Here I see Scriptural encouragement to advocate to remove corrupt judges & politicians and replace them with good people to take their place. It’s with this in mind that I encourage good people to run for office, to avoid political passivity, to take actions like voting and writing their representatives, and to pray for politicians as per 1 Tim. 2:1-9.
Proverbs 28:12: “Strong” clearly parallels “rise to power;”. That strength is not merely the ability to squat heavy weights under the barbell, this is a form of strength that finds expression in the public sphere. This “rise to power” of the righteous increases the Glory: The Glory that the citizens give to the Creator Who created Righteousness, by definition. The people glorify Him when they live and love with Shalom. That increase of Glory continues to draw others into The Father, Creator of all.
That Glory is diminished when the unrighteous people have strength in politics and influence. Verse 15 affirms, adding that an unrighteous ruler treats the poor exactly the way the devil treats all people: like a roaring lion. No wonder because the unrighteous fulfill the actions ans will of the enemy.
How much more do the righteous fulfill the will and good works of the Creator. Pray for all leaders (1 Tim 2:1-9), and support and encourage the righteous leaders to persist in doing Good. Help the Good to succeed and consider what office you might take.
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Aramaic Lamsa vs KJV: Proverbs 29:2,4,10,16,18
Five reasons why your vote counts: If you live in a Republic such as the USA, Europe, or any nation in the world that’s not a dictatorship or a kingdom, nor ruled by a party which squashes free speech and falsifies votes, your vote counts, and you would be well-advised to prayerfully make your decision and cast your ballot with wisdom. There is a temptation to give up; to believe that your vote just doesn’t count, even if you have a representative government. Here are some reasons for that temptation:
Why some think their vote does not count:
Ballot fraud, terrible candidates, third party options, a prophetic viewpoint you hold, and the electoral college.
Let’s debunk the easy ones first:
Fraud: Some think that there’s so much fraud that their ballot won’t be counted in the end. First, can you prove that deception is so deep, that it is all hopeless? If you really believe that, then why not volunteer to be an observer at your local voting station to keep an eye on things. “The lazy man says, “There is a lion outside! I shall be slain in the streets!” (Prov. 22:13 NKJV) Beware of any fear-mongering tendency to blow things out of proportion, to justify taking no action whatsoever.
There’s no good candidates: They’re all despicable! Most viable presidential candidates rise from the ranks of the Senators, Representatives, or Governors. If you feel, despite their voting records and experience, that they are awful, then you need to ask yourself: Do you yourself participate in any elections for Governors, Senators, and Representatives? If you could do so much better, then why don’t you run for office? Serious – not joking. If good people like you do not fill those seats, then who will? If you are unwilling to participate, then do you have any right to complain? Again, see Proverbs 22:13 (above) and resist taking the intellectually lazy way out.
Favoring a third party: The time for that is way back in the primaries. If you failed in the primaries to push your third party candidate into the running, then it is time to move on, and try again for your third party in any future year. Really, you need members of the same third party to become Representatives, Senators, and Governors as well, so you’ve got your work cut out for you. But focus on the task at hand: In the current General Election, you owe your nation your own choice among those who have risen to the top, to cast your ballot for one of them. Don’t just stay home and be sour. Do not write in Mickey Mouse just to be snide or cute. Do not write in anyone that is legally ineligible, such as anyone not a natural-born citizen. Third party candidates hardly ever accomplish anything these days, so why would this year be any different? Normally the most they ever do is split the party nearest to them in policy, ensuring a victory for the party with the direct opposite platform. That is not what you want.
The Doomsday Prophetic View: So, you say the world is going to hell, and nothing can stop it. So why bother? Just sit back and watch it all burn to the ground. With an attitude like that, you mimic the worst side of the Prophet Jonah. Rather than have faith that the preaching that YHWH called Jonah to might actually serve a redemptive purpose, Jonah has been universally condemned for sitting back and expecting doomsday fire and brimstone. In reality, Jonah’s preaching was effective, the king of Nineveh repented and led his city to repentance, and judgement was delayed for around 100 years. This proved Jonah’s attitude to be completely wrong. Don’t be like Jonah. Rather, be like Abraham and Moses, who cried and begged YHWH to halt or delay the judgements, to have mercy on the people, and allow them time to show good fruit. Never forget: YHWH’s long-suffering is way better than ours, since we are only human, and He is Love. Do not worry: In good time, He will execute judgement, do not doubt that. Meanwhile, do your part in this place to promote righteousness and goodness and resist sin in yourself, in your neighborhood, and in your nation. You cannot say you are doing your best if you don’t even cast a vote.
