By John Sykes
Not long ago I decided to find recommendations on choosing politicians. It didn’t take long to come up with Exodus 18:21 which says:
…select capable men from all the people--men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain…
Most of our politicians will claim all the underlined traits which are really pretty straightforward. And I think defining those traits is relatively simple.
Concentrate on the “fear God” part.
It would seem to be the singular trait that in fact controls the other traits, that dictates the tenor of your candidate’s career. If your politician doesn’t “fear God”, it’s far to easy to get burned in Washington’s bubbling cauldron of power, envy, and loss of self.
If he doesn’t “fear God”, who will be his new idol? Himself or DC? The choice really doesn’t make much difference. You’ll have lost a decent man into the maw of our political cesspool.
Far more eloquent on “fear God” is the great man of God, Alexander Maclaren, as he preached the The Ideal Statesmen on the occasion of Mr. Gladstone's death:
'Such as fear God'—there is the secret of strength, not merely in reference to the intellectual powers which are not dependent for their origin, though they may be for the health and vigour of their work, upon any religious sentiment, but in regard to all true power. He that would govern others must first be lord of himself, and he only is lord of himself who is consciously and habitually the servant of God. So that whatever natural endowment we start with, it must be heightened, purified, deepened, enlarged, by the presence in our lives of a deep and vital religious conviction. That is true about all men, leaders and led, large and small. That is the bottom- heat in the greenhouse, as it were, that will make riper and sweeter all the fruits which are the natural result of natural capacities. That is the amulet and the charm which will keep a man from the temptations incident to his position and the weaknesses incident to his character. The fear of God underlies the noblest lives. That is not to-day's theory. We are familiar with the fact, and familiar with the doctrine formulated out of it, that there may be men of strong and noble lives and great leaders in many a department of human activity without any reference to the Unseen. Yes, there may be, but they are all fragments, and the complete man comes only when the fear of the Lord is guide, leader, impulse, polestar, regulator, corrector, and inspirer of all that he is and all that he does.
Be sure to read the rest of Maclaren’s sermon. He deals with all the traits. I just wish all our future politicians could’ve heard the sermon and would read it now.