The Statesman Learns to Cry Out to GodDownload a PDF of this essay
The Statesman is first and foremost a leader drawn out of the community to serve the people in achieving the well-being our Creator designed for the people. The Statesman, remembering who he or she is, then identifies with those he or she is called to serve. Hence, what pains the people will pain the Statesman. God’s instruction manual reminds us what we are to do when we face challenges beyond our human ability, as we inevitably will:
So we called out to Yahweh, the God of our fathers, and the LORD heard our cry and saw our misery, hardship, and oppression (Deuteronomy 26:7).
With full confidence expressed to God:
If disaster comes on us—sword or judgment, pestilence or famine—we will stand before this temple and before You, for Your name is in this temple. We will cry out to You because of our distress, and You will hear and deliver (2 Chronicles 20:9).
How does this apply to Statesmen? Our Creator often employs the metaphor of the shepherd regarding the sheep to describe the governing process:
Wail, you shepherds, and cry out. Roll in the dust, you leaders of the flock (Jeremiah 25:34).
King David, at a time when his very survival was at stake:
The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears, and delivers them from all their troubles (Psalm 34:17).
David could testify that our Lord does hear “and deliver” when we cry out to Him.
One of God’s spokesmen promised:
At that time, when you call, the LORD will answer; when you cry out, He will say, ‘Here I am’ (Isaiah 58:9).
‘Here I am’ — as if He is just waiting to respond when we acknowledge our need, humble ourselves, say we cannot overcome the challenge by ourselves, and ask Him to rescue us.
Once the Statesman learns to be forthright with our Creator, he or she will certainly show tenderness and compassion toward those of the people crying out in turn to him or her. King Solomon, speaking in the third person, describes this corresponding tenderness when he said:
For he will rescue the poor who cry out and the afflicted who have no helper (Psalm 72:12).
King Solomon, elsewhere described the necessity for the Statesman to display the same compassion toward the hurting people as he expects his Creator to show toward him:
The one who shuts his ears to the cry of the poor will himself also call out and not be answered (Proverbs 21:13).
God instructs us that in especially challenging times, we must cry out to God as a nation:
Announce a sacred fast; proclaim an assembly! Gather the elders and all the residents of the land at the house of the LORD your God, and cry out to the LORD (Joel 1:14).
‘Elders’ refers to the societal leaders. There are times when the challenges become so great that the whole nation must stop what it is doing, come together, and cry out to our Lord for help together. When our human efforts are not achieving a solution, and when changing our approach to the problem is not gaining a solution, we reach a point where doubling our effort is nothing short of insanity and we must recognize our need for divine help.
All of this argues for Statesmen working as closely as possible with the One who ultimately reigns over our nations, operating as His human representative on behalf of the people.
We must talk with Him so closely and intimately that when crisis comes, we can immediately approach Him as close Friend, not stranger. Let us deepen our relationship each day, adding our ability to cry out to Him quickly and in expectation whenever challenge should come.
As we do cry out to God, let us be prepared for Him to respond in greater measure than we ask, for He also said:
Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know (Jeremiah 33:3).