Ananias ordered those standing near Paul to strike him on the mouth. Then Paul said to him, “God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! You sit there to judge me according to the law, yet you yourself violate the law by commanding that I be struck!” Those who were standing near Paul said, “You dare to insult God’s high priest?” Paul replied, “Brothers, I did not realize that he was the high priest; for it is written: ‘Do not speak evil about the ruler of your people.’” (Acts 23:2–5, NIV 1984).
My Musings – God’s standards are indeed high. There were many things about Ananias that one could speak evilly about, and they would be accurate. Yet we are not to speak evil about those who have authority over us. That does not mean we need to agree with their conduct. But we respect the authority by not speaking evil about those who wield it.
My Advice – This is a hard pill for us to swallow, as it is almost considered a “birthright” in the United States to put down our political and other leaders. But as Jesus has said in a different context, “not so with you.” For the authorities that exist have been established by God, for HIs own good purposes. And it is up to Him to bring them down, if He so chooses. If not, we must trust in His goodness, righteousness and eternal purposes.