11 Jul Pray For The Newly Elected Government
Singaporeans wake up today to a newly elected government. As with all elections results, some are heartened, some are disappointed. But as the Bible says: “There is nothing new under the sun”, therefore after a short while, emotions will die down and life will go on as usual.
Yet, for the Christians, we must know that the real battle goes on. And as we could see, the world is becoming a more difficult place to live in. Especially with the internet, everyone wants their voices heard and their ideas considered. So we will come to see a kind of governance where politicians will have to keep giving in to the electorates to stay in power. So we will end up asking the questions, “can these politicians be their own man? Can they govern with integrity? Or would they practice double standards, or even worse succumb to the wants of the masses? Now, there are too many uncertainties, as we could see. Very soon, we will see the elections in America, there the polarizations will be greater.
Yet as Christians, we’ve to be perceptive. We know the World will come to an end eventually, and our Lord Jesus will reign forever and ever. Yet, before that the work of the anti-Christ will sweep through the World. It will turn nations and people against one another. It will increase lawlessness. It will turn many hearts cold. Love will diminish, and hypocrisy will increase. Now, we are not being paranoid but these are the prophecies in the Bible. The Covid_19 has shown how fear can turn the sinful men ugly. So with our newly elected government, let’s put our hearts to pray for them. So how should we pray for them?
Let’s turn with me to <Ex 18:21-23>.
But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. Have them serve as judges for the people at all times, but have them bring every difficult case to you; the simple cases they can decide themselves. That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you. If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied.”
Now, the Bible shows that good governance will have the people satisfied. But this is a spiritual leadership, you may say. How about a secular leadership? How to pray for a government who doesn’t know God or the Bible? Now, I am going to give all of you 4 things to pray for our newly elected government here. There are certain principles that doesn’t change actually.
Pray for humility of our newly elected government.
Now, Singapore has its success stories, but that is because God wants to use it to fulfill His good purpose. As it is, we’re bilingual, we’re affluent. And all these has benefitted the church and its gospel work. So the government has essentially done a good job by raising the standards of its people and country. Yet, if our political leaders grew proud and complacent because of its past success, believing what they believe is the best. It will meet with its downfall someday. A secular government, at its best, must be a humble government. Yes, it may not believe in God, but it must believe in its limitation and shortfall. As the Bible says in <James 4:6>: “God opposes the proud but give graces to the humble”.
And the next thing I like to pray for our government is that our country will not be led in a way which is just economy driven.
I believe we need a nation that reads beyond monetary terms, lest we become a people who sees value in only what is material. Now, I understand people need jobs and stability, but as Singapore gets more affluent, its time we become less paranoid about “not being able to survive”. An over-focus on economy, higher productivity, higher income so as to achieve higher and higher standard of living, now what do you think? Well, everyone might seem to become better off, but it might also cause a new generation of people to be more unsatisfied. Now honestly, we humans are not designed to keep improving ourselves materially. We need meaning and bliss as human beings. Therefore, instead of keep bettering ourselves materially, we must pray for a new generation of people who hold on to fundamentals like working hard, raising good families, live simply and contented, instead of just thinking of consuming more premium stuff, buying condominiums and expensive cars with that few thousand dollars salary. I mean, these are fundamentals that we’ve to teach the next generation. If we are merely economy and investment driven, blind spots and compromise of values will somehow appear, going forward. We don’t know, we may bend to the will of countries and investors who could make ourself rich. Or we may end up taxing everyone instead of taxing the rich more. So these are principles drawn from the bible for a good and responsible secular government to take reference from.
And the next thing we pray for our government is one which advocates fairness, yet also leaning on the side of compassion.
Now practically speaking, there must be good distribution of wealth. We cannot let inequality grow. Yet, old people or unprivileged people must equally be taken care of. They must not be left to slog for a living, or become an outcast in the society. In <Lev 23:22>, God told the Israelites: “‘When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and for the foreigner residing among you. I am the Lord your God.’” So my brethren, this reveals the heartbeat of the compassionate Lord. He cares for the weak and helpless among the people. Although there will always be people who may be relatively poor and helpless in a society, the government must function with a basic fairness, yet genuinely care for the underprivileged or those who may fall through the cracks of the meritocratic system, especially when the country gets richer.
Lastly, pray for the godliness of Christian politicians.
Now, looking at it, the world will only get more liberal in terms of societal issues. And politicians who are looking out for political gains will ultimately have to succumb to a liberal societal view. There will come a day where they will seriously contemplate legalizing same sex marriage, or allow unrestrained stem cells research, or anything the liberal mind could think of. I mean, legalizing abortions and building of casinos were already examples of liberal moves, and more will be coming up in an increasingly liberal society, like Singapore. Yet, what is equally true is we’ve almost 20 percent Christians and several Christians politicians in our country. So if they fear and bend towards the liberal masses, or if they choose to remain quiet with these liberal issues, Singapore will eventually fall. So even if we’re a secular nation, it is important to pray for these Christians political leaders to hold their ground. It is not easy for them, but may God give them the courage and the wisdom to unswervingly stick to certain principles given by their faith.
So with that, we commit Singapore to the Lord. And Christians, let’s pray to be good and submissive citizens to our newly elected government, in obedience to the Word of God.