Government • Devotion #6: Why?

I do not know about you, but I do not always agree with the decisions made by the people that are put in charge. I am a headstrong individual who knows what I want, and I am not going to bend on those things. I can easily find myself in the mindset, “I am right, and no matter how you explain yourself, you are wrong.” This mindset can easily find you in a hard place in dealing with who is in charge. I do not know about you, but when someone explains to me biblically why something is the way that it is, I may not like it, but I cannot argue it. We are going to be doing just that with the question of, “Why is this person the boss?” You can also ask the question, “Why must I submit to this person?”

This question can quickly be answered by looking to Romans 13:1-2, which says, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.” Before I even break this down, I want to clarify something. Many people will argue and say that the “authorities” that are discussed here are angels. This can be disproven by looking at Romans 13:6. Here, we are called to pay taxes to these authorities. We do not pay taxes to angels, but we do to the earthly authorities. This tells us that the Bible is, in fact, talking about those authorities.

There is something important in Romans 13:1-2 that we need to hear and understand clearly. God has appointed these authorities. We may not agree with everything they say or do, but God appointed them. We are not above God; therefore, we are not above those whom God has placed above us. We might even argue that the things the authorities are doing are ungodly deeds. Since these people are above us, they are not for us to judge and deal with, that is God’s position. As believers, we only have two things we must do in the matters of the authorities. First of all, we must follow them because God has appointed them. Second, the only time that we can resist these powers is when they demand the position that is only allowed to God. We can see this played out in the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. King Nebuchadnezzar demanded to be treated like a god, and these men would not obey. We can read this story and watch God protect these men because they were following Him.

What this means for us is that we should follow those whom God has placed in the position of authority and understand that He is in control. We should find comfort in that when things do not go the way we want. 

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