Whilst living as a Christian today it is easy to feel lonely and confused when it comes to considering the nation in which we live. What’s worse is when Christians themselves become so divided over political issues that brothers and sisters in Christ end up at war with one another. This isn’t good. But the idea of God’s people struggling to understand their place in a pagan nation isn’t a new one.
In 586 BC the Babylonians attacked, captured and razed the city of Jerusalem to the ground. King Nebuchadnezzar hauled off with him the Jews left alive in the city and surrounding area to Babylon. It was here in Babylon that the people wrestled with how to worship God in a foreign land whilst being ruled by an evil King. Immediately there seemed to be only two options of response. One, stand and fight against the evil and darkness that was before them. For the ancient Jews that undoubtedly meant taking up arms. Or two, become like one of the Babylonians. Identify with the nation and abandon all that was seemingly lost with their land and the temple. This second option is the one we are more likely to take as we start to value what our nation values and evangelise more for our political parties than we would ever dare to about Jesus.
But as God spoke to Jeremiah He revealed a third way (Jeremiah 29:7):
“(…) seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”
God asked His people to settle down, have children, earn a living, and most importantly seek the good of the nation. This is a message firmly against anarchy but it should not be confused with the idea of becoming Babylonian either. Whatever our passports might say, if we’re Christians then we belong to Him alone. Still, we seek to bless the communities around us, sincerely seeking the best for them through our words, prayer and actions such as voting. So whether you are happy with the election result, or deeply disappointed, please know that you cast your vote and sincerely sought the best for this country. Now please join me in praying for the peace and prosperity of our nation for this new season, knowing we are in God’s hands.