“The King’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water He turns it wherever He pleases.” Proverbs 21:1

This is a familiar scripture and oft quoted as we pray for our leaders. It assuredly speaks of God’s sovereign control over whatever political leaders or our fellow electors may do.  That is a great comfort in these days where so many choose contrary to God’s ways. But there is more in this verse.  The word “rivers” in the Hebrew refers to artificially constructed irrigation channels.  In these channels, by means of gates, the controller could direct that water wherever it was needed.  But that only came about as a result of a lot of work: planning and digging the channels from the river to the fields, so that the water flow may be directed.  Perhaps there is a lesson for us here in the light of the Wentworth by-election, and as we face a federal election in 2019.

Currently, in the seat of Wentworth, Dr Phelps is in front and looks likely to win. However, there were a lot of irrigation channels dug to bring that result about. GetUp! ran a well organised campaign against the Liberal candidate Dave Sharma. On 24 September it ran a community event in which campaigners took to the streets in Wentworth to promote action on so-called climate change, on October 15 it organised a phone canvassing event, where from 6-8 pm volunteers rang electors. They also had a truck going through the electorate pulling a massive “Don’t vote Liberal” billboard.  It dug a lot of channels and water flowed through them.

As we face a federal election in 2019, where critical issues such as parental rights are at stake, we must pray, but we also must be part of the irrigation channel digging business.  We need to be out in the streets, taking part in phone campaigns and other events that may be organised by ACL.  That way God will have the necessary irrigation channels to direct the waters and people’s hearts.

The Wentworth by-election result is a cause for hope.  It is also a call to action. Let’s get digging and trust God to turn hearts to that which is right.