In Trump’s inaugural address he made this statement: “…There should be no fear. We are protected and we will always be protected. We will be protected by the great men and women of our military and law enforcement and most importantly, we will be protected by God.” The psalmist says, “Some trust in chariots and some in horse, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God” (Ps. 22:7). President Trump apparently believes we should trust in both.
Charitably we can recognize that at least he acknowledges that “most importantly” protection comes from God. History is littered with examples of leaders whose overconfidence in their military’s ability to protect, defend, and conquer resulted in tragic results. The most notable example from my life being the 2003 invasion of Iraq where President Bush and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld decided a slimmed down force would suffice to conquer and secure the large nation of Iraq. Certainly U.S. forces achieved the overthrow of Saddam Hussein but the failure to provide enough “boots on the ground” to achieve the other goals resulted in a tragedy that continues to this day. Trump’s words appear to echo the sentiment of Proverbs 21:31, “The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the Lord.” … But isn’t there something presumptuous in saying “we will be protected by God”? Oh Lord, I pray that you will in your omnipotence and love and mercy and grace continue to bestow your divine protection on our nation and that you will guide me in my decision making as I lead America’s military to make wise steps in ensuring that protection, knowing ultimately that regardless of what decisions I make it is only by your decree that this country remains safe. Instead, President Trump’s statement sounds like a prophetic decree declaring what the Lord of the universe will always do. Such things ought not to be.
As I have wandered the internet in search of various commentaries from people on the right and left regarding this most unexpected turn of events, the election of Donald J. Trump, it has been a great encouragement to see the Christian community, many of whom have a bad taste in their mouth regarding “President Trump,” declaring their commitment to pray for him as they faithfully prayed for Barack Obama over the past 8 years. It is highly presumptuous, disturbingly so, to declare what God is and is not going to do (unless in clear agreement with His word), but may God hear the prayers of his people, forgive their sins and the sins of the nation, may he pay attention, may he act in continuing to provide his gracious protection for the United States and his wise counsel to Donald Trump, so that we may live a godly and dignified life. But whether protection and safety endures or not may Christ’s Church trust not in horses, nor chariots nor the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, but in God our Savior.