Electoral college: Ok, let’s deal with the big one: Each state shall choose Electors. That’s enshrined in the Constitution, so it would be nearly impossible to change it. It must seem discouraging, but take heart, I have a workaround for you in a few minutes. So let’s say you live in a Republican state, and you like to vote Democrat. You look at the numbers gap, and you decide that there is just no way that your state could swing to your side. Your state’s electoral representatives will cast their vote with your state’s majority votes. This is all true, but take heart: The Electoral College is there for a reason, but that reason is not to discourage you from voting. One of the reasons for its existence in the Constitution is to prevent a populist candidate to grab huge amounts of power. One big reason is to prevent any chance of a run-off election, or a protracted national recount – either of these would result in a National Security crisis with doubts as to the Commander in Chief of the military.
OK, so here are five reasons why your vote actually does matter:
Quickly, the Electoral College actually does not cancel your vote; the swing state situation; the leaders and resources of your favorite party, and local influence. Let’s take these in reverse order this time, from difficult to easy:
First: Your Popular Vote on the National Level:
Even if your vote would not sway the Electors of your state to vote your preference, your vote adds to the power of other states who do vote your preference: Your vote is tallied in the popular vote. While we know that the Electors choose the president and vice-president, not the popular vote, the popular vote can help simplify the issue and calm the masses, and help a smooth transition from one presidency to the next. Let’s give an example: Let’s say you vote red but you live in a state that votes blue. You cast your vote for red anyway. That red vote will help your candidate secure the popular vote, even if it does not help with the Elector vote. You want your candidate to win? So vote. The nation has rarely had any discrepancy between the Elector vote and the popular vote, and we would all like to keep it that way. There is too much confusion and the potential for violence in the streets when there is disagreement between the Electors and the popular vote. On the other hand, the two vote tallies can provide checks and balances for each other. If by some chance there is a landslide Elector victory, paired with an opposite popular vote landslide decision, that unlikely situation would demand an in-depth Court examination to look for fraud or conspiracy to sway either the popular vote or the Elector vote. So even in that unlikely case, your blue vote in a red state would serve some purpose. More likely though is that your vote would help your favored candidate secure the win in both the popular as well as the Electors, and thus help prevent violent riots in the streets – and that is a good thing.
Number Two: Your state could become a swing state. Your state may overall vote differently than usual this time. No? Why not? Can you be sure? Do you still put all your trust in the polls, most of which are shown to be politically skewed? So – I don’t think you can honestly guarantee that your state will not swing to your side this time around. And if you are right about that – well then, you could consider moving to a swing state, or to a state that reflects your voting preferences. Thus, you could add your tax revenues to a state you actually believe in.
Number Three: The leaders of your favored party in your state could use some encouragement. They have been working so hard, swimming against the tide in your state. Why not give them a pat on the back and assure those fellow humans that it is not all for nought.
Number Four: The same leaders could use some support when they go to request funds and resources. The leaders of your favored party need to put in a request for resources. If your vote is absent, you have taken away your support for their cause. You might as well uproot your family right now and make for a different state which is better aligned with your beliefs.
Number Five: By voting, you have played a role, and you have potentially influenced others to do the same. When is passivity a good thing? There is always something good to be done.
It does not matter one way or the other if members of the same religion vote differently from one another. No political party or movement has a monopoly on any religious viewpoint. Politics is secular and should remain that way. You are not voting for a pastor or a rabbi in your community, you are voting for a leader or a leading secular party of a nation, you are not voting for a personality that you would like to have over at your house for dinner, you are voting for a personality that can keep your nation safe from attackers on various fronts.
Having done all that, here is what I recommend:
First Timothy 2 says to pray for all humans, and then goes on to say that we must pray for our leaders. In Timothy’s day, that would naturally include praying for kings who were full-on pagans and idolaters, and sinners of every kind. How does one pray for such evil people? You pray that they will become righteous, that they will repent, and hear the voice of YHWH, and turn from their wicked ways, and follow Him; that they will practice righteous judgment and proper decisions. That’s how you do it. And those leaders in Timothy’s place and time were mostly dictators – nobody got a vote.
