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As a general election comes around it is time to face up to the question again: Who rules Britain? Will the map be blue or red after the election? King David faced no such uncertainty. If asked the question: 'Who rules Israel?' David's answer would be: 'God rules.' It is he that giveth salvation unto kings: who delivereth David his servant from the hurtful sword. (Psalm 144.10) David's defence policy started here and the rule of God controlled his education policy, economic policy and law and order policy.
Who reads manifestos? What would you expect to find in a manifesto? Perhaps you would expect to find the would-be ruler's targets for the future. In Psalm 144 David speaks of God's target for his people. It can be summed up as total welfare. David lists the benefits of God's action on behalf of his people.
(1) The welfare of our children: That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace: (Psalm 144.12).
(2) Rural prosperity: That our garners may be full, affording all manner of store: that our sheep may bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our streets: (Psalm 144.13).
(3) Vibrant commercial activity when beasts of burden transport all manner of goods: That our oxen may be strong to labour; (Psalm 144.13a).
(4) National security and community welfare: that there be no breaking in, nor going out; that there be no complaining in our streets. (Psalm 144.14b)
Such is a truly happy nation and the whole is presented as a beautiful picture of the results of experiencing God's salvation.
When it comes to the political parties, manifesto targets involve manifesto taxes. That is how it is with men and it cannot be any other way without deepening debt. They have to take in order to give. It is not like that with God. He can give and give and give without taking at all. And this exactly what he has done. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3.16) When none of us could deal with the problem of sin, God gave his son and Christ died in the place and stead of sinners to take the curse that belonged to them that sin might be forgiven through faith in his name. The ecologists tell us that we need a Factor 4 revolution. We need to secure twice the outputs using half the resources. It is certainly a tall order. But it is not a problem to God because he increases the resources, filling the garners.
The political parties must bolster up their candidates but the church must never do that with its ministers. Preachers are cogs that can produce no motion of themselves. In the clock it is the mainspring that originates the motion. So it is with Christ. It is what he has done that gives relevance to the preaching of the Gospel. Christ is the heart of it all: his perfectly sinless life, his substitutionary atoning death, his glorious resurrection, his ascension into heaven and his outpouring of the Holy Spirit to change the heart and give true repentance and faith within. When will our nation truly prosper? When will our political parties have a proper government-opposition relationship for debate? When our governors give heed to the Word of God concerning his son, Jesus Christ. Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him. (Psalm 2.10-12)
What conclusion are we to draw? Surely this: when God is in control, when God protects and sustains, then the people know true happiness. Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the Lord. (Psalm 144.15)