We Are In A Great Strait

we-are-in-a-great-straitby: Keith Phemister

This upcoming election could possibly be the most important and history altering election of our lifetimes. There can be no doubt that the ramifications from the vote of the American public will effect our children and grandchildren for the entirety of their lives – as well as ours.

If you are like me, you most probably are at times disillusioned by the nominees. I must admit, at times throughout this election year, I have probably been seen mumbling to myself, “I’m not voting this year – I will just save the gas it costs to go to the voting booth.”

Indeed, we are in a great strait. I follow those words which were spoken by David – after he had numbered the people and God had called him on it. We can pick it up here in 2 Samuel 24:10-17 where it says, “And David’s heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the LORD, I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O LORD, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly. For when David was up in the morning, the word of the LORD came unto the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying, Go and say unto David, Thus saith the LORD, I offer thee three things; choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee. So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? or that there be three days’ pestilence in thy land? now advise, and see what answer I shall return to him that sent me. And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let us fall now into the hand of the LORD; for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man. So the LORD sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even to the time appointed: and there died of the people from Dan even to Beersheba seventy thousand men. And when the angel stretched out his hand upon Jerusalem to destroy it, the LORD repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed the people, It is enough: stay now thine hand. And the angel of the LORD was by the threshingplace of Araunah the Jebusite. And David spake unto the LORD when he saw the angel that smote the people, and said, Lo, I have sinned, and I have done wickedly: but these sheep, what have they done? let thine hand, I pray thee, be against me, and against my father’s house.”

Fundamental Baptist Church Alvarado TXDavid had sinned and God called him on it. He offered him three choices to choose from as punishment. David responded, “I am in a great strait…” Now the reason he was in a great strait was because there was not a good choice from which to choose. No choice set before him offered a glaring joy, which would make it an easy choice.

I find, for me anyways, that the great battle in the Christian life is not a choice of right or wrong, but of good, better or best. Someone wisely said, “Good, better, best. Never let it rest. Until your good is better and your better is best.” Just look at Mary and Martha as our Lord came for a visit. Martha was cumbered about much serving, but Mary sat at the feet of Jesus and heard His Word. The Lord commended Martha for her serving, but at the same time taught her that “one thing was more needful” and Mary was doing just that, sitting at Jesus’ feet and hearing the Word. What Martha was doing was good, but what Mary was doing was better.

Going to a ball game may be in some ways a good thing, but when one goes to a ball game on Sunday and misses church, they have given way to a better and best thing. They have in effect made the good thing a bad thing.

I have tried as a pastor to keep the main thing the main thing. Soul winning has got to be center stage because it is the best thing. Fellowships are good and needy, I agree; however, I am finding in our circles that we have become so conference saturated perhaps that we have sacrificed the best thing for a good thing. Mind you, I am not against conferences held by good churches, but it seems there are so many coming across my desk – seeking us leaving the fields of sin and going away from our soul-winning ministries for the sake of a good conference and fellowship, especially on Saturday – a day I claim as the best day for soul-winning and visitation. It is my opinion, that many have given way to a good thing at the sake of a better. We must constantly be on the lookout for decisions that involve good, better and best and choose the better or best instead of the good.

On the other hand, like David himself encountered, there are occasions when we must make decisions that are not good, better or best, but bad, worse and worst. May I parallel David’s plight with America’s plight as the election day approaches. I don’t believe we have a perfect candidate, but neither will I let that thought keep me from doing my duty on election day. There must be wisdom as we go to the voting booth. Someone will be elected President in just a few days. America will have spoken and a new President-Elect will be upon us.

According to the Washington Post, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is already the winner in the November presidential elections. The Post says that “Clinton is ahead in nearly all of the key battleground states” where her campaign has directed the most resources, according to many recent polls…

I have heard all too often that since we do not have a godly candidate we need to cast a write-in vote or not vote at all. After all, they say – a deliberate choice to not vote is a vote in and of itself. Think of the logic here: As a Christian, we can’t vote for Trump because he is such an ungodly man, so by throwing a vote away either by not voting or voting for someone who can’t win, we are voting for an even more ungodly candidate, who will delightfully take away our Christian liberties in a New Hampshire minute! May I tenderly say that if one votes for Hilary Clinton, one is deluded, and that is terming it nicely. How can a Christian vote for someone who votes for the murder of innocent babies, or for the gay rights agenda, or for one who hates Israel and shows a disdain for born-again Christians? I certainly hear those who say they cannot vote for a candidate such as Trump. Believe me, I get it! But God has used ungodly men as leaders before and he can do it again. I am not voting for Mr. Trump for the pastor of a church or even as a Sunday School teacher.

November is not far off. Only the Lord knows the outcome of the elections. He will allow that which will further fulfill His prophetic Word. He is always in control. But while it seems we may not have a good choice as candidate for President, we do have a choice. If indeed it is choice of bad, worse and worst as it seems – let us use wisdom in selecting the bad choice, and in doing so – making a good choice.

Samuel Adams made a great statement many years ago. He said this, “Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote…that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.” Indeed, voting is both a privilege and a high responsibility.

As Christians, I believe we should be looking at the candidate’s platforms. The platforms in this election cycle are clearly opposite. One platform is for abortion, same sex marriage, open borders, illegal immigration, bigger government, freedom from religion. The other platform is against abortion, same sex marriage, illegal immigration, open borders and is for smaller government.

It is abundantly clear that very innocent people paid for the backslidden condition of their leader, King David. It should be abundantly clear to all of us that we too could pay – for the unwise selection of the next POTUS – by either not voting or by casting a vote for a write-in candidate. May we all seek the Lord as we go to the voting booth on November 8 and help decide America’s direction and future.

As David made the decision, he made the decision to be in God’s hands and not man’s. I am thankful for one thing – the the Lord is in control. No matter what happens on November 8th, I rest knowing who holds tomorrow! Brethren, we are in a great strait!

Keith Phemister
Lighthouse Baptist Church
Hudson, NH