Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people. – Prov. 14:34
One might think it is the end of the world (and by world I don’t mean earth, but America because it seems that most Americans think that America is all there is that is anything) by reading the various news headlines, facebook statuses, and/or blog entries that have poured forth over the last few days. No doubt, it is a troubling sign with the passing of the so-called Health Care Reform legislation; troubling, sure, but it is hardly the first sign of trouble.
Have we forgotten things like the birth of the Federal Reserve, the installment of Social Security (Hello?! How could one not know that such a thing is Socialism, it even has Social in the name!!!), LBJ’s Great Society, Roe v. Wade etc., so on, so forth? No, Friends, this is hardly the first or most devastating sign of trouble in this day. What needs to be realized by Christians is that this is but one expression of God’s judgment on a nation that has professed Him and His religion, only to stomp, spit, and trample upon it. What also needs to be understood by Christians is that while this is a judgment it is also yet another opportunity to spur His people unto new obedience and repentance.
Do you want Government reformation? Remove the plank from your eyes. Repent of your sins. Hate sin more and more. Love righteousness more and more. Partake not nor give assent to the wicked culture around you. Do not be desensitized by it. Consider the Psalmist’s words in Psalm 1:
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
1. Walk not in the counsel of the ungodly – You do not need the world’s advice, nor its poor sinful worldview! You do not live in a world fashioned by chaos; rather, you live in a world that was fashioned by the very word of God. What is the work of creation?, the WLC asks. The work of creation is that wherein God did, in the beginning, by the word of His power, make of nothing the world, and all things therein, for Himself, within the space of six days, and all very good. Rather, take your advice from the Word of God. In the very same Psalm (v. 2b) it says that the godly man meditates on God’s Law day and night, and that it is his delight.
2. Stand not in the way of sinners – This doesn’t mean “Don’t get in sinner’s ways.” It means don’t walk, live, go the way that sinners do. This is the path to which you were originally inclined, due to being conceived and born dead in sin. But if Christ has saved you, continue in it no longer! We need not accustom ourselves to the world’s manner of doing things, for their motivations are wrong, their means are wrong, and their manner is wrong. Instead, seek the Scripture’s way of how you ought live. Attend the means of grace God has graciously given and pattern your life after such instruction.
3. Sit not in the seat of the scorner – I’ll defer to the venerable Matthew Henry here. “[H]e does not repose himself with those that sit down secure in their wickedness and please themselves with the searedness of their own consciences. He does not associate with those that sit in close cabal to find out ways and means for the support and advancement of the devil’s kingdom, or that sit in open judgment, magisterially to condemn the generation of the righteous. The seat of the drunkards is the seat of the scornful, Ps. 69:12. Happy is the man that never sits in it, Hos. 7:5.”
We deserve worse than this health care legislation, folks. I am not saying we should do nothing about it. I’m not saying we should not decry it. I’m saying that we must be consistent across the board and let’s decry all the sins of the magistracy and the people and especially ourselves! Again, I ask, do you want Reformation in the government? Devote yourselves, then, to Christian piety, loving God’s Law and being shut up to faith in Christ by the overwhelming justice we deserve yet was satisfied by the righteousness of God in Christ. Love the Lord and love your neighbour as yourself. Pray for godly leaders.
If you want Reformation in government there are godly means to attaining it. God is the God of outcomes and we, His people, are the people of means. We do not trust in the means, but the God of the means. So we pray for God’s work and then we work toward that goal, asking God to bless those lawful means to the accomplishment of His work. May it be so.