I know that my independent-learning project specifically deals with Romans, but tonight I’m going to break the mold. This morning I had the opportunity to attend my hometown church, and (like always) I learned a TON. Since this past summer, my pastor has been preaching verse by verse in the book of Ecclesiastes on Sunday mornings. Today, in honor of the presidential election being held on this upcoming Tuesday, he took us through a sermon that reminded us of our church’s three biggest rules: 1.) God is in control, 2.) God is in control, and 3.) God is in control. I’m going to teach a little to you what was taught to me.
We’re going to be in Ecclesiastes chapter seven, but first… hermeneutics! The author is King Solomon (who was given wisdom by God), the audience is his son, the purpose is to fear and obey God as stated in Ecclesiastes 12:13, “The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil” and the theme is finding an eternal meaning for life in God. There will be quite a bit of application coming in the next few paragraphs, so yay for first keeping things in context. 🙂
We’re going to start halfway through chapter seven “The Contrast of Wisdom and Folly” where Solomon begins to move into the bigger picture. “Better is the end of a thing than its beginning, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the heart of fools” (Ecclesiastes 7:8-9). Okay, let’s break this down. Right from the start, Solomon tells us that wisdom is knowing God is in control because patience is the embodiment of knowing that God is in control. I know of many people who are concerned with the upcoming election and wish that Tuesday would arrive already. Guess what? As a Christian, we can patiently wait in God’s sovereignty because whoever is elected is put in place by Him, like Daniel 2:21a tells us “He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings.” There is no need to worry, because even if our country is destroyed, it will be for God’s glory, and we will get to go to heaven and worship Him for eternity. How awesome is that? As it is written in Isaiah 45:7, “I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the LORD, who does all these things.” False teachers claim that God is only in control of the good, and I am here to tell you that isn’t true. God is in control of ALL things, both good and evil. Therefore, like stated in verse nine, we have no reason to be angry about anything because… you guessed it. God is in control.
“Say not, Why were the former days better than these? For it is not from wisdom that you ask this. Wisdom is good with an inheritance, an advantage to those who see the sun” (Ecclesiastes 7:10-11). I know we all have been around adults who constantly state how things aren’t like they used to be. Heck, I’m only 19 and I do it all the time. Before becoming a born-again Christian, I used to always believe I was born in the wrong time period. I have a fascination with the 60s and 70s because, through my rose-colored glasses (even though I wasn’t even there to begin with) they were much simpler times. However, now I know that there is no such thing as being born in the wrong time because God is in control! People could look back and compare our two presidential candidates to the long list of presidents before them and point out their faults, but the fact of the matter is that God has given us the present day to enjoy in His name. Wisdom is knowing that every second of every minute of every day of every week of every month of every year God is sovereign (including presidential elections), and being underneath His sovereignty is a blessing. So rejoice! Even if it isn’t 1969 (date courtesy of Bryan Adams), today you are alive and get to worship God. Hallelujah!
“For the protection of wisdom is like the protection of money, and the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the life of him who has it. Consider the work of God: who can make straight what He has made crooked?” (Ecclesiastes 7:12-13) Here it is, one of the most direct statements towards God’s sovereignty. If God chooses to end America via the next president, there isn’t a darned thing we can do about it. Instead, we get to take the trials while all the while praising His name. Just a public service announcement, God isn’t an American. He also isn’t Russian, Chinese, or Israeli. God is God, and He will carry out His will on His earth, even if that means making things crooked. This might initially sound frightening, but I can assure you that is not the case. It is actually so, so comforting to know that GOD IS IN CONTROL. Can I get an amen?
So, come Tuesday night, there is absolutely no reason to worry. In fact, in every aspect of life there is absolutely no reason to worry. Whether Trump or Hillary wins, whether your marriage falls apart or not, or whether the Broncos will beat the Raiders is all in the hands of God. He is completely and utterly sovereign. To wrap this up, every day I want you all to remember three very important rules: 1.) God is in control, 2.) God is in control, and 3.) God is in control.