French aristocrat Alexis de Tocqueville visited the United States in 1831. In later years he published Democracy in America, several volumes of what he had observed in his nine month survey of the American experiment. He studied and described the Constitution of the United States and our system of government. In Chapter 8-The Federal Constitution, he described the Crisis of the Election. While de Tocqueville admired and spoke highly of the American system of government, he warned of the unique dangers associated with our election processes. His analysis acknowledged the special care our founders had included in the dynamics of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government to prevent political upheaval at election time. He added that, "Nevertheless, the presidential election may be considered as a time of national crisis (page 157, Democracy in America, Penguin Classics, 2003). In his view three primary causes posed this potential trouble: the passions of the people; the preoccupation of the President; and the calm which follows the turmoil of the election.
Well, that was then, and this is now. Modern elections have little comparison to those in our nation in the mid-1800's. Our population was scattered across the fruited plain, was much less diverse then than now, and provided little opportunity for the public fanfare that is so much a part of our election process today. Voting laws were more restrictive then and ballot counting was simpler. The point being that if a presidential election was divisive and critical then, it must be more so today. There's certainly more at stake now than could have even been imagined then. The question then is, "Is the election of a President still a national crisis?"
Well, here we are a day after election 2020 and the results of our vote are still basically unknown. Tabulating the votes of an expected 150,000,000 voters is an enormous task and could continue for several days, perhaps even a week. Waiting for results will be a test for many Americans. Also, many pundits are warning of massive protests, riots, and social unrest when the result of election 2020 are announced. The pivotal question for me is this whether or not I can make my response more individual than joining the group think. How will I respond when the final tallies are announced?
The Christian population of the United States should acknowledge the Sovereign hand of Almighty God is every human process. As printed yesterday, Romans 13 should be a guide for every citizen but especially those professing a Christian worldview.
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except
from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.
Romans 13: 1, ESV
The sovereignty of God is a significant biblical theme. Many Scriptures affirm his guidance and leadership in all things---
The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.
Proverbs 16: 33, ESV
Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will
Proverbs 19: 21, ESV
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those
who are called according to his purpose.
Romans 8: 28, ESV
For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
Romans 11: 36, ESV
There are, of course, many more. Which is to conclude that whatever this election count reveals the eventual President of these United States will occupy that office by the intervention and purpose of our Sovereign God. Paul wrote, "Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed..." (Romans 13: 2, ESV).
Understanding that key theological concept will give us firm guidance in the days ahead, and keep election 2020 from becoming a national crisis.