As Stan Laurel used to say to Oliver Hardy, “This is a fine mess you’ve got us in now, Ollie!”

Yep, we’ve got an extremely crucial election coming up, probably the most important we’ll ever have, and if we don’t get this one right, Obama will have made good on his promise to “fundamentally transform America” into a country our Founders would never have imagined.

Or intended.

As the workmen clean up the mess left by the two nominating conventions, we find we have:

  • Two candidates who aren’t liked or trusted by over half of potential voters.
  • Two parties whose nominees feel their only chance to be elected is to tear their opponents apart, beginning with childish name-calling and vilification.
  • A country whose black and white president has fanned the flames of racial divide to the point where police are being ambushed and murdered daily!

Instead of “Morning in America,” we have 20 trillion in unpayable debt, dollar bills worth about 0 cents in purchasing power, CIA reports of festering ISIS cells in all 50 states and 47 million citizens on food stamps.

Following a president and attorney general who refuse to enforce existing immigration laws, we have a candidate who intends to admit 80,000 Syrian refugees into this country, while both the FBI and CIA guarantee there will be many trained terrorists in that number.

How can our beloved country have deteriorated so drastically? I’ll tell you how.

God has lifted His hand of protection from the United States of America.

In effect, He’s saying, “You as a people have increasingly let me know you don’t need me, you don’t even want me, to guide and determine your affairs. So … have it your way. Try it on your own for a while, and see how it goes.”

We’re pretty much on our own now.

I refer you to the example of how God stepped back from His intimate relationship with His chosen people Israel, as recorded in I Samuel 8. For as many years as America has existed, He ruled Israel through anointed judges, in many ways similar to the way our republic was designed to function. The Mosaic law and regulations had been well established, but individuals were free to obey or disregard the commandments – while judges selected by God could lead, admonish and sometimes mete out punishment on the disobedient, somewhat like our presidents today.

Though there was remarkable individual liberty, the nation of Israel held together and mostly flourished. Then, in the time of Samuel, the elders of Israel gathered together and said to him, “Look, you are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.

Make us a king to judge us? Like all the nations? What were they thinking?

Samuel told them a king would tax them, conscript their young for war, make himself ever richer, at their expense and through their efforts, and make them poorer. But they wouldn’t listen; they wanted to be like the other nations around them.

And get this – when Samuel complained to God, He told the prophet, “They’re not rejecting you, they’re rejecting Me. Let them have their kings.”

God put Plan A aside, His plan for the people He loved, and went with their foolhardy, shortsighted, eventually ruinous Plan B.

First He let them have a big, good-looking galoot whose experience was looking for his father’s lost donkeys, and then a shepherd boy with a bold heart who actually grew into the office of king, though he made grave mistakes as well. But after that, the people suffered under a long line of idolatrous, headstrong, foolish kings who led the people into outright disobedience against their God – and finally into abject destruction, dispersion and Babylonian captivity!

Along the way, though, there were a couple of literal boy-kings, Joash and Josiah, one 7 and the other 8 when they became “king” of Israel. Talk about lack of experience, these kids were barely out of their diapers! They proved that God can use anybody to accomplish His purposes – if they look to Him for their guidance and commit to it. Anybody.

Abraham Lincoln was not the first choice of his own party in the 1860 election. He was seen as a small-town lawyer without qualifications to be president. But in the contested convention, he was chosen as a compromise on the third ballot. He went on to be considered one of our greatest, The Great Emancipator.

I remember my parents’ terrible dismay when Franklin Delano Roosevelt died in office – and was succeeded by a Kansas City haberdasher, a lowly “ward heeler” named Harry Truman. They cried,”We’re doomed! How can Harry Truman be our president?!” I was scared, too. Just a little kid, what did I know?

Here’s the point. The God whom Jefferson acknowledged as the Creator, who has endowed us with unalienable rights and is Himself the source of our liberty, has proven HE can protect, provide and direct His people with practically anybody who will look to Him for wisdom and guidance. Why, in Numbers 22, when His anointed prophet Balaam was failing to do His will, He spoke to the prophet and saved his life through words spoken by His ass (the King James word for donkey or mule).

If God can use an ass for His purpose … He can use a Donald Trump, for example. Or, of course, a Hillary Clinton. The question: Which one, if either, will actually look to Him, seek His will and not “political correctness” in the crucial decisions that will determine our future?

How will we choose? How to decide? I quote from Mae West, “If I have to choose between two evils, I’ll go with the one I haven’t tried.”

One we’ve tried, and know perhaps too well. The other is unknown, but will he seek to do the will of God if elected?

This is what we do now: Ask God to make plain to us His choice. Is there yet another David to confront our Goliath?

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