Although I originally wrote the following eight years ago, much of what I said prior to the 2008 presidential election applies today. With last month’s first 2016 Republican presidential debate and talk heating up regarding potential Democratic challengers to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, those words are still relevant.
Although we’re still 14 months away from the presidential election, the campaign leads the headlines almost daily and the candidates are stumping the country seeking votes. In addition to the presidential election, there are numerous Senate seats being contested and a number of close races anticipated in the House of Representatives. Pundits are predicting this will be one of the most brutal political campaigns in American history.
Before we get caught up with the charismatic personalities of the candidates and the heated rhetoric of talk radio, we would do well to review a page from the history book of ancient Judah. Second Chronicles, chapters 34-36, records the dramatic difference a godly leader named Josiah made in an unstable nation.
Manasseh, Josiah’s grandfather, and Amon, his father, had been two of Judah’s most wicked kings. Under their corrupt administrations, the morality of the nation plummeted so deep that God pronounced a curse: The nation would be conquered and taken into captivity.
Shortly after Manasseh died, Josiah was crowned king at the age of eight. Even though his father had been horribly wicked, young Josiah had a heart for God and surrounded himself with godly advisors.
While still in his 20s, Josiah ordered the violated temple refurbished, the newly-discovered Scriptures read and obeyed, the neglected Passover Feast reinstated, idol worship abolished, and the sexually oriented businesses of his day closed down. The king vowed “to follow the Lord and keep his commands, regulations and decrees with all his heart and all his soul, and to obey the words of the covenant written in this book” (2 Chronicles 34:31).
The result of Josiah’s righteous leadership was dramatic. God delayed His judgment, Judah thrived, and for 31 years the country experienced peace. Josiah’s leadership teaches four needed principles for America:
(1) There is a direct correlation between the morality of a nation and its stability.
“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people” (Proverbs 14:34). Obedience to God still brings blessing; disobedience still brings disaster. What America needs most right now are not charismatic leaders who look good on television, but godly leaders who seek to walk in God’s will. We don’t need a heavy turnout at the polls as much as we need a national spirit of repentance.