When it comes to choosing the next American President, what lessons can we draw from the Biblical stories of Josiah, Samuel and David? (My address to the Values Voter Summit)

Joel-FRC-VVS15On Saturday, I addressed the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C.

[To watch the video of my remarks, please click here.]

After most of the GOP presidential candidates had spoken, I was the last general session speaker at the two-day Summit. In my remarks, I focused on the darkness falling upon the Middle East — and particularly the emerging threat of Apocalyptic Islam — as well as why America is currently on the road to implosion unless we dramatically change course.

Rather than spend extensive time looking at the many existential challenges we face, however, I focused mostly on how we might best approach choosing the next American President. Who would be best candidate to lead America in 2017 and beyond? Who has the right character, vision, and detailed, substantive, serious plans for reform? Who has the wisdom, experience and sound judgment? Who is ready for the enormous and complicated challenges facing this great country?

I noted that I have been praying about this and studying the Scriptures for many months, asking the Lord for clarity, and here is what I have concluded: America also needs a Josiah. A President cannot save America from all our troubles. We desperately need a massive spiritual revival, a Third Great Awakening that transform hearts and minds from the Carolinas to California. But leadership matters. We need a leader like the one-time King of Judah whom the Bible describes as one of the most humble, strong, courageous, wise and impressive leaders in Jewish history.

In addition, I noted the story of the Hebrew prophet Samuel. The Bible tells us that Samuel was sent by God to the house of Jesse in Bethlehem to anoint the next King of Israel. The first person Samuel saw in Jesse’s home looked like just the right guy. But God said no, this wasn’t the one He had chosen. Then the next person Samuel saw looked like the right choice. But again God said no. This happened again and again until finally the Lord directed Samuel to anoint David — who wasn’t even in the room when Samuel began his search.

As we examine and study all the candidates, let us be prayerful and careful. Is it possible someone we’re not carefully considering right now might be the one the Lord is raising up? Is it possible that someone at or near the bottom in the polls — or just beginning to creep up in the polls — has more to offer than we realize? I can’t say if God will give us a Josiah — or a David — but let us not be hasty in making a decision, but watching carefully and seeking the Lord’s counsel.

Finally, I noted that sometimes God doesn’t raise up leaders after His own heart to lead a nation. Sometimes He requires His children to live under tyranny. Consider the story of Pastor Saeed Abedini. For three years, Saeed has been held in prison in Iran for preaching the Gospel and living for Christ. He has no immediate hope of a Josiah or a David coming to power in Iran. But he still is trying to cling to Christ and serve His Savior faithfully. We need to be praying for him to be brave and strong and healthy and released soon. And we need to consider his example — could we be faithful for Christ amidst tyranny?

God help us all.



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