The Statesman Has a Vision for Making Our Nations Better Than We Found ThemDownload a PDF of this essay
A former President of Columbia University commented:
Our world is made up of three kinds of people: the few who make things happen, the many who watch things happen, and the great majority who have no idea what is happening. 1
We cannot rely on the latter to improve the health of our societies. Hence, we should not place the reins of leadership into their hands. King Solomon said it bluntly:
“Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18).
Jesus warned us against the danger of allowing the ignorant to lead:
“They are blind guides. And if the blind guide the blind, both will fall into a pit” (Matthew 15:14).
We cannot afford leadership that lacks vision. But where does vision come from? Here, I believe the genius of the statesman is to understand that there is a God who has established a plan for mankind that is unchanging and that we as human beings can participate in. God gives us insights into His plan:
[God:] I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and no one is like Me. I declare the end from the beginning, and from long ago what is not yet done, saying: My plan will take place, and I will do all My will. I will call a bird of prey from the east, a man for My purpose from a far country. Yes, I have spoken; so I will also bring it about. I have planned it; I will also do it. (Isaiah 46:9-11)
[God:] I have loved you with an everlasting love… (Jeremiah 31:3)
[God:] For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)
The goal of the Statesman is to move us closer to the picture that our Creator paints of His intended plan for His creation.
God describes several distinct aspects of His planning and implementation: (1) God has designed a plan.
- His plan is for well-being.
- He makes known His plan.
- He implements His plan.
- His plan allows us the privilege of being His hands and feet in implementing His purposes.
It is God’s everlasting plan that is the basis for the direction for the nation ― a plan that God desires to make known to willing leaders. How do we gain access to this plan? Can we know it by ourselves? As God has told us:
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not My ways.” This is the LORD’s declaration. “For as heaven is higher than earth, so My ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9).
Our own ingenuity will not reveal to us God’s plan. We cannot intuitively know His mind or His plans. He must reveal them to us. And we must allow Him to do so.
[God] guides the humble in what is right and teaches them His way…. Who, then, is the man that fears the LORD? He (God) will instruct him in the way chosen for him…. The LORD confides in those who fear Him; He makes His covenant known to them. (Psalms 25:9,12,14)
The genius of the true leader is that he/she has the capacity to think long-range based upon the knowledge that God has a long-range plan that He gladly reveals to those who seek Him.
[God] reveals mysteries from the darkness and brings the deepest darkness into the light. (Job 12:22)
Daniel explained to one of the most powerful rulers of all time God’s revelation to man:
He (God) reveals the deep and hidden things; … there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and He has let King Nebuchadnezzar know what will happen in the last days. Your dream and the visions that came into your mind as you lay in bed were these:…(Daniel 2:22-28)
[Of God:] He is here: the One who forms the mountains, creates the wind, and reveals His thoughts to man, the One who makes the dawn out of darkness and strides on the heights of the earth. Yahweh, the God of Hosts, is His name. (Amos 4:13)
[God:] I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them… (Isaiah 42:16)
A corollary of this is that the Statesman sees possibility where the politician sees only impossibility. All things are possible when we operate according to His plan:
[Jesus:] With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26)
I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)
Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass. (1 Thessalonians 5:24)
Hence, the individual who would be God’s instrument in the life of a nation and its people must aggressively seek to understand God’s plan. As King Solomon concluded:
The fear of God is the beginning of (literally, the basis for) wisdom. (Psalms 111:10).