A Relevant Message from Our History



I’ve had several post-election conversations with people on both sides of the political divide.

One of the more intriguing elements of the conversations is the “God” part.

“What role did/does God have in  elections?”
“We prayed and our prayers were answered.”
“We prayed and our prayers were not answered.” 

“The answer to the ‘God-part’ question is in the Bible!” I’m told.

“By me kings reign” (Proverbs 8:15). 

“…he removes and sets up kings” (Daniel 2:21).  

But what about this one?

“They set up kings without my consent;  they chose princes without my  approval” (Hosea 8:4).

“Hmmm.  I didn’t know that was in there.”

This contest of Scriptural “one upmanship” is tiring.

I received some comfort and direction from another time in America’s history.

It was inauguration day, March 4, 1865.  The nation was fractured.  Some people were hopeful.  Some people were fearful.   620,000 men had died in the Civil War.

Between 30-40,000 people had gathered at the east entrance of the Capitol.  In the crowd were Frederick Douglass, the African American abolitionist and newspaper editor, and the actor John Wilkes Booth, a Confederate sympathizer, seething with hatred.
President Lincoln stepped to the podium.  With keen theological and political insight, he said, “Both sides read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other…”

The 56 year old President helped the nation focus on what mattered in the days ahead,

“With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”

Good words then.  Good words now.

1 thought on “A Relevant Message from Our History

  1. Thank you Phillip for a message of unity for us all. No matter who had won this election, there was still going to be 50% of the AMERICAN PEOPLE THAT WERE UNHAPPY. To claim that either or any political party or candidate, IS MORRALY SUPERIOR, especially in this election is pure bull hockey. We all have to focus on our commonalities, we are all so much more alike than we are different. And we are all UNIQUE, JUST like everyone else. I am so happy to be part of a group that loving and tolerant all, and seeks to Unite US all, in spite of our differences. We can all be as ONE, if we choose to be. Many of John Lennon’s lyrics have been ringing in my head all week. From ” We Can Work It Out. Life is very short and there’s no time for fussing and fighting my friend… The bottom line for me is, which is more important, BEING RIGHT OR BEING HAPPY. I choose happiness. And pray for all that feel lost.

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