March 1, 2016 Year C
God has power over political leadership. The Bible makes this case very clear in a variety of places. Whether it is the dreams of Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 2, the words of Jesus before Pilate in John 18, or the appeal of Paul in his letter to the Church of Rome in Romans 13, the Bible makes the case that God is the one Who has power over political leadership. He lifts one up and He tears another down.
God tells Ezekiel to share a story called a parable. A parable is a story with a meaning that is given afterwards. In this case, Ezekiel shares the story about two eagles. One eagle flourishes (Ezekiel 17:1-6). Another eagle is torn down (Ezekiel 17:7-10) even though it seems that he is successful. The only similarity is that God has power over both birds.
Even though leaders may seem to have power over the people, it is God who gives them their authority. God is the One who puts people in authority and He is the One who takes them out (Ezekiel 17:11-21). God tells Ezekiel how He will display His power over political rulers (Ezekiel 17:22-24).
The point of this parable is that although people choose their leaders, God is the One who gives them their power. People may choose their leaders, but it is God who brings them up or tears them down.Sometimes, like King Saul and the people of Israel, God gives us who we ask for. At other times, God puts someone in power (like Pilate, Augustus, or Darius). In modern-day politics, we may choose our leaders. We reap what we sow when it comes to political leadership. God allows people to come to power to lead us, even those we did not expect. Yet the source of power is not the political leader. The source of power is God.
Especially in today’s political season, we need to be reminded that it is not “we the people” who have the power over political leaders. God ultimately has the power over our politicians. May that help inform us when we vote.
Prayer: God, thank You for Your loving kindness and Your freedom to have power over political leaders. Help me to be a wise voter.