Cyrus the Great rides again
Two hundred years before Cyrus the Great brought down the Babylonian Empire, the prophet Isaiah had this prophesy: “Thus says the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have grasped, to subdue nations before him and to loose the belts of kings, to open doors before him that gates may not be closed: “I will go before you and level the exalted places, will break in pieces the doors of bronze and cut through the bars of iron, I will give you the treasures of darkness and the hoards in secret places, that you may know that it is I, the Lord, the God of Israel, who call you by your name…. I am the Lord, and there is no other, besides me there is no God; I equip you, though you do not know me, that people may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none besides me; I am the Lord, and there is no other. I form light and create darkness; I make well-being and create calamity; I am the Lord, who does all these things.” (Isaiah 45:1-7)
That is a pretty specific prophesy down to the name of the man God would raise up 200 years later. As we head into the final God forsaken days of this election, millions of American Christians are convinced Donald Trump is the second coming of Cyrus. He is God’s anointed. God can use wicked men just like Cyrus and Donald Trump, I keep being told. They do not have to be Christians, these Christians insist.
The fatal flaw in this argument is that the same arguments Christians are making about Trump apply equally to Hillary Clinton. God can use her too. She could be the second coming of Cyrus the Great. Or, more likely, neither of them are.
Five years ago, only thirty percent of American evangelicals believed that an immoral person could make a good, ethical leader. In the Age of Donald Trump, seventy-two percent of evangelicals now believe this. In 2016, more Christians in America than atheists believe immoral men are ethically fit for office. That is a pretty damning indictment on the faith of evangelical Americans who, not twenty years ago, pressured Congress to impeach Bill Clinton because character counted.
Over the last several weeks, Christians angry and upset with me for not supporting Donald Trump have emailed to tell me my wife has lung cancer because I am opposing God’s chosen candidate. The other day I got an email from a man who wrote, “I have come to learn after listening to so many prophesies that God DOES have his hand on DJT! You, of all people, who are studying the Bible, KNOW about CYRUS, DAVID, SAUL OF TARSUS, etc. were used for God’s purposes! God can even use a donkey.” The all-caps were his. I agree with him that God can use even donkeys, just like Hillary Clinton.
So many Christians are so desperate that they are reading their will into God’s will and think someone like you or me can thwart the Almighty. The point of Isaiah 45 is that God is in control. He forms the light and creates the darkness. He makes well-being and brings about calamity. We are all mere instruments of His will.
On Tuesday, it is most probable that Hillary Clinton becomes President of the United States. Despite the last minute momentum shift to Trump, Clinton is still ahead. If she does get elected, God is not suddenly off his throne. Whoever gets elected, Trump or Clinton, will be elected by God’s own will. He is sovereign. Christians should trust God. They should not try to cut a deal and compromise between two evils.
We have arrived at this sad point where the nation is being asked to choose between two terrible candidates because a lot of people fear the future more than they fear the Lord. The next four years, regardless of who gets elected, will see an American church put through fire, refined like silver and tested like gold.