Congratulations to Sen. Obama. His victory last night was an historic moment, further evidence of how far Americans have come in moving beyond the racial divisions of the past. This is good, and should not be underestimated.
It is now our solemn responsibility to pray faithfully and consistently for him, his wife, his family, and his advisor. We must pray for their safety, their wisdom, and their discernment. This is the right thing to do and honors the Lord. As the Apostle Paul teaches so clearly in I Timothy 2:1, “I urge that entreaties, prayers and petitions and thanksgivings be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.”
We must also pray faithfully for the safety of our nation, for the peace of Jerusalem, and for the advancement of freedom and security throughout the world, and particularly in the Middle East. I am very concerned about what the next year to 18 months may hold. Vice President-elect Biden warned us that the world will test this young new president. We must therefore pray for peace while we prepare for war.
I’m paying particular attention this morning to how people in the epicenter are reacting to Sen. Obama’s victory. Leaders in Iran are thrilled since the likelihood of decisive U.S. action to stop Iran’s nuclear weapons program has just dropped dramatically. Leaders in Iraq, by contrast, are trying not to be worried given that the likelihood of rapid withdrawal of U.S. forces has just increased dramatically.
Palestinians seem to be thrilled, since they see Obama as pro-Palestinian and open to dividing Jerusalem and pressuring the Israelis to make further concessions of “land for peace.” Many Israelis feel quite unsettled this morning, concerned that they will be all alone in the Middle East as the U.S. begins to pack up and go home from Iraq. They are also concerned that Obama and his team do not appear to fully understand or appreciate the seriousness of the threat of Radical Islam. Sen. Obama told us during the campaign that Iran was a tiny country that did not pose much of a threat. Israelis are not convinced he will stand with them in a nuclear showdown with Tehran.
A senior political strategist in Israel emailed me last night with this thought: “The State of Israel is now facing the most unfriendly American administration ever….Israel’s will to live will be tested in ways that will not be pretty. Many of Obama’s foreign policy team and Middle East advisors see Israel as the obstacle to peace. And we can not count on Jewish supporters of Obama to have any standing in setting policy in this administration.” A new poll released yesterday also caught my attention: 46% of Israelis would have voted for McCain, while only 34% would have voted for Obama. That tells us something about the concern from Eilat to Haifa and from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem about losing a great friend of Israel and the Jewish people in President Bush to someone who has not indicated convincing support for Israel in the past.
I know many of you are very worried about the direction of our country. I certainly understand this sentiment, but as I wrote yesterday, let us not lose heart. The Lord knew who would win. He allowed it to happen. He has a plan. He has a purpose. And now He is calling us to serve Him faithfully — to do whatever He tells us to do, to go wherever He tells us to go, to say whatever He tells us to say. Now is the time to draw close to Christ, to advance His kingdom, and prepare for His return. He is, after all, the King of kings and the Lord of lords. Now is certainly no time to forget, or to be discouraged.
HEADLINES TO TRACK:
* Iran hails Obama victory
* Prominent Iranian Leader Calls Obama Victory “Positive”
* Obama victory welcomed throughout Islamic world
* Iraqi officials express hope, confidence that Obama won’t withdraw U.S. forces too quickly
* MK Eldad: Israel Now Alone Against Iran’s Nuke Threat
* Israel worried about effect of Obama win on U.S. ties with Iran
* Hamas marks Obama victory by firing 35 rockets at Israel
* Poll: 46% of Israelis would have voted for McCain, only 34%
* Palestinians welcome Obama victory