Today’s Bible Reading:
Today’s Bible Verse(s):
1 Peter 2:17 (CSB): “Honor everyone. Love the brothers and sisters. Fear God. Honor the emperor.”
Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):
Those of us who live in 21st century America live in a hyper-politicized culture. We’ve just come out of a very contentious election. Both sides believed that they are right and that the other side would destroy our country. Political views were touted loudly and proudly.
Overwhelmingly, Christians voted conservative in this past election. They voted for lawmakers who would uphold the rights of the unborn. They voted for lawmakers who would create policies that rewarded a good work ethic. They voted for lawmakers who would oversee the installation of justices who would uphold the law.
But conservatives maintained their minority in the House of Representatives. It appears that conservatives lost the White House. It also appears that conservatives could lose the majority status in the Senate.
So how is a conservative, Bible-believing Christian to think about this? We don’t agree with the stances of many of our national leaders. We cannot affirm them or their policies.
Some Christians may be tempted to join in the ranks of unbelievers. They may desire to constantly slander our leaders. They may consciously and loudly refuse to comply and cooperate with the dictates of those in government.
For the Bible-believing Christian, we cannot and should not take our cues from the unbelieving world. We take them from Scripture. And when we realize that the Apostle Peter wrote to people about a government that was pagan, whose supreme leader was worshiped as a god, and that often demonstrated itself as anti-Christian, we’re surprised when we read Peter’s words to those first century Christians.
1 Peter 2:13–17 (CSB): Submit to every human authority because of the Lord, whether to the emperor as the supreme authority or to governors as those sent out by him to punish those who do what is evil and to praise those who do what is good. For it is God’s will that you silence the ignorance of foolish people by doing good. Submit as free people, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but as God’s slaves. Honor everyone. Love the brothers and sisters. Fear God. Honor the emperor.”
Clearly, if the government commands us to do something that God has forbidden, we will refuse to comply (Acts 5:27-29). We will do so civilly but we will disobey and take the consequences.
But that should not be the norm. Our default response should be submitting to the authorities that are placed above us. Why do we do that? Because we realize that God is the one who has installed them and God has instituted government for a blessing to its people (Romans 13:1). We also realize that refusing to obey a reasonable command from our government leaders is essentially disobeying the Lord (Romans 13:2).
So, did your candidates win in this past election? If you were a Christian, you probably were faced with some serious losses. But how should we respond? As long as our new leaders do not call us to violate a law that God has given to us, our leaders should have our full support and our prayers.
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Lord Jesus, these are trying times. But, I am comforted that You are fully in control of all things. In fact, even though millions and millions of people in America voted earlier this month, we as Christians realize that You are the One who chose our next President for us. So, I will follow Your commands and, as much as possible, submit to, obey, and pray for my leaders. I pray that even though they may not be who I voted for, I pray that You would use them to accomplish Your purposes in my country. I pray this in Jesus’ Name. Amen.