Why You Should Vote


Charles Mann Via Getty Images

As you are painfully aware, this is an election year. That means we have the opportunity to vote for those who will represent us in federal, state, and local offices. This year the presidential election has been especially contentious and it seems there is a widespread discontent with the candidates that we have to choose from in the two major parties. I have heard many people say that they are not going to vote this year. I want to share several reasons from Scripture that indicate why you should vote.

Most people don’t think of the Bible as being a good reference for the need to vote in an election—but there is much more in the Word of God on this matter than you may realize. Let’s think first about the example of Moses. Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, noticed that all who had any kind of problem or grievance were lining up to talk to Moses about it. It was a load that he could not handle by himself. Jethro gave Moses some good counsel on the matter. He said that wise and experienced men should be appointed as “leaders of thousands, and of hundreds, and of fifties, and of tens, and officers for your tribes.”

In Deuteronomy 1:13 we see the instruction that Moses gave to the people based on Jethro’s advice. “Choose wise and discerning and experienced men from your tribes, and I will appoint them as your heads.” So early in the history of Israel the people were given the responsibility to choose those men who would represent them in their government.

This is not the only place that the Old Testament speaks of the people of Israel choosing their ruler. The first king of Israel was Saul. God led the prophet Samuel to privately anoint Saul to be the next king. Then Saul went back home and took care of the family farm. It was not until the people actually choose Saul that he began to reign as king. The same thing happened with David who was the second king of Israel. Because of Saul’s sin, the Lord rejected Saul as king and led Samuel to privately anoint David as the next king. But Saul continued to reign. David did not reign as king until Saul died. But even then, it was not until the people choose him to be their king. It actually took seven years from the time David began to rule in Judah that the other tribes of Israel voted for David to be their king.

Samuel Rutherford wrote a book in 1644 entitled Lex Rex. This book proved to be very influential on the American colonists as they were deciding what their new government would look like. In his book Rutherford deals with multiple principles from the Word of God regarding civil government. One of those principles is that the people should choose their civil magistrates. Based on the Scripture he made this important observation, “No man can officially be a legal ruler without the choice of the people.” That is a biblical principle.

It would also be helpful for you to know that Deuteronomy 1:13 has a very significant place in our nation’s history. On May 31, 1638, Reverend Thomas Hooker preached a sermon on these verses in Hartford, Connecticut. In that sermon he spoke of a number of foundational principles that pertain to biblical civil government. Men from several nearby towns heard the sermon and were greatly helped by it. Drawing largely from the principles Rev. Hooker pointed out, the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut was written and accepted. This has been called the first written constitution in the history of nations and it had a significant influence on the United States Constitution.

Moses’ instructions to choose your leaders, fits well with Jesus’ command to “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” Because biblical principles of government were so influential to the American founding fathers, we have been given the responsibility to choose our leaders. So that means that one of the ways we can honor God in our citizenship is to vote.