Grow • Devotion 4

Godly Rulers
Dr. Randy Johnson

In 1776, our nation declared its independence. It was a nation of the original 13 states. In 1796 (just 20 years later), our country was developing and growing. Independence Day was celebrated on July 4th for the first time. Tennessee was admitted as the 16th U.S. state. The U.S. State Department issued the first U.S. passport. President George Washington issued his Farewell Address. Finally, on July 11th, the United States took possession of Detroit from Great Britain under the terms of the Jay Treaty (Michigan was not recognized as a state, or joined the union until 1837 as the 26th state).

While all this was going on, the 1796 court stayed the course saying, “In our form of government the Christian religion is the established religion and all sects and denominations of Christians are placed upon the same equal footing.” We were a Christian nation founded upon Christian principles. We need to hold fast to our heritage.

It was a time when the U.S. Constitution chose a Republican form of government with warnings against kings in favor of godly rulers. Article 4 Section 4 says, “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.” God warned against kings.

Having godly leaders is so valuable. Exodus 18:21 says, “Moreover, look for able men from all the people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe, and place such men over the people as chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens.” Proverbs 11:14 adds, “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.” Finally, Proverbs 24:6 confirms, “For by wise guidance you can wage your war, and in abundance of counselors there is victory.” Seeking advice and teaming up is part of God’s design.

We need godly leaders in the church, but also in government, the business world, and on the mission field.
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