Sunday, February 17th, 2013
The Chain Of Command (Part 8)
Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed.
Titus 3:1 (NAS)
You shall not curse God, nor curse a ruler of your people.
Exodus 22:28 (NAS)
Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.
Romans 13:1 (NAS)
'It is written, 'You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people' ' (Acts 23:5). Considering recent elections, some Christians forgot that line. Maybe they missed it in the heat of the meet. On the other hand, it's written more than once.
Remember when the children of Israel got angry with Moses? Under his leadership, God performed miracles to free them from bondage. Nevertheless, they 'Complained against Moses and Aaron' (Numbers 16:41)--repeatedly.
'The sons of Israel said to them, 'Would that we had died by the Lord's Hand in the land of Egypt... for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger' ' (Exodus 16:3). They weren't just hungry. They were angry.
God was angrier. He intended to 'Consume them instantly' (Numbers 16:45), but Moses and Aaron pleaded for the people--and God listened. He gave the congregation a forty-year sentence to straighten up and act right.
But they suffered a greater punishment. Of the 600,000 adult men who left Egypt, only two were allowed to enter the Promised Land: Joshua and Caleb, the two non-complainers. The remaining 599,998 died on the way.
'Surely none of the men who came up from Egypt, from twenty years old and above, shall see the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, because they have not wholly followed Me, except Caleb...and Joshua' (Numbers 32:11-12).
Moses explained: 'Your complaining is not against us but against the Lord' (Exodus 16:8). Here's the thing: when we complain against our leaders (good or bad), we complain against God--because He allows them to rule us for a purpose, His purpose.
Admittedly, I am not pleased with certain leