The Statesman as Instrument in the Hand of GodDownload a PDF of this essay
The challenges we face are daunting. On the surface, the obstacles are insurmountable. A similar challenge was faced in my nation a century and a half ago. We, in the U.S., had a Civil War that split the nation into irreconcilable factions, seemingly ending this as a unified nation. The man who attempted to solve this was Abraham Lincoln. I believe the key to his success was the heart attitude he expressed on different occasions:
In the very responsible position in which I happen to be placed, being a humble instrument in the hands of our Heavenly Father, as I am.
I hold myself in my present position and with the authority vested in me as an instrument of Providence.
He viewed himself as an instrument in the hands of Almighty God. When I hear those words, I think of the surgeon holding the scalpel – the surgical knife. In considering this analogy, one recognizes that it is not the scalpel that is so important but rather the hand holding it. The instrument does not do anything on its own, but makes itself dependent upon the hand holding it. When the surgery is completed, it is the hand that receives the acclaim, not the knife. At the same time, if anything goes wrong, it is the hand that receives the criticism. This is the challenge to the one who has a need to feel important. I believe there is no more critical area in which to be God’s instrument than in Government, especially in building a nation to become the place where all are blessed as God intends. God’s intent is clear that we are to be God’s instrument. Part of the mechanism for being guided by His hand is made clear within His instruction for the first Head of Government:
When he is seated on his royal throne, he is to write a copy of this instruction for himself on a scroll in the presence of the Levitical priests. It is to remain with him, and he is to read from it all the days of his life, so that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to observe all the words of this instruction, and to do these statutes. Then his heart will not be exalted above his countrymen, he will not turn from this command to the right or the left (Deuteronomy 17:18-20).
Each is to immerse in God’s instructions that they first write out in their own hand for their own personal use, and then to meditate on daily. This is fascinating in an age when traditional thinking calls for ‘separation of Church and State.’ The Head of Government, and presumably all officials operating under delegated authority from the Head of Government, are to write out the Law of God, from the Bible. This group is the only one I know of which is asked to write the Law of God for their personal use. I, as a Bible teacher, am not even asked to do this and no other group than Government decision-makers is identified as required by our Creator to do that. Furthermore, this reminds us of just how important Government decision-makers are in God’s plan and of His plan for them to be His instruments.
King David elaborated on his understanding:
He [God] leads the humble in what is right and teaches them His way (Psalms 25:9).
As we seek Him, He assures us:
You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart (Jeremiah 29:13).
The mindset required is described by God in these words:
Mankind, He has told you what is good and what it is the LORD requires of you: to act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8).
As we seek to be His instrument, He facilitates this in several ways. He speaks to us:
Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and incomprehensible things you do not know (Jeremiah 33:3).
Then, we have the example of how God would behave as a human being through Jesus. Jesus is referred to as Emmanuel, which means ‘God with us’. Hence, an essential component of becoming God’s instrument involves studying the life of Jesus, then seeking to emulate His life, always asking “What would Jesus do if He were making this decision instead of me?” If, in every decision I make, I were to ask “What would Jesus do if He were making this decision instead of me?”, who would in reality be living my life. It would mean Jesus living through me. In actuality, it means allowing Jesus to live His life through us, as expressed by His servant Paul:
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me (Galatians 2:19-20).
Returning to the analogy with the surgeon holding the scalpel, the surgeon is dependent upon the scalpel responding exactly as he intends. The scalpel is rigid and inflexible so that THE INSTRUMENT perfectly carries out the will of the hand of the surgeon. Anything less would likely spell disaster. In the same way, we must respond perfectly and quickly to His will. When we do not view ourselves as His instrument and respond accordingly, we risk great damage to our people.
As we carry the analogy of the surgeon and the scalpel a step further, we recognize that the care our Heavenly Father for those who serve Him as His instrument far surpasses that of the surgeon. Our Heavenly Father does not use His instruments up and then throw them away. He reminds us:
I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, I have continued to extend faithful love to you (Jeremiah 31:3).
There is no more satisfying place to be than in His loving hand as His instrument.