You can take the same power of prayer one step forward, vote, and exercise your influence into who the leaders will be. Ask YHWH to help you decide how to vote. Pray that you will have wisdom to see things His way. If the vote has already occurred, then pray for the winners that they will walk in righteousness and will turn their hearts towards the Creator of the Universe. Show your leaders the LOVE of the LORD. Access the miraculous love that is placed in your heart by YHWH’s power, and exercise that love even towards the unlovable.
Therefore, the only way your votes does not count, is if your vote is uncounted.
The only way your vote does not matter, is if you do not make it matter.
You get one vote; make it count.
If out of state, the Absentee Ballot is always an option. One easy way to arrange that is to phone your home town. Another way is via web sites such as:
1 Timothy 2:1-8 AENT:
1. I exhort you, therefore, first of all, that you present to Elohim supplication and prayer and intercession and thanksgiving for all men: 2. for kings and magistrates that we may dwell in a quiet and tranquil habitation with all reverence for Elohim and with purity. 3. For this is good and acceptable before Elohim our life-giver, 4. who would have all men live and be converted to the knowledge of the truth. 5. For Elohim is one, and the mediator between Elohim and men is one; (namely) the man Y’shua the Mashiyach, 6. who gave himself a ransom for every man; a testimony that arrived in due time, 7. of which I am constituted a herald and apostle. I speak the truth and do not lie, for I am the teacher of the Gentiles in the belief of the truth. 8. I desire therefore, that men may pray in every place while they lift up their hands with purity, without wrath and without disputations.
Let’s break out these verses, one by one:
- All Men – that would include friends and family members, neighbors, pastors, rabbis, Presidents, Senators, Representatives, Governors, Vice Presidents, Mayors, school board members, and anyone else you can think of.
- Specifically kings and any rulers mentioned above, because they influence whether our lives will be peaceful and quiet or not; the author made special mention of the portion of “all men” who are in authority over aspects of our lives, but he did not mean that we selfishly pray that we will receive perks from those leaders, but that those leaders would promote safe and quiet lives for all.
- Elohim wants this…
- …because that peace and quiet helps the process for all men to enter into Elohim’s Truth. Or would you rather open up the book of Romans and try to explain it in the middle of a civil war zone?!
- Presidents are not mediators, the Messiah is the only true Mediator, and Senators etc do not hold a candle to Him;
- The Messiah, the Arm of YHWH (Isaiah 53:1) gave Himself a ransom for every human; kings have not done so.
- Author is a representative of the Messiah, while teaching people of the pagan nations the Truth, even while they still live under authority of sinning pagan kings and magistrates;
- Therefore, pray without argumentation, without anger, without a rebellious spirit, but rather with purity.
Matthew Henry’s commentary on this text:
- I. A charge given to Christians to pray for all men in general, and particularly for all in authority. Timothy must take care that this be done. Paul does not send him any prescribed form of prayer, as we have reason to think he would if he had intended that ministers should be tied to that way of praying; but, in general, that they should make supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks: supplications for the averting of evil, prayers for the obtaining of good, intercessions for others, and thanksgivings for mercies already received. Paul thought it enough to give them general heads; they, having the scripture to direct them in prayer and the Spirit of prayer poured out upon them, needed not any further directions. Observe, The design of the Christian religion is to promote prayer; and the disciples of Christ must be praying people. Pray always with all prayer, Eph 6:18. There must be prayers for ourselves in the first place; this is implied here. We must also pray for all men, for the world of mankind in general, for particular persons who need or desire our prayers. See how far the Christian religion was from being a sect, when it taught men this diffusive charity, to pray, not only for those of their own way, but for all men. Pray for kings (v.2); though the kings at this time were heathens, enemies to Christianity, and persecutors of Christians, yet they must pray for them, because it is for the public good that there should be civil government, and proper persons entrusted with the administration of it, for whom therefore we ought to pray, yea, though we ourselves suffer under them. For kings, and all that are in authority, that is, inferior magistrates: we must pray for them, and we must give thanks for them, pray for their welfare and for the welfare of their kingdoms, and therefore must not plot against them, that in the peace thereof we may have peace, and give thanks for them and for the benefit we have under their government, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. Here see what we must desire for kings, that God will so turn their hearts, and direct them and make use of them, that we under them may lead a quiet and peaceable life. He does not say, “that we may get preferments under them, grow rich, and be in honour and power under them;’ no, the summit of the ambition of a good Christian is to lead a quiet and peaceable life, to get through the world unmolested in a low private station. We should desire that we and others may lead a peaceable life in all godliness and honesty, implying that we cannot expect to be kept quiet and peaceable unless we keep in all godliness and honesty.