May 03, 2010

Choosing the Next President

It's 8 days till election day in the Philippines. In barely a week we will be choosing a new leader for our great nation. For some, it will be another exercise in legitimizing the rule of the corrupt elite. For others, it is a chance to change the nation for the better. In prayer time, I asked the Lord how I should vote and I was led to a passage of scripture in Deut. 17:14-20. Here are the qualifications of a leader according to this passage:

1.) He must be chosen by the LORD (v.14). The Bible says we are to trust in the LORD with all our hearts and to lean not on our own understanding (Prov 3:5). When Samuel anointed David, he wanted to anoint his older brothers, because of their stature, experience and abilities. But the LORD chose the inexperienced David to be anointed. It is critical for us to seek the LORD's will in our time of prayer. I have in at least one occasion voted for someone who in the natural I would not have voted for. We have to remember that it is only God who sees the whole perspective of history.

2.) He must not be a foreigner (v.15). He must truly be a citizen of our country. I would even say that he should not have dual citizenship because no one can serve two masters.

3.) He must not accumulate horses for himself (v.16). In the time and setting of the writing of this passage, horses and chariots were the foremost military weapons. They did not have the pikes and phalanxes of the Greeks and Macedonians so whoever had more horses won the battles. This passage then tells us that our leader should not accumulate military power for himself. He also must not compromise the sovereignty of the nation to another country for the sake of military power.

4.) He must not accumulate wives for himself (v.17). A leader must not be given to a life of pleasure and hedonism. The example given was women but it might as well be men, wine, food, drugs, etc. He must not seek his own pleasure above God and his people.

5.) He must not greatly increase silver and gold for himself (v.17).

6.) He must be very familiar with God's law and read it all the days of this life (v. 18-20). He must be ensure he knows it by heart so that he does not put himself above the people.

We have to do our best to seek the will of God for this election and to learn more about the candidates. We can not rely on advertisements. If there is even a hint that a candidate falls short of a criteria then we must take that as a point against him or her. It is better to err on the side of being too conservative rather than be lenient and find later on that our candidate was not who he/she really was.