The Rev. William Flippin Jr.: God, You Are My Preservation: Thoughts on the Presidential Election

Today, November 6th, we are engaged in the election of Mitt Romney or reelection of our current President, Barack Hussein Obama, Jr. This election has been the most tense and anticipated since I begin watching Presidential elections in 1988. It is a clear divide among American voters and the Presidential candidates.

Which party will come out victorious in this election? All the recent polls indicate that the election will be close, but when it comes to Electoral College, Obama may have an edge over Mitt Romney. The Obama administration may not have put the economy in the fast track but it has certainly saved the nation from a free fall and an economic meltdown. Would the voters think about it for a moment before pressing the lever in the privacy of the voting booth? A new administration in Washington may mean a new direction. The tweaking of a fragile economy could be risky to say the least. Would Americans go for that? These are questions that many Americans are dealing with as we approach this election that clearly shows the diversity and divide of our country. I think about the words and thoughts that are found in the Sixteenth Psalm, of a writer who I believe is David, that can sing in the face of adversity that God is his preservation as found in verses 1-3. Even with those around the writer being captured and slaughtered in death, there is an unwavering faith that God's power is able to preserve him. That is my prayer as we are preparing for the realities of the Presidential elections

In verse ten it concludes "may God preserve him (which He is able to do as being, the Almighty, able to do all things), who has no other refuge in which he has hidden and will hide but Him. Preserve me, O God; i.e. keep me, guard me -- protect me both in body and soul. For in thee do I put my trust? Therefore to thee only do I look for protection and preservation?

How can God preserve African Descent voters during this election cycle?

Our preservation as the writer of the 16th Psalm declared is not hinging upon the election but is in the reminder even when we as a people were disenfranchised believed in a God that heard the cries of oppressed people of faith in changing the tides of political persuasion. We believed that even a President that would go the great length of being political savvy to preserve the union even if that meant to preserve the institution of slavery that God moved this man Abraham Lincoln to write the Emancipation Proclamation.

God has indeed preserved us to be sensitive to the needs of all persons that suffer from injustices.

Psalm 146 says that God is the one "who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets the prisoners free; the LORD opens the eyes of the blind" (vv. 7-8).

This means for us: Justice for the oppressed -- fair treatment for those who have been mistreated shoved aside or ignored; food to the hungry -- access to nourishment, in developing countries and in American inner cities; freedom for prisoners -- both spiritual liberation while incarcerated and work opportunities once released and opening the eyes of the blind -- not only physical healing, but new visions of a better future for us all.

In every time and place, God lifts up the burdened and loves those who are in a right relationship with him. God has special concern for the strangers in our midst and wants to take care of orphans and widows -- those who have no way to provide for themselves. Once again, there are going to be honest disagreements about how best to meet these needs, but the needs themselves are indisputable.

As we embark the end of this long arduous election and even if my preferred candidate President Barack Hussein Obama, Jr. is reelected, I will not get overly elated because I am certain that God is my strength, my preservation and joy.

This reminds me of the story of the three little pigs. Mother pig sent them out; it was time for them to build their own houses. Pig number one built his house of straw. Pig number two built his house with sticks. Pig number three built his house out of bricks. Along came the wolf who demanded entrance into their homes. He wasn't invited or solicited. He just decided that he wanted to come into the lives of the little pigs.

Pig number one protested the advances of the wolf by saying "Not by the hair of my chin-ee-chin-chin." So the wolf huffed and he puffed and blew the straw house down. Pig number one's world had fallen apart, so he hurried over to pig number two's house. The wolf followed him and knocked on the door of the stick house. He said, "Little pig, little pig, let me in." Pig number two protested as the first pig, "Not by the hair of my chin-ee-chin-chin."

So the wolf huffed and puffed and blew his house down. Pig one and pig two went to pig number three's house. Now, pig number three built his house differently than the others. Pig number three built his house of bricks so that it would stand the test of time. The wolf tried to come in and disturb this reality by coming in but the difference in the pig who built his house of bricks stood the test of time. The wolf huffed and puffed and blew and blew but the house remains standing. As African Descent persons we have to know that if we are attached to a straw life, when stuff starts to blow, we're going to crumble. If we are attached to a stick existence, when stuff starts to shake, we are going to fall apart. But if we are part of a brick unshakable kingdom that can recognize God's preservation through history even in the midst of election cycles we can know that the kingdom of God will stand regardless of which Presidential candidate prevails in the election.

If your candidate wins, praise the Lord! If your candidate loses, praise the Lord! If you are excited about the next four years, praise the Lord! If you are worried about what will happen next, praise the Lord! There is nothing that can happen on Election Day that should shift your focus away from giving praise to the God who has created you, redeemed you and sustained you throughout the course of your life.

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