Donald, you're fired

Will he, or won't he? Will he finally give up and graciously admit defeat or will he continue to undermine the foundations of American democracy by continuing to stoke up political and racial tensions?

As I write I'm tempted to think that the current US president will continue to deny 'Sleepy Joe' his well-earned victory and do his best to ride a tidal wave of discontent into a Trumpian future. My guess is that he hopes to return in electoral glory once again in 2024. But if I'm right I get the feeling 'Sleepy Joe' will get very little shut-eye and the United States' tarnished reputation will continue to deteriorate over the next few years.

Just as importantly, I'm wondering how Mr Trump's enthusiastic evangelical base will respond to his electoral defeat. How will those who have seen him as a modern-day Cyrus, for example, react to the sobering truth that the Lord seems to have answered their prayers with a resounding 'Donald, you're fired'.

I'm obviously no fan of the current incumbent of the White House but as I've said before, I am no 'Biden Buddy' either. I simply try to understand life, especially political life, from a Christian perspective and so I have come to the reasonable conclusion that God has obviously allowed Mr Trump to be given his marching orders. I have to believe this, otherwise I would have to conclude that those who are said to have 'highjacked' the voting process have been able to frustrate His wishes as well!

Now I perfectly understand why his Christian supporters have come to see him as some kind of modern king Cyrus. We read of Cyrus In the forty fifth chapter of the book of the prophet Isaiah, where we see God describing a pagan Persian ruler as His 'anointed', the one who was going to restore His peoples' fortunes and allow them to return to their homeland following decades of distressing exile.

As I've argued previously, I've been persuaded that the strong evangelical support for Trump reflects a nostalgic longing for a Christian culture that has long been discarded, and as a result it has developed an unhealthy dependence on the state in the hope it can restore it.

I share their rightful concern for such distressing issues as abortion of course, but it seems to me that those who turn to Isaiah to argue their support for Donald Trump need to remember that the very same prophet advised his people to keep their political leaders in proper perspective. They come and go, he seemed to say; no sooner are they strutting across the stage of history than they are providing copy for the obituary columns. This is how he puts it:

"God sits above the circle of the earth.

The people below seem like grasshoppers to him!

He spreads out the heavens like a curtain

and makes his tent from them.

He judges the great people of the world

and brings them all to nothing.

They hardly get started, barely taking root,

when he blows on them and they wither.

The wind carries them off like chaff."

This is why God's people make a big mistake whenever they put their trust in earthly powers, no matter how appealing it might seem at the time. As the children of Israel discovered, God can allow His people to go through some pretty tough times and they may even seem to be on the back foot on occasion. But they are called to hold fast to what they believe in the confident assurance that they cannot lose because Jesus is Lord.

For the earliest Christians, as for many today, this can mean living as a despised and even persecuted minority, but as the prophet Isaiah would say, "We have good news. Our God reigns."

Mr Trump may be finding it difficult to come to terms with the fact that he's been 'fired' but I can think of another 'anointed one' who was rejected. His reactions were determined by a conviction that "it was the Lord's will to crush him and cause him to suffer" (Isaiah 53), which is why for Him humiliation was a prelude to exaltation. His trust is an example to us and clearly shows us how we should behave when things don't go the way we would like them to.

And because of this, Christians can move on in the certain knowledge that the God who raised up a Persian king in the sixth century BC is the same God who raised His Son from the dead. But unlike Cyrus, He will reign for ever and ever.

Rob James is a Baptist minister, writer and church and media consultant to the Evangelical Alliance Wales. He is the author of Little Thoughts About a Big God.

Views and opinions published in Christian Today are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the website.