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Lessons from Wise Rulers

“Now two prostitutes came to the king and stood before him. One of them said, ‘My lord, this woman and I live in the same house. I had a baby while she was there with me. The third day after my child was born, this woman also had a baby. We were alone; there was no one in the house but the two of us.

“During the night this woman’s son died because she lay on him. So she got up in the middle of the night and took my son from my side while your servant was asleep. She put him by her breast and put her dead son by my breast. The next morning, I got up to nurse my son—and he was dead! But when I looked at him closely in the morning light, I saw that it wasn’t the son I had borne.

“The other woman said, ‘No! The living one is my son; the dead one is yours.’

“But the first one insisted, ‘No! The dead one is yours; the living one is mine.’ And so they argued before the king.

“The king said, ‘This one says, ‘My son is alive and your son is dead,’ while that one says, ‘No! Your son is dead and mine is alive.’

“Then the king said, ‘Bring me a sword.’ So they brought a sword for the king. He then gave an order: ‘Cut the living child in two and give half to one and a half to the other.’

“The woman whose son was alive was filled with compassion for her son and said to the king, ‘Please, my lord, give her the living baby! Don’t kill him!’

“But the other said, ‘Neither I nor you shall have him. Cut him in two!’

“Then the king gave his ruling: ‘Give the living baby to the first woman. Do not kill him; she is his mother.’

“When all Israel heard the verdict the king had given, they held the king in awe, because they saw that he had wisdom from God to administer justice” (1 Kings 3:16-28).

This story has been on my mind since it was announced by multiple news sources, including Fox News, that Joe Biden is the president-elect for the 2020 election. It has been a nail-biter of an election and it has riveted the nation. Many prayers were answered with this outcome.

Mr. Trump, at least at the time of me writing this post, has claimed fraudulent votes, instigated recounts and legal battles, and has refused to accept this outcome. Every time he sows distrust about the legality of the election, he is acting like the woman in King Solomon’s story who would prefer to cut the baby in half instead of letting him go.

If we recount election history when the popular votes and electoral college goes to one candidate, a.k.a., the “president-elect,” the person who lost concedes. Conceding is NOT an act of weakness. Conceding is an act of strength. To concede is to say, “I love this country too much to tear it apart because I can’t accept the results. I prefer this country alive in the arms of another than torn apart in death.” Conceding is doing what’s best for the country, opening the opportunity for a new presidential chapter.

Mr. Trump can certainly choose to dig in his heels and run through every legal recourse at his disposal to maintain hold of the presidency. My prediction is if he were to do that, the only true outcome from that path is laying the groundwork for discord, anger, and distrust. He will not win the presidency in the Supreme Court. This is not Bush versus Gore. He can choose to concede and leave the White House with his dignity intact and his head held high, or he can choose to be removed if he refuses to accept the outcome.

My fervent prayer is that Mr. Trump will consider the lesson posed in King Solomon’s wisdom: Don’t tear apart the baby. Take a cue from George Washington’s “Farewell Address” as he teaches future presidents how to say goodbye, one last time.

It’s time to pray for 46.


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