The elections are upon us and each of us has the responsibility and privilege of voting for our next president. There are campaign stickers and slogans hanging on the Tree of Knowledge, twinkling in the breeze like Christmas bulbs, each vying for a human eye, an American vote. There are people underneath the Tree of Knowledge holding microphones, each claiming to be a friend to the Christian or maybe even claiming to be a Christian himself, each tickling our ears like wind chimes, offering us the message they hope we want to hear.
And so the Christian is tempted to gather there, under the Tree of Knowledge, and watch the twinkling bulbs and listen to the wind chimes and choose the fruit we will eat in the next four years. After all, so many of our Christian friends are there, watching, listening, choosing.
Will you take a walk with me? Over here, to the Tree of Life. The heart of God beats there and in the stillness you can see God looking down on our globe, peering down on the nations at war, his ear listening to the counsel of national leaders, and especially his heart recognizing those who are his–and those who choose otherwise.
Can we see all the big talk from national leaders and the USA campaign slogans and elections as God sees them from this Tree of Life? Eugene Peterson pens it well in Psalm 2 of The Message:
1-6 Why the big noise, nations? Why the mean plots, peoples? Earth-leaders push for position, Demagogues and delegates meet for summit talks, The God-deniers, the Messiah-defiers: “Let’s get free of God! Cast loose from Messiah!” Heaven-throned God breaks out laughing. At first he’s amused at their presumption; Then he gets good and angry. Furiously, he shuts them up: “Don’t you know there’s a King in Zion? A coronation banquet Is spread for him on the holy summit.”
7-9 Let me tell you what God said next. He said, “You’re my son, And today is your birthday. What do you want? Name it: Nations as a present? continents as a prize? You can command them all to dance for you, Or throw them out with tomorrow’s trash.”
10-12 So, rebel-kings, use your heads; Upstart-judges, learn your lesson: Worship God in adoring embrace, Celebrate in trembling awe. Kiss Messiah! Your very lives are in danger, you know; His anger is about to explode, But if you make a run for God—you won’t regret it!
So let’s do that now–make a run for God! Make a run for the Tree of Life and find refuge in every word that falls from the mouth of the Almighty. While the rest of the world is getting to know the candidates, let’s be the mighty band of God-lovers who return to God and get to know the King he has chosen. Let all of our decisions, votes, and choices be cast from the shade and refuge of the Tree of Life.
Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God. (Revelation 2:7)
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. 3 (Revelation 22:1,2)