Stand Alone — 18 November 2019 Devotional

Lamentations 1:1–2, Matthew 5:13–16, Ephesians 6:10–17 (read online ⧉)

One of the biggest traps in politics currently is the “going it alone mentality.” This is not just a US phenomenon. We are seeing this all over the world. At the same time, there is this competing feeling that we really are all in this together and that we can only get it done together (whatever it is). Is it truly just human pride? Is there something else going on?

In Lamentations, Jerusalem stands empty on her hill. Her people are gone. Her purpose for being has been removed. Her leaders in their pride point at Jerusalem and said here sits the house of God. Pride was expressed and take in inappropriate ways. It was just a city. It was just a hill. Really, it was just a people. What made it the jewel it was? Nothing. It was a who. God made Jerusalem and its people into a jewel…his jewel. It sparkled, and the people became deceived by the sparkle as if that was the point.

When Jesus talked about the city on the hill, he was pointing out that the reason you could see it from far away was that people made it so you could. But why? Again, it was pride. The problem that goes along with it is that when we take pride in the appearance we lose the reason why. Politicians starting calling the US the city on the hill, appearing to align with Christian thinking. However, what they really ended doing was aligning with human thinking. US pride (with all of our recent presidents), even when dressed in humility, was still pride. Jesus when talking about the city on the hill he intended us to connect it to God, and that we should be sharing and “shining” God. The hill was an allegory, it wasn’t the point.

We Christians need to be especially discerning in this upcoming election (not that we aren’t called to be discerning every time). We can see the powers of principalities and this world setting up their standards to fight. The enemies (whether recognized or not) of God are present in all political parties at this point, none are free of this. How many of us will navigate this is anyone’s guess. If you already have your answer, then perhaps you are tied to a worldly power more than to God. It can be said that sometimes those we need the greatest protection from our those who pretend they are our friends.

1) Why do people often look to politicians and/or leaders before looking to God?

2) What the first few words you would use to describe politicians? What are the first few words you would use to describe God? What are the differences you see?

3) If Christians truly trust in God, why are we so quick to argue (or fight) with one another about those we don’t trust, the politicians?