In the middle of the coronavirus crisis, it should not surprise us that in our partisan culture, people are attempting to attribute blame before we are even out of the crisis. Some claim that the government could have done a better job at “prevention” if another Republican was in office or if a Democrat held the seat. Instead of agreeing with this, one commentator has rightly called all of these governmental failures a “bipartisan failure.”
In this crisis, we have learned that man’s desire for self-preservation has made him think that he could function as his own savior by means of hoarding and isolating. And there are many others in society that await a bigger organization to save them: the government. It will be their true savior in this crisis. They’re waiting on the government to uphold the quarantine laws, or to provide the vaccine, or to give the bailouts for business. The attitude being this: “Government has the solutions and only it can save us.” In addition, it does not matter what your political leanings are, all parties have expressed this sentiment in one way, shape, or form.
Political commentator Ben Shapiro critiques government during one of his daily podcasts. He discusses (in more casual language) how government cannot be the savior of mankind in any crisis (see video). He reviews the government’s poor history and failure to protect people regardless of the political party in charge. He shows that government fails at nearly everything and is far from perfect; the government is late on everything, and they don’t do what they are supposed to do. And they will never move with the quickness that the public desires, and will never foresee every future crisis perfectly. It is a false mindset to believe that if only the right people ran government, then everything in the world will be fine and free of problems (see time marker 28:38).
To be fair, government can do many good things in crisis. It helps with monetary support, it can restock supplies, it protects us physically, and and can help with general disaster relief. But I agree with Shapiro on this: government is greatly limited in its power, and it doesn’t matter who is in office. The government cannot foresee every potential problem, pay every debt, or give perfect relief to troubles of society.
If your hope is in the government to function as your final savior, then you will be greatly disappointed. While government can do many good things, it will fail inevitably fail you and everyone else. It will fail to protect, it will fail to pay, it will fail to unify, and it will fail to produce. Government has failed in the past and will fail in many many ways for years to come.
We must approach our views on government sober-mindedly and biblically, and we must put our hope in the right place. This is not an argument to merely take things into our own hands, or to just wait passively without taking any responsibility. Instead, it is a call to look to the God of hope for our security (Rom 15:13). In our wise and biblical living, we need to look to Christ as the ultimate solution and hope for this world (2 Cor 1:10), and we need to live in that truth. We fail in our testimonies if we wait only on government to save us and if only tell others to wait for it too. Instead, we must call them to look to Christ who is the ultimate protector and who has the final say in our spiritual standing before God (Col 1:5, 27; 1 Thess 5:8; 1 Tim 1:1). Christ is the living hope that will never disappoint.
Looking forward, we could still say that this is true: If the right person was in government, then things would be perfect. This statement finds it ultimate fulfillment in the Lord Jesus Christ. King Jesus will place the government on His shoulders and every and every problem will be solved and every wrong will be made right (Isa 9:6; Rev 20:1-6). There is no greater hope than this!
Christian, place your hope in His appearing and in the truth that He is on His way (Titus 2:13; Rev 22:20). This hope for the future will bring a present peace to your heart that will calm your anxiety. If you seek His Kingdom priorities, He guarantees the present provisions for your everyday life (Matt 6:33), there’s no need for sinful panic or fear. God will never forget His people in crisis (Habakkuk 1-3), and He listens to all of their cries for help. He has never lost control.
This hope is available to all who trust in the person and work of Jesus Christ and the Gospel message of salvation for sinners. Hope not in the government, but the God who saves.