From the Heart

Do You Love the People - All the People?


Here is some guidance from the Hebrew scriptures on how to vote.

Deuteronomy 16:18-20, 17:14-20

Appoint judges and officials for each of your tribes in every town the Lord your God is giving you, and they shall judge the people fairly. Do not pervert justice or show partiality. Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the innocent. Follow justice and justice alone, so that you may live and possess the land the Lord your God is giving you.
The bottom line was that Israel, in choosing its leaders, was to find people who would not oppress them or practice the same old business as usual, greedy rulers acquiring wealth and wives for themselves.

When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you and have taken possession of it and settled in it, and you say, “Let us set a king over us like all the nations around us,” be sure to appoint over you a king the Lord your God chooses. He must be from among your fellow Israelites. Do not place a foreigner over you, one who is not an Israelite. The king, moreover, must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself or make the people return to Egypt to get more of them, for the Lord has told you, “You are not to go back that way again.” He must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray. He must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold.

When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the Levitical priests. It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the Lord his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees and not consider himself better than his fellow Israelites and turn from the law to the right or to the left. Then he and his descendants will reign a long time over his kingdom in Israel.

Judges were to be just.

Kings were to be fellow countrymen - citizens with a governing function.

That was the reason for appointing one of their own, a former slave, a leader with the best interests of the people at heart.

It was not about some since of ethnic superiority. The king was to be a man who loved God and loved the people.

I have never heard anyone asked, in a presidential debate, "Can you tell me about your love for the people you want to serve?"

What about such a platform? "I love the people. I love all the people. I am their servant and will continue to love them and act on their behalf."

How will we believe such candidates?

We will listen to their words and we will watch their lives.

Can the principles of that specific situational advise be applied to our times and circumstances? How do we find the transferable concepts and practice them?

We are always being called to read, analyze, and do theological reflection on our times. That is what ordinary, every day theologians do. Not to do some keeps us wading in the shallow, mucky water of knee-jerkiness where we miss our divine appointments and fail to capture the meaning of the moment.
'' And the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and to test him they asked him to show them a sign from heaven. He answered them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.” So he left them and departed.'' (Matthew 16:1-4 ESV)

Public service is both public and service. It is a service that we do for the public, the people.

Absent of love, it is very difficult.