The right of national self-determination does not exist in the Bible. Before God nations have neither a right to exist nor a right to liberty. They have no assurance of perpetuity. On the contrary, the lesson of the Bible seems to be that nations are swept away like dead leaves and that occasionally, almost by accident, one might endure rather longer.
Today is a particularly tempting day for American Christians, whether you are electing to vote or not. The temptation is to think that this election will change the course of history, that what happens in the polling booths across America really matters in terms of the direction and meaning of history.
Whether one thinks that they should, as a Christian vote or not, let us not be seduced into believing that the institutional self-maintenance and extension of the apparatus of this particular nation-state is of any sort of ultimate or lasting importance. The truth of the matter is that is that nations have virtually no significance within the drama of God’s salvation of the world.
On this day of fixation, panic, and misplaced confidences, perhaps we would do best to remember the words of the Prophet Isaiah, which call us, not to excessive preoccupation with the state of the nation we sojourn in, but rather in our missional vocation as God’s people:
Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings, lift it up, do not fear; say to the cities of Judah, “Here is your God!” See, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for him; his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. He will feed his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead the mother sheep.
Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance? Who has directed the spirit of the Lord, or as his counselor has instructed him? Whom did he consult for his enlightenment, and who taught him the path of justice? Who taught him knowledge, and showed him the way of understanding? Even the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are accounted as dust on the scales; see, he takes up the isles like fine dust. Lebanon would not provide fuel enough, nor are its animals enough for a burnt offering. All the nations are as nothing before him; they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness.
~ Isaiah 40:10-17