Monday, November 17, 2014
Praise day 11
Praise Him for our freedom, and the nation we live in. I know that we have readers from all over the globe, and we may enjoy varying degrees of freedom. But the Bible has much to say about citizenship, and being a testimony for Him in our country, whichever it may be:
There are reminders for selecting leaders of vision:
Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keeps
the law, happy is he. (Proverbs 29:18)
And leaders with discipline:
Blessed is the land whose king is of noble birth and whose princes
eat at a proper time—for strength and not for drunkenness.
When a country is rebellious, it has many rulers, but a ruler with
discernment and knowledge maintains order. (Proverbs 28:2)
There are reminders to be fair, especially to the poor:
If a king judges the poor with fairness, his throne will be
established forever. (Proverbs 29:14)
And exhortation to be people of integrity:
For the upright will live in the land, and the blameless will
remain in it; (Proverbs 2:21)
Peter also noted our responsibilities as Christians:
Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority:
whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, 14 or to governors,
who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend
those who do right. 15 For it is God’s will that by doing good you
should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. 16 Live as free people,
but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves.
17 Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God,
honor the emperor. (I Peter 2:13-17)
This brings up the question of civil disobedience when the law of the land is against the Law of God as revealed to us in the Word. If we look at Acts 5, we can find the answer. I hope you will go and read this chapter, for it is an inspiring one. The apostles were brought before the Sanhedrin and the high priest was questioning them: why were you preaching and teaching in the name of Jesus, when we told you not to do this?
Peter and the others replied that they must obey God, rather than men. So it is clear that as long as the law of the land doesn't contradict the laws of God, we are bound to obey man's laws. But as soon as the law of the land contradicts God's commands, we are to disobey man's laws and obey His commands. But let's be clear -- we should accept the government's authority over us, even then -- look at Peter and John's response to their punishment: they rejoiced that they were suffering for obeying God.
In all cases, we should be a people of prayer:
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and
thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in
authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness
and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants
all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
(I Timothy 2:1-4)
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and
pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear
from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
(II Chronicles 7:14)