Conversations with My Ass!
At face value one might be inclined to think that the Christian Republicans sycophantic contention about Trump being America’s only option to fix the ills that plague our nation is a valid argument, and anyone who doesn’t see it is “missing God who is speaking clearly through Donald Trump.”
Their contention? While it’s true that Donald Trump is a flawed man who’s said “some bad things” God can and does use flawed things. To support this half-baked argument they point to the Scriptures as their moral high ground and highlight David and Cyrus, Ahab and Nebuchadnezzar amongst an endless stream of flawed men who’ve ruled over their nations and been used by God.
While there are numerous holes in that argument, I’d like to focus on just one. It would appear that in this equation, at least the way Republican Christians interpret it, God is limited. How? Well it appears that while God can use flawed men by changing their hearts (sometimes even mid-sentence in some people’s cases), He can’t use flawed men (or women) who come from party platforms other than Republican. It would appear that the grace, mercy, and strength of God only stretches so far.
If the strength of the Republican Christian’s argument rests in the fact that these are trying times and this election has significant implications for the Supreme Court and the fate of the unborn in our nation, and in the fact that God can and will use flawed men at times like these, then why on earth can’t God use flawed female Democrats, flawed platforms, or any other flawed political candidate vying for the office of POTUS? Don’t shoot the messenger, I’m just asking the questions here.
Last I checked God still uses people who begin their journey with vastly different purposes than His own. Remember Saul of Tarsus? How about Balak king of Moab?
Well Balak’s story goes that he was overcome with an irrational fear of the people of Israel taking over his country because they were multiplying. He sends word to the prophet Balaam saying, “A nation has come out of Egypt that covers the land. They have camped next to me, and they are too powerful for me. So come and put a curse on them. Maybe then I can defeat them and make them leave the area. I know that if you bless someone, the blessings happen, and if you put a curse on someone, it happens.” ~Numbers 22:5,6 (NCV)
The rest of the story makes for a wonderful read — especially the part where Balaam has a healthy conversation with his ass (donkey) and acts as if that’s totally normal — and it’s found in the Book of Numbers, chapters 22–24.
Here’s how the story ends: Three different times Balaam opens his mouth to “speak a curse over Israel” at the bidding of Balak, and three different times a blessing over Israel comes out instead.
Deeply angered, here is Balak’s response, “Then Balak was angry with Balaam, and he pounded his fist. He said to Balaam, “I called you here to curse my enemies, but you have continued to bless them three times. Now go home! I said I would pay you well, but the Lord has made you lose your reward.”” ~ Numbers 24:10,11 (NCV)
I don’t know about you, but for me this exchange is deeply instructional. The people of Israel were God’s chosen nation. Only He determined when, how, and if they’d be punished. Like my wife always says, “God knows best how to parent His children.”
Balak foolishly thinks that his offered “reward” to Balaam is incentive enough for him to bow his knee to a different god and curse the people of the one true God. His plan is to thwart the purpose of God for the nation of Israel, but this is an exercise in futility. You cannot curse what God has blessed.
If we as Christ followers in these great United States would only be willing to put our faith in God over our irrational fear of the result of the election not going the way we want it to go, we just might hear a donkey speak again reassuring us that “God’s got this.”
Better yet, we might find that the one who is elected to office, regardless of party or platform, may well open his/her mouth to speak a curse and end up speaking a blessing. That’s why it’s imperative that we trust God. That’s why it’s okay to vote your conscience, whichever way your conscience leads you, trusting that the same God who spoke through Balaam, will again speak through whomever He chooses. Even another “ass!”