This morning is a new morning, for some people it is morning of hope because we have a new Prime Minister and for others it is morning of despair. Despair in our government, the governmental system or even despair because of the views that our new Prime Minister holds. But how should Christians think about what happened in Canberra? What does the Bible say that will help us make theological sense of all that has happened in the past twenty four hours? I think the Bible is clear on three things.
The first thing we should know is that God is sovereign and he is in control of all that has transpired. In chapters four and five of Daniel there is an oft repeated phrase
“the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes” (Daniel 4:17, See also 4:25; 32; 5:21; )
The book of Daniel is clear and so is the rest of the Bible. It is not primarily the politics of Canberra that was behind the leadership shift it was God in his sovereignty. It is he he uses the machinations of this world, political or otherwise, to give leadership to the people in power. Now will that mean that Malcolm Turbnbull will be a leader after God’s own heart? No sometimes God gives us leaders that aren’t good leaders (like Manasseh in 2 Kings 21) and other times he gives us great leaders (like Josiah in 2 Kings 22-23) and all this comes out of his good sovereign purpose. This is all to say that God was not surprised by what happened last night. He is still sovereign, still in control, still ruling and still working his purposes out.
Secondly, the Bible is clear that we should pray for our leaders. 1 Timothy 2:1-4 says this:
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
The point here is simple. Even if we do not like our politicians or their policies we are called to pray. What should we pray? We should pray that we may “live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” In other words, pray that we may have government that allows us to live freely and well as Christians. So I hope that all Christians all over Australia are praying for Malcolm Turnbull. He has got a huge job ahead of him and he needs our prayers! But also pray for Tony Abbott. I, like most Aussies I know, didn’t click with him as a prime minister. But he is a man who has served our country to the best of his ability and I’m sure that he and his family are hurting now. Pray for him and his family that they would turn and trust in God in this time.
The third and final thing is that this doesn’t really change anything for the church and Christians. Our mission, no matter who is in power, is still the same. Our mission is to pray and preach the gospel so that we will see a flood of people become Christians and be sent out to plant loving and yet evangelsitically oriented churches through out Australia and the world. That is our mission, let’s not lose sight of that but lets work towards that goal and see what God accomplishes through us for his glory!