For students of the Bible, there is an uncanny parallel between the son of King Solomon, Rehoboam and the son of Pierre Trudeau, Justin.
Pierre, who inherited, what was then considered a sizable amount of wealth in his youth, attended a number of prestigious private schools, working his way up to becoming a lawyer, professor, civil servant, Attorney General, Justice Minister and finally Canada’s 15th Prime Minister.
Some will remember him for having championed liberal human rights for homosexuals and abortion proponents while others remember him as the leader who tried to force his indigenous people to assimilate into the Canadian culture rather than remain within their own.
Fast forward to 2022, Justin Trudeau, Canada’s Prime Minister of six years, began the job at age 44. Although winning big in his first election, he fast became a disappointment in fulfilling many promises he made. Trudeau’s socialist leanings have driven a wedge between him and many Canadians. Since the start of Covid, the working class and average Canadian have been hit hard as they lost so many freedoms. With the culmination of vaccine mandates, a complete rebellion, of the working class, initiated by truckers, has been leveled against this leader who seems to have a desire to outdo his father who once also used force against his people. In 1970, an event dubbed The October Crisis ended with Pierre invoking emergency powers and arresting 450 Canadians without warrants.
In recent days, Justin seems to be trying to outdo his father by using an iron fist against his own people, not only refusing to meet with them but demonizing them and making their lives bitter and anguished for failing to obey his orders.
Clearly, it could be said that he has outdone his father’s harshness towards everyday Canadians who simply want to return to the freedoms they had and the ability to make choices for themselves.
Rewind to 931-913 BCE when, also in his 40’s, Rehoboam becomes Ruler of Israel after the death of his father, King Solomon. Knowing that the people had many complaints over the harshness of their lives and wanted to be heard, he sought counsel as to how to rule. The elders, who served his father, advised him to speak kindly to the people and treat them with dignity, while the younger, more progressive men, with whom he had grown up, convinced him not to listen to them at all as it would be perceived as a sign of weakness. In fact, they encouraged him to make their lives even harder than his father had. Taking their bad advice, he assured them he would make their lives worse than they had ever been.
When making the comparison here, it would seem that both Justin and Rehoboam squandered whatever good will that their fathers had with the people and made a decision to appear all the more forceful and overbearing than their predecessors.
In the case of Rehoboam, it ended with a divided kingdom, rebellion of his people and constant wars.
As history often does, it repeats itself, and we are now seeing a similarly divided kingdom as is reflected in the mass rebellion by Canadians which Justin Trudeau is now facing. Although some reports have said that if elections were held today, he’d win in a landslide, the huge throngs of Canadians standing on the roads, waving flags and donating funds to the truckers seem to belie that support for the Prime Minister.
One thing for sure, we know that a group of Canadian clergy not only don’t support Justin Trudeau’s actions but, in no uncertain terms, have expressed their outrage of what, to them, is a usurping of divine authority which he has seized and which they point out only belongs to God.
In their Open Letter to the Prime Minister, they cite the following:
· You have insulted, denigrated and lied about them [citizens], further dividing a hurting and broken nation.
· You are neither the king nor the ruler of Canada.
· You do not grant people rights and responsibilities that are theirs as God’s image-bearers and a free people. Since you do not grant them, you have no authority to remove them.
Their advice to him is to “repent of the sins of pride, rebelling against God and bearing false witness.” The warning to Trudeau is quoted in Psalm 72:8 “For He (God) shall have dominion from sea to sea,” and also in the form of the reminder that “God sets up kings and pulls down the mighty from their thrones.”
Trudeau is now faced with a choice, just as Rehoboam nearly 3,000 years ago. He can either continue the harsh path he has chosen in recent days, clamping down on those who have resisted his draconian policies and vaccine mandates or he can take heed to the advice of this group of Canadian clergy who have warned him that he has overstepped his boundaries and has taken authority which neither belongs to him nor is within his right to exercise.
Sadly, he may well find himself as hated and reviled as Rehoboam whose decision to follow bad advice determined his legacy as being one of the worst rulers who cared nothing for his people.
Interestingly, it is recorded that King Rehoboam humbled himself which caused the anger of the Lord to subside and not destroy him completely. This is followed by the king strengthening himself in Jerusalem and having a few good days during his reign until his death. But the final verdict on his life is that he did evil because he did not set his heart to seek God.
We can only hope that this is not the final word on the life of Justin Trudeau. Would that he do right by his people, by his country and by his own legacy as one who turned, repented and sought the wisdom of the Almighty rather than trying to prove, in vain, that his strength is sovereign!
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