Pat’s Praise: Governing
Published 12:23 pm Sunday, March 27, 2022
“Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.” Romans 13:1-2 NIV
Yesterday, Keith and I spent the day together, keeping appointments, running errands, etc. Our first stop was at our local Sherwin Williams Paint Store, then to a local cafeteria for lunch.
We kept our appointment in town and did some shopping. But most of all, we talked. We discussed our future potential in the woodworking field; shared anecdotal accounts of earlier years.
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I reflected on the commentary I had read earlier, discussing whether God supports bad government. Regardless of the system of government or the political orientation, God wants rulers to exercise their authority fairly and with justice. God may use our current electoral process or judicial system to promote the quality of being just and fair. The conversation then led to the quality of leadership in our country today.
God permits dishonorable rulers marked by injustice or partiality or deception into leadership positions.
These unjust rulers may violate principles of justice, not being equitable or fair. That does not mean
God is a participant in these unrighteous individuals. He can still orchestrate our human deeds (whether they are good or evil) to accomplish his greater purposes, which are always good.
“For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority: Then do what is right, and he will commend you, for he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience.” Romans 13:3-5 NIV
Although the emperor Nero could hardly be called a servant of God – he persecuted Christians and savagely executed them. Paul urged the early believers to pray for their rulers so peace would be kept and the gospel could be spread. We must be vigilant in this today.
Which begs the question, “Does God use evil to do good?” Habakkuk, the prophet, complained to God about this very thing. “How long, O Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, ‘Violence!’ but you do not save…
Destruction and violence are before me, there is strife, and conflict abounds. Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails. The wicked hem in the righteous so that justice is perverted.” Habakkuk 1:2-4 NIV
Habakkuk was surprised by the severity of God’s response. The sadistic Babylonians, this army of destruction, was headed to Judah, and the prophet was amazed, thinking most likely, “so this is God’s justice!?” Refer to Habakkuk 1:5-11 for the complete answer from God. We must hold on to the fact that God is in control even when it seems he is not; He is working not to hurt but to heal.
Our leadership may have intentions to harm us, and we believe they are succeeding; however, God may intend this for good to accomplish His plan.
“Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord. On the contrary: ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:19-21 NIV.
Today, we have moved away from so much woodworking and building furniture. Our hobbies now include caring for and loving our nine fancy parakeets, fish that keep breeding tiny little ones in our thirty-gallon tank, gardening, chickens, writing, cooking, and spending time with family.
Praise God, we do, for our physical health and clarity of mind!
We continue to pray for our country and those fallen from grace. We pray for peace and love to consume the world, knowing we will not see this in our lifetime. But those “thousand years” are promised us! They will come! (Revelation 20:4-6).
LORD, we earnestly pray for YOUR Will to be done. Keep our heart focused on YOUR Greatness and YOUR Goodness.
Our prayers beg for fairness and justice to be dealt with by those governing our nation.
Our nation’s lifestyle reflects we have turned away from YOU, but we believe the time has come for us to return to YOU in all things. In JESUS’ name, we pray, Amen.
A retired nurse, author and columnist whose writing appears in several newspapers, Pat Throckmorton can be reached at email@example.com