What happens in the halls of national government – for better or for worse – can dictate the future course of America. Along with your fellow Prayer Team members, you are to be constantly and fervently interceding for all the men and women who serve in Congress, for your military leaders in the Pentagon, and for the President of the United States, his cabinet and administration.
“Inside Washington” will equip you to do just that … with reports on the nation’s leaders and the decisions they’re considering … or have already made. We’ll examine the implications for the nation, and call you to specific prayer for those needs.
The changing tide of public opinion
By Dave Ficere
Prior to Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, an overwhelming majority of Americans wanted the United States to stay out of the growing conflict brewing in Europe and Asia, which would later erupt into World War II. With still fresh memories of World War I, 80 percent of Americans opposed any U.S. involvement in the overseas conflicts. All of that changed immediately after December 7, 1941 as Americans did an about-face and prepared for war.
Public opinion is a tricky thing and can – and often does – swing like the pendulum on a Grandfather clock. While that change may happen more quickly in the Internet age, even Jesus was a “victim” of changing public opinion.
Matthew 21:6-9 records Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem when the crowds spread their cloaks and palm branches before him, shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”
Just days later, many of these same admirers, shouted “Crucify him” as Jesus stood before Pilate, accused of blasphemy. Public opinion had shifted from love to hatred in less than one week. A good reminder about the fickleness of public opinion.
So news headlines last week such as ”Americans Say Obama Is Worst President Since World War II,” should come as no surprise. Nearly six years after being elected as the nation’s first African-American leader, President Obama has continued a downward slide in the public’s mind, culminating in the dubious designation as “worst president since World War II.”
People are fickle.
Who can forget Barack Obama’s Election Night victory celebration in Denver, replete with Roman columns, cheering crowds and tears of joy. Many saw this election as a hopeful sign that would mark the beginning of the end to the perceived racial divide in America. The honeymoon period – typically the first 100 days of a new administration – saw presidential approval ratings close to 70 percent and a nation eager to give its new leader a chance.
But now, a new Quinnipiac University survey of more than 1,400 voters, placed the same Barack Obama as the nation’s worst president since World War II, ahead of other contenders such as George W. Bush and Jimmy Carter. In addition, Americans now seem to have buyer’s remorse over re-electing Barack Obama in 2012.
“America would be better off if Republican Mitt Romney had won the 2012 presidential election, 45 percent of voters say, while 38 percent say the country would be worse off,” Quinnipiac noted.
The poll comes as the country counts down the days until the 2014 midterm election. Many commentators and political pundits believe that the Republicans will not only maintain their majority in the House of Representatives, but win control of the Senate from Democrats.
“If Republican candidates across the country perform as well during midterm elections as political forecasters believe they might, their party will be in line to regain its majority in the Senate,” Paul Lewis and Dan Roberts of The Guardian newspaper wrote.
“Such a scenario,” they added, “would be a disaster for President Barack Obama. If Democrats are defeated in November, the White House will be left isolated.”
All of which brings the discussion back to the changing tide of public opinion and shifting sand of popularity, especially when it comes to leaders, be they political or spiritual. While no earthly leader – be it Barack Obama or anyone else – should be compared to Jesus, the changing winds of public opinion serve as a good reminder about the dangers of getting caught up in polls, surveys or the latest societal trends.
Jesus never sought out what was popular, trendy or politically correct. Quite the opposite, he often ruffled feathers and went against the societal norms of his day, instead embracing the higher ideals of his heavenly kingdom. And so should you and I.
In John 12:43, Jesus condemned the religious leaders of his day with the indictment that “they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.” (KJV)
So whether you toil in politics, education, media or some other field, “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness” in all you do. In addition, pray for President Obama, America’s congressmen and women and your state and local leaders as well.
And as you pray, ask God to help them do what’s right, rather than be persuaded and led by the changing winds and shifting sand of public opinion.
Dave Ficere’s articles and writing have been featured in a wide array of media including radio promotions, devotional publications, websites, magazines and newsletters. The owner of his own writing business, Dave is married to Patt and lives in Phoenix, AZ.
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