Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men. 1 Peter 2:13
A revolution can be a frightful thing. In Russia, on July 17, 1918, the rebels killed Tsar Nicholas II and his family and threw their bodies into a mine shaft. When private citizens arm themselves and overthrow a properly constituted government, the action is usually like a rampaging flood or a devastating forest fire, destroying everything in its path, including innocent people.
A nation that resorts to peaceful means when it is necessary to replace an unfit government is a nation truly blessed. It makes necessary changes with ballots instead of bullets. Likewise, a country is blessed when its citizens on every level live righteously, deal honestly, and obey the laws they themselves have enacted through their duly elected representatives in government. The Proverbs writer states, “Righteousness exalts a nation,” adding that “sin is a disgrace to any people” (Proverbs 14:34). In many instances, corruption in high places of government is a reflection, or projection, of a preceding corruption in the low places of the citizenry.
Christians are under a dual responsibility, rendering obedience to God and to government in the proper spheres. Jesus said, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s” (Matthew 22:21). Saint Peter, in 1 Peter 2:13-17, and Saint Paul in Romans 13:1-7, tell us what we should render to Caesar. And what is it that we gladly render to God? It is praise and thanksgiving for His marvelous works, especially for sending the best Representative possible, His own dear Son, Jesus Christ, to give His life for our eternal salvation.
When there is gratitude in our hearts and praise on our tongues, there will also be services our hands will perform. This is “the obedience that comes from faith” (Romans 1:5).
PRAYER: Grant me, Lord God, an increase of faith and growth in obedience to Your Word, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
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