By George Bowers Sr.
Most folks would consider it foolish to attempt to pull a trainload of cargo backward with a powerless caboose. Obviously, the engine on the other end has the needed energy to move the train in the proper direction. As we approach Election Day, it seems that many politicians and voters are attempting to move America from the wrong end.
Candidates and voters seem to be most concerned about economics. How can we create more jobs? How can we reduce deficits and insure funding for services? How can personal income and government revenues be increased? What's going to happen to taxes?
These are very important questions for our governing officials to address on county, state and federal levels, but these are not the most important issues. God tells us in his word that economic blessings are the caboose that follows the engine of obedience. Likewise, economic problems will trail after an engine of sin and rebellion. Rather than punishment, these outcomes are described more as consequences that naturally occur just as striking the skin inevitably causes bruising.
In Deuteronomy 28, God promises to bless his people if they would honor his commands. If they obey, he says he will, "open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. The Lord will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom. Do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today, to the right or to the left, following other gods and serving them."
Conversely, if his people reject his commands, he outlines in verses 15-68 the caboose of negative consequences that follow disobedience. Among them, he promises wasting disease, fever and inflammation, scorching heat and drought, and blight and mildew. He warned of crop failure and the proliferation of pests that would spoil whatever was produced. He warned that the aliens would rise higher and higher, and that his people would sink lower and lower, and that they would perpetually be in debt.
Does any of this sound familiar? Deuteronomy 28 is a powerful lesson on national economics. Many discount and disbelieve the Bible, but this prophecy is being fulfilled before our very eyes. As our nation permits the killing of over 3,000 babies every day, and as we have tolerated the legalization of other blatantly sinful activities, God has no choice but to keep his word. If he did not spare the Jewish people then, we must not think America has some free pass to sin without consequence today. Even a glance at our nation's record of prosperity and descent into economic woe will reveal how it corresponds to the prevailing moral climate. God actually did know what he was talking about. And he still does.
If we get our morality right and honor God by obeying his word, he has promised to bless us. Economic benefits are the caboose that follows the engine of godly obedience. In Tuesday's election, the most important issues are those regarding the protection of innocent human life, the protection of God's sacred institution of heterosexual marriage, and the protection of constitutional liberties. All candidates for statewide office have openly declared where they stand on these issues. Party affiliation is irrelevant when moral choices are at stake.
One of the strongest warnings in Deuteronomy 28 comes when God says, "Because you did not serve the Lord your God joyfully and gladly in the time of prosperity, therefore in hunger and thirst, in nakedness and dire poverty, you will serve the enemies the Lord sends against you." I pray it's not too late for America and I pray that every Christian will get out and vote on Tuesday for those candidates who most closely follow Biblical teachings. This is an especially important election. Please don't waste this rare opportunity to make a concrete difference in our Commonwealth and in our nation.
See you at the polls, George
George Bowers is the pastor of Antioch Church of the Brethren in Woodstock and the author of four books, including his latest book of poetry, "Wit and Wisdom of the Woods." He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.