Next week Israel votes for a new prime minister. I hate to admit it, but I begin to understand why people don’t vote. How do you vote for a political party you know won’t “win” or don’t agree with? Like the rest of the world, it seems to all boil down to power, personality, and showmanship—so opposite the Biblical model of leadership.
Today’s morning reading was Psalm 78. If ever a Psalm reviewed the stubborn rebellion of God’s people it is this one. Over and over the nation whose God delivered from Egypt with a strong and mighty hand, whose God parted the Red Sea, whose God provided bread from heaven, forgot His wonders and pursued false gods and false ways.
Reading this Psalm, I was reminded how often I am like them, and how merciful and gracious God has been to me. But what really impressed me was the way the Psalm ends. Instead of judgment, it ends on mercy, with God placing King David as “shepherd” over Israel. Saul had been a disaster of a King, but God saw something special in David. Despite David’s shortcomings, God saw a shepherd’s heart. And that reminded me of how stupid sheep are. And then I realized, the “shepherd” calls the LORD his shepherd (Psalm 23: The Lord is my shepherd…).
And I gained a clue into just why David was a man after God’s heart. God could work with David despite disobedience, adultery, and murder because David knew he himself was a stupid sheep in need of a shepherd. David was teachable and repentant. He did not make a habit out of disobedience, murder, and adultery, he turned from his sin.
Suddenly, in reading Psalm 78, Psalm 23 took on a whole new depth of meaning for me. David the shepherd needed THE Shepherd and in Him alone was great comfort, mercy, and safety. Yes, God could lead a nation with a man like David.
That is the kind of man Israel needs to lead. A man who knows his own weaknesses and shortcomings and is so humble before God that he can admit he too is in need of someone to lead Him, and that only God is worthy of that task.
There is so much there for me to ponder as I consider my wonderful Savior and God, and consider the qualifications for a leader. Lacking this kind of leader, what hope does Israel or any nation have?
Election Day in Israel is January 22, a week from today. Please pray for me and others in Israel, that we will vote as the Lord directs, that the God who rules the nations would indeed rule Israel, if not through a godly leader, than through a government built by the coalition that only God can put together. And as always, pray for safety, peace, and a spirit of grace for this very special nation.
This isn’t the place to get into Israeli politics, but if you would like to understand more, check out these links: