/ Nathan Eshelman

The Kingdom of Donkeys and Pachyderms

This week the United States saw a major shift in the political landscape of the nation. The Democratic blue has faded to Republican red as Republicans celebrate victories in the House, the Senate, and in gubernatorial mansions across the nation.

Does this mean that the nation is becoming more conservative? Maybe. Does it mean that people are tired of the liberal rhetoric of the past six years? It could be. Does it mean that our nation is on its way to seeing hope and change? That may be the case. Does it mean that we find ourselves under the gracious blessings of Jesus Christ?

In that last question stands the warning.

The Reformed Presbyterian Testimony wisely warns: “We deny that simply having a democratic or republican form of government insures God’s approval and blessing (RPT 23.10).”

There is great wisdom in this statement.

Over the past decade the United States of America has moved the furthest away from biblical ethics that it has ever been. Although the pendulum swung right again on Tuesday, the Church of Jesus Christ must not allow that to be seen as a victory for biblical Christianity.

It was not.

It was a victory for the Republican Party. Both major parties in the United States have plenty that can be criticized from the Scriptures, and both have aspects that, through God’s providence, reflect “Christian values.” Neither party represents the kingdom of Jesus Christ.

So what is the warning?

The warning, in what National Public Radio called, “not a Republican wave, but a tsunami”, is found in putting the church’s hope in either donkeys or pachyderms. Our hope is only to be found in Jesus Christ, the name “in whom the nations will put their hope (Matthew 12:21).”

Neither the kingdom of donkeys nor pachyderms is where our hope ought to lie. The church’s hope is to lie in the Sower who sews in good soil (Matthew 13:8). Our kingdom’s hope is not in images of donkeys nor pachyderms, but of weeds and good seed that grow side by side until the final harvest (Matthew 13:24); and of mustard seeds which will become a tree so the birds of the air will come and make nests in its branches (Matthew 13:32); and of a measure of flour which will leaven all (Matthew 13:33); and of hidden treasures (Matthew 13:44); and of the pearl of great price (Matthew 13:44); and of the net that gathers many fishes (Matthew 13:47); and of treasures new and old (Matthew 13:51).

These are the images of hope for our kingdom.

Might we be pleased in Tuesdays results? We might. But in the midst of one’s satisfaction, we must be mindful that this is not our kingdom hope. When we pray “thy kingdom come” we pray not for victories related to donkeys or pachyderms, we pray for the coming of Christ’s kingdom, the kingdom of righteousness.

What do we pray when we pray “thy kingdom come”? We pray “acknowledging ourselves and all mankind to be by nature under the dominion of sin and Satan, we pray that the kingdom of sin and Satan may be destroyed, the gospel propagated throughout the world, the Jews called, the fullness of the Gentiles brought in; the church furnished with all gospel officers and ordinances, purged from corruption, countenanced and maintained by the civil magistrates; that the ordinances of Christ may be purely dispensed, and made effectual to the converting of those that are yet in their sins, and the confirming, comforting, and building up those that are already converted: that Christ would rule in our hearts here, and hasten the time of his second coming, and our reigning with him for ever: and that he would be pleased so to exercise the kingdom of his power in all the world, as may best conduce to these ends. (Westminster Larger Catechism, 191).

Therein is kingdom hope.

We deny that simply having a democratic or republican form of government insures God’s approval and blessing (RPT 23.10). Let us not forget that even though the United States shines a bit more red due to Tuesday’s elections, our labors of eternal value are related to an everlasting kingdom.

May thy kingdom come. May it come in the Sower’s sewing. May it come in good seeds among weeds. May it come in mustard seeds. May it come in a measure of flour. May it come in hidden treasure. May it come in a pearl of great value. May it come in a net full of many fishes. May it come in treasures new and old.

Nathan Eshelman

Nathan Eshelman

Pastor in Orlando, studied at Puritan Reformed Theological & Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminaries. One of the chambermen on the podcast The Jerusalem Chamber. Married to Lydia with 5 children.

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