“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgements and how inscrutable his ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counsellor? Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid? For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.” (Rom 11:33-36)
Christians generally agree that, at least in democracies, God gives a nation the leaders it deserves (Rom 13:1-7). For example, the election of the Nazi Party in 1933 was the apex of a long liberalising process in the churches of Germany whereby God the Father had been denied his authority to judge.
A hung parliament, with many informal votes, suggests that Australians cannot make up their minds about who is worthy to govern them. This was certainly experienced by me through the attitude of many electors I listened to as I worked at a polling booth on Saturday (especially in relation to the Senate paper). In praying about this election result two things stand out.
The first is deep double mindedness in the nation. Most Australians recognise that in the physical realm we are an extraordinarily blessed land, but few of us give thanks to God for this (Rom 1:21). We are also a double minded church. Jesus said, “You cannot serve God and mammon (money/possessions/lifestyle).” (Matt 6:24). Yet the majority church in this land is definitely a worshipper of mammon.
The second factor however is vastly more significant and foundational than the first; we are a people who have lost sight of the divine majesty. God rules in sovereign awesome majesty as a being far above his creatures (1 Chron 29:17). Yet he reveals his majestic nature by deeds of kindness and justice through rulers of the land on behalf of the poor and needy (Ps 45:4). In this way, a sense of the value of all life is imparted to a nation. In dismissing the importance of abortion or gay marriage or overseas aid or the possible consequences of global climate change it is plain that the vast majority of Australians lack a sense of unconditional human dignity which is imparted to a culture by majestic rulers. Let me give an example of what I mean. We are still awaiting our Nelson Mandela, who was used by God to impart a sense of worth to a nation by the most majestic of all acts that is possible for a ruler in God’s image, forgiving his enemies.
Our houses of parliaments radically lack the presence of majesty. As long as they retain their critical condemning atmospheres, generally led by party rulers, the people of Australia will remain stuck in their cynicism about government and focussed first of all on what is personally in it for them. Yet this is the very matter of which we accuse our politicians of being guilty. This of course makes us a nation of hypocrites!
There is only one way out of this morass of worldly moralistic double mindedness and a lack of awareness of infinite human worth. We must return to the supreme centrality of Christ, of whom it is said, “he received honour and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,”” (2 Pet 1:17). Until the house of God enters the cloud of glory with the transfigured Lord (Luke 9:28-36) and receives the revelation of unconditional human dignity that the Majesty of God imparts, we will continue to act as if we are a people who do not deserve the government of godliness. Until this happens God will continue to hand us over to our self centred worldliness. This is because we as a nation are guilty of the terrible crime, disregarding the divine majesty, both by rejecting His own personal rule and in rejecting His presence in all those made in his image. Let us turn away then from ourselves and seek the majesty of the Lord (Jude 25).