The results are in. So what now?

The votes have been counted and the government is in. The UK has elected a Conservative majority government and the people of Scotland have overwhelmingly voted Scottish Nationalist. The Labour party are coming to terms with a woeful performance that saw the loss of several big beasts and the obliteration of their presence in Scotland. The Liberal Democrats – the biggest losers on the night – are dealing with the near annihilation of their nationwide support. The election was not nearly as close as anybody predicted and we have seen the resignation of, not one but, three party leaders.

Whether you voted Conservative, Labour, SNP or the ominously labelled ‘other’, we must all face this question: what do we do now? Whether you are pleased or despondent, here are three things to bear in mind.

We must pray for our leaders

You don’t have to like them, you don’t have to agree with them and you certainly didn’t have to vote for them. What the Bible does insist we do is pray for them (1 Tim 2:1-3; Jer 29:7). Even [insert most hated party here] are capable of making right decisions some of the time. Even [insert most hated party here] can work for the good of the people some of the time. Where [insert most hated party here] do not appear to be working in the best interests of all the people, or appear to be pressing ahead with whatever folly we wish they wouldn’t, surely that is all the more reason to pray for them! Let’s remember -whether we are in favour or not – to bring our leaders before the Lord in prayer.

God is still sovereign

Indeed, what would be the point of praying otherwise? Scripture is clear that God is the one who sets and removes leaders (Dan 2:21) and they are ultimately under his control (Jn 19:10fRom 13:1). God has established the leaders we have and put them in place. 

Romans 13:4, 6 go further still and tell us – even in the face of what appears to be the case – governments are God’s ministers for good. Before we cast this off as trite nonsense and begin getting het up by all the terrible things we know [insert hated party here] are going to do, let’s remember Paul was no stranger to the less amicable face of government. Nor was he so stupid as to ignore history (especially recent history of Antiochus IV Epiphanes). Paul wasn’t being trite. He recognised rulers are put in place by God and work only according to his sovereign will. No matter how terrible they may seem at times, they generally seek to work for the good of the people and – even where they do not – are only permitted in such action because it serves the ultimate, sovereign purposes of God.

Government is fleeting

The book of Daniel is dedicated to these twin truths: (1) God is in control; (2) all kingdoms and rulers are fleeting. No matter how powerful (or bad) kings and rulers may appear, they are here today and gone tomorrow (or, here today and gone in five years).

Whether we see the next 5 years as a trial to be endured or a blessing from Heaven, it is so because God said it would be. In 5 years time, we will have new leaders and a new government which will be viewed in the same way. In each case, they are there because God put them there. What is for sure is they will not be there forever. We either see this as a time of blessing on our country or one to be worked through. However we see it, it is not forever. God sets the rulers but he also removes them too.