As I write this, I’m pondering this week’s elections in Israel. Thankfully, Bibi Netanyhu won re-election and will continue as Prime Minister, but the win wasn’t as strong as we had hoped it would be which puts him in a position of having to form alliances with parties that have agendas other than, or in addition to, what’s best for Israel, united and whole. In visiting with my Israeli friends prior to the vote on Tuesday, it seemed there was a feeling of optimism that Bibi would win in a landslide. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.
The same thing happened here in November. While the polls had looked good, up until the last minute that Romney would win, when we awaked on Wednesday, November 7, it was to a great disappointment in learning just the opposite had happened. While Obama’s win wasn’t as strong as it had been four years previously, he had still won and will serve another four years, like it or not!
What has happened in these two countries that the elections are so disparaging? Obama’s re-election was a huge disappointment to the conservative voter; and, Netanyhu’s re-election, by such a narrow margin, is disappointing as well. Granted, we are happy that he is back in, but what will be forced upon him now as he sets out to put together a coalition government? Will Israel stand strong in the face of annihilation from Iran, or will she be forced to make concessions that will weaken her, giving her enemies an even greater foothold?
What about America? When these next four years are over, what will be the state of our nation? Will we still have a Constitution? Will we still be able to walk in freedom? There is already a palpable fear quietly spreading its ugly tentacles across the land as we see knee jerk reactions to the hideous tragedy of Sandy Hook. What will the landscape of America look like?
Two countries, both democracies (although America was once a Republic), who set the standards for real freedom around the world. Two elections, both won by less of a mandate than had been hoped for. Two men, re-elected. Which country will remain free? Which country will surrender to oppression? Which leader will lead and which leader will dictate?
But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the LORD. And the LORD told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will do.” (I Samuel 8:6-9 NIV)
The Bible tells us of Israel’s kings, some good – some bad, and how they lead Israel to heights of glory in the eyes of the Lord and to points of degradation ending in being led into captivity by Babylon. It is there before us, easy to read and understand. Now, will her leader read The Book and follow it? What about America? What about our book? We once held the Bible dear, even to the point of framing our Constitution on the words from That Book, but now, alas, The Book, its Author, and its contents are no longer welcome here. Which country will come out of this as a free country? Perhaps we should read The Book to find out! In the end, only one remains.