Once upon a time, David led Israel into sin. In response, God judged Israel, but He offered David a choice of which judgment he would rather have. The story is in 2 Samuel 24:11-15.
Now when David arose in the morning, the word of the LORD came to the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying, “Go and tell David,`Thus says the LORD: ‘I offer you three things; choose one of them for yourself, that I may do it to you.'” So Gad came to David and told him; and he said to him, “Shall seven years of famine come to you in your land? Or shall you flee three months before your enemies, while they pursue you? Or shall there be three days’ plague in your land? Now consider and see what answer I should take back to Him who sent me.”
And David said to Gad, “I am in great distress. Please let us fall into the hand of the LORD, for His mercies are great; but do not let me fall into the hand of man.”
So the LORD sent a plague upon Israel from the morning till the appointed time. From Dan to Beersheba seventy thousand men of the people died.
The 2016 presidential election was just such a choice. Either major candidate would have lost if they’d had to run against anybody else. Can you imagine Trump beating Obama, or Bill Clinton, or Al Gore, or heck, even Walter Mondale? Can you imagine Hillary beating Reagan, or Bush — either one — or even Bob Dole? I can’t. They only had a chance because they were running against each other, and the vast majority of the country would have preferred neither one of them.
God offered us a choice between Jezebel and Belshazzar. It’s not like there was a good option; we were getting the candidates we deserved. 2020 is shaping up to be more of the same.
David didn’t “betray his principles” by having a preference among the bad choices available to him. Neither will we, as long as we remember that every choice we’re being offered is a judgment, not a salvation.