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 1984).
I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:1–4, NIV 1984).
Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than men!” (Acts 5:29, NIV 1984).
My Musings – Here are a few guiding principles I take from the above verses.
- God Establishes All Authorities – There is no authority except that which God has established.
- All must Submit to Authorities – Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities.
- Intercession for Authorities Pleases God – Requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— for kings and all those in authority. This is good, and pleases God our Savior
- Rebellion Against Authorities is Rebellion Against God – He who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted.
- Only One Exception – We must obey God rather than men!
My Advice – Whether we like it or not (some do and some do not), a new administration, a new authority, has been established in the United States. If you happen to be among those who do not, this is not a cause for sedition or insurrection. On the contrary, we must submit. God commands it. Unless. Unless we are called to go against (disobey) God’s Word. Then we obey God. Obeying God does not give us license to rebel against the authorities He established. How then do we respond? Two examples:
- Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” (Daniel 3:16–18, NIV 1984).
- The proconsul asked him whether he was Polycarp. On his confessing that he was, [the proconsul] sought to persuade him to deny [Christ]. “Eighty and six years have I served Him, and He never did me any injury: how then can I blaspheme my King and my Savior?” The proconsul then said to him, “I have wild beasts at hand; to these will I cast thee, except thou repent.” But he answered, “Call them then, for we are not accustomed to repent of what is good in order to adopt that which is evil.” But again the proconsul said to him, “I will cause thee to be consumed by fire, seeing thou despise the wild beasts, if thou wilt not repent.” But Polycarp said, “Thou threaten me with fire which burns for an hour, and after a little is extinguished, but art ignorant of the fire of the coming judgment and of eternal punishment, reserved for the ungodly. But why tarry thou? Bring forth what thou wilt. O Lord God Almighty, the Father of thy beloved and blessed Son Jesus Christ…I give Thee thanks that Thou hast counted me, worthy of this day and this hour, that I should have a part in the number of Thy martyrs.” — The Martyrdom of Polycarp.