The presidential election of 2020 was one of the most contested in American history.
Nearly everyone was following the polling data to see how their candidate was doing, especially in battleground states.
Polls are determined by probability estimated from sample data. In other words polls are based on the mathematical likelihood, or percentage, of a future event becoming reality.
But considering God’s sovereignty, how significant are polls?
In Israel’s history, appointments were made by casting lots, or a direct naming of the appointed by God. Consider the example of Jonah.
“And they said to one another, ‘Come, let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this trouble has come upon us.’ So they cast lots, and the lot fell on Jonah.” Jonah 1:7
Now before we conclude that there was ‘chance’ involved, let’s see how Solomon explained the casting of lots.
“The lot is cast…but its every decision is from the LORD.” Proverbs 16:33
The Hebrew for ‘lot’ means ‘destiny.’ The Hebrew for ‘decision’ has several interesting synonyms including ‘judgment, justice, right,’ and/or ‘law.’
A good example of casting lots is found in the New Testament when the replacement for Judas was chosen.
“And they (apostles) proposed two: Joseph called Barsabas…and Matthias. And they prayed and said, ‘You, O Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which of these two You have chosen to take part in this ministry…’
And they cast lots, and the lot fell on Matthias. And he was numbered with the eleven apostles.” Acts 1:23-25
Just before Israel crossed over the Jordan to enter the Promised Land, God told Moses that the day would come when the Israelites would want a king to rule over them.
“When you come to the land which the LORD your God is giving you…you will say, ‘I will set a king over me like all the nations that are around me,’ you shall surely set a king over you whom the LORD your God chooses…” Deuteronomy 17:14-15
And sure enough, 450 years later, after the time of the judges, the Israelites wanted a king.
God said to Samuel:
“‘Tomorrow about this time I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin, and you shall anoint him commander over My people Israel’…So when Samuel saw Saul, the LORD said to him, ‘There he is, the man of whom I spoke to you.’” 1 Samuel 9:16-17
Approximately 450 years after that an angel confirmed to Nebuchadnezzar that God appointed all rulers.
“…the Most High rules in the kingdom of men; Gives it to whomever He will, and sets over it the lowest (basest) of men.” Daniel 4:17b
Paul in the New Testament confirmed God’s sovereignty in appointing government officials.
“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.” Romans 13:1-2
Then many will try to reconcile God’s sovereignty with the will of the people via the voting process.
Paul also explains that phenomena.
“…for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13
The Greek word for ‘works’ in the verse is energeo with synonyms including ‘achieve, prevail, perform, execute, and accomplish.’
The Greek word for ‘will’ in this verse is thelo meaning ‘to purpose, seeing one’s desire to its execution.’
The writer of Hebrews confirmed Paul’s teaching.
“Now may the God of Peace…make you complete (prepare, equip) in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight…” Hebrews 13:20-21
The unsearchable sovereignty of God is expressed in Isaiah.
“Remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel (purpose, plan) shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure.’” Isaiah 46:9-10