A Lunar Eclipse, an Election Day, and the Sovereignty of God

I set my alarm this morning over an hour earlier than usual so I could watch the lunar eclipse. As I rubbed the grogginess out of my eyes and staggered into the front yard to find the moon, I saw the glow of a cell phone across the street. My neighbor was also outside watching the moon, and the best line of sight was from his front yard, so I walked over and joined him, setting my telescope next to his camera and tripod. From where we sat, we had a lovely view of the cloud cover obscuring the moon—but we knew the moon was there, because the star finder app said it was there. Was this God’s sense of humor at work?

He covers the face of the full moon
    and spreads over it his cloud. —Job 26:9

Now and then there was a break in the clouds and we gazed in awe at the red moon, with the tiniest arc of light growing on the upper edge as the shadow of the earth passed across its face. I wondered aloud what the ancients must have thought when seeing such celestial changes in the night. A blood-red moon may have inspired fear among the ancient pagans, but for king David, the sight would have inspired worshipful humility.

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
    the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
    and the son of man that you care for him? —Psalm 8:3–4

Seeing the marvels of creation and knowing not only that they are ordered and sustained by the hand of the God who upholds the universe (Col. 1:16–17), but also that this same God was pleased to look upon a wretch such as me with love, and reconcile me to himself by the blood of his Son on the cross (1:20), leaves me gasping with wonder. Who am I indeed that this mighty Creator is mindful of me. . . that he cares for me? At times, it’s so hard to believe—but I know it’s true because the Bible tells me so.

This wonder flows through my mind and heart into the blessed assurance that in Christ I am secure regardless of the circumstances around me. I can therefore rest in his sovereign care, humbly living where he has planted me, enjoying the freedoms and performing the responsibilities and privileges as a neighbor and a citizen of my country without anxiety—because God himself, the Creator of the rolling spheres, cares for me (1 Pet. 5:6–7). And this freedom from anxiety enables me to turn from my worshipful wonder of the Lord, to loving my neighbors with an open heart.

Today is election day in America, and when I went to vote this morning I stood in line with the wife of the neighbor with whom I’d watched the eclipse only an hour earlier. Our friendship with these neighbors has been a gift from God since we moved to the neighborhood a couple of years ago, and we love them dearly. We love these people even though I’m rather confident we voted differently in the last presidential election. Casting our ballots for different candidates is no reason to divide us because they too are blood-bought children of God. We are brothers and sisters in Christ and that is the basis of our relationship.

But even if we did not share in the fellowship of the saints, and for all our neighbors who aren’t Christians, because God is sovereign, I can still love others well. Even if we don’t share in the peace that comes only through Christ, as far as it depends on me, I can live peaceably with all my neighbors (Rom. 12:18). For I know that there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God (Rom. 13:1). I can therefore vote my conscience and not worry or be divisive if my neighbors’ conscience moves them to vote differently from me. The “vote” that will carry the day has been sovereignly ordained by God, and his purposes, in the grand tapestry of his providence, will prevail.

Carried along by the Holy Spirit, Isaiah expressed it best when he wrote:

Do you not know? Do you not hear?
    Has it not been told you from the beginning?
    Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?
It is he who sits above the circle of the earth,
    and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers;
who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
    and spreads them like a tent to dwell in;
who brings princes to nothing,
    and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness.

Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown,
    scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth,
when he blows on them, and they wither,
    and the tempest carries them off like stubble. —Isaiah 40:21–24

There is coming a day when the Creator and Ruler of the cosmos will return to make right every wrong, and to remake his entire creation. On that day, every knee will bow before him and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Phil. 2:10–11). And in this, my friends, is where I place my ultimate hope. Regardless of the outcome of today’s election, I pray that tomorrow and every day the posture of both my and my neighbors’ hearts will humbly be:

Crown him the Lord of years,
The Potentate of time,
Creator of the rolling spheres,
Ineffably sublime.
All hail, Redeemer, hail!
For thou has died for me;
Thy praise and glory shall not fail
Throughout eternity.[1]


[1] Crown him with many crowns, hymn written by Matthew Bridges (1800–1894)

2 thoughts on “A Lunar Eclipse, an Election Day, and the Sovereignty of God

  1. Good morning. So enjoyed your thoughts today. I always get new joy when I see a new posting from you. God is so good . Carole
    Sent from my iPad
    >

    Like

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