% of the population exploiting the other 99%, and with various tribes and racial groups competing with one another for control of limited resources. Although that worldview is becoming less common and must soon be replaced by one that is more sustainable, Donald Trump clearly represents the vestiges of the past and his presidency will keep them in the spotlight, “warts and all.”
Imagine, then, what it will be like two years from now when Trump’s presidency ends early due to his health problems, which may begin manifest within a fairly short time. As sad as that may be to many, it will be a powerful symbol of the changes that are taking place right now and are not going to be stopped. I think it will happen.
*The previous disclaimer my be seen by clicking here.