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Election Candidates - a check-list

Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to the royal son! May he judge your people with righteousness and your poor with justice! Let the mountains bear prosperity for the people, and the hills, in righteousness! May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the children of the needy, and crush the oppressor!         Psalm 72: 1-4


Elections are upon us. Candidates for election to the States of Jersey are gradually coming forward. Problems are foreseen regarding the difficulty of presenting credentials at public meetings because so many candidates will need to be heard.


Rightly, Jersey’s Evening Post has set out a rational structure by which to assess all the policies of the candidates. A rational structure has to be an improvement on “likes/dislikes” or “gut feelings”.


This is especially important in a democracy because we all have the power, collectively, to decide on who should rule us. But, back in 971 BC in Israel (see bold above), there was an hereditary monarchy. King David was very elderly; his son, Solomon, was about to succeed him.


Because that nation was a theocracy all the people were encouraged to pray for the King. And pray they did – about his character and purposes.


The elderly King David was a man who wanted to have on his epitaph the equivalent of the Barry Manilow/ Frank Sinatra words “I write the songs that make the whole world sing”.  He was the “sweet psalmist of Israel”.


So King David wrote Psalm 72 – extract above – as a prayer for his son. It asks the God of Israel to give the future King Solomon attributes that will be for the true good of the people. These attributes are eminently suitable for Jersey States members 2011.


1.     Give the king your justice, O God.

2.     Give your righteousness to the royal son.

3.     May he with righteousness judge (Hebrew diyn “plead the cause”) of your people

4.     May he with justice plead the cause of the poor.

5.     May the mountains and the hills (powers outside the country and above the country) carry prosperity for the people – in righteousness.

6.     May he defend the cause of the poor.

7.     May he give deliverance to the children of the needy

8.     May he crush those who oppress.


In AD 2011 Jersey looks around at other countries and nations in a severely dysfunctional world. How we all strongly desire to avoid what we see elsewhere! Look then at 1-8 above.


Note the prayer in 1 for politicians to have “your justice, O God” – not the pragmatic solutions that merely seem good. Note the desire in 2 for the royal son to have God’s “righteousness” – an inner love of righteousness and truth to govern the life of those elected.  


Note in 3 and 4 the focus on being active, strong and vocal for Jersey’s people (not for themselves as States members) and Jersey’s poor.


In 5 above, thoughts turn to the economy and foreign relations. The desire is for a righteous prosperity. Is any other form of prosperity worth having?


Then, in 6, 7 and 8, note the plea that the future law-maker will crush those who would oppress the people, especially the people who are poor and the young. It’s these who are the more easily oppressed by crime, fraud, mis-selling, over-charging, deceit and extortion. May they be lawfully crushed.


But have you noticed in bold above the role-model for King at every step? “Your justice, O God – your righteousness.”


Who is the role-model for each candidate? Will you vote for a Gaddafi-follower? Or for a Jesus-follower?  One who might kill to stay in power? Or one who might give his life for others? One who wants everyone to serve him? Or one who follows the Man who taught that the greatest in His kingdom would be the slave of all?

‘Power intoxicates men. When a man is intoxicated by alcohol he can recover, but when intoxicated by power he seldom recovers.' (James F Byrnes, American statesman, 1882-1972)
 ‘The desire for power is not rooted in strength but in weakness.’ (Erich Fromm, Social Psychologist, 1900-1980)
Richard Syvret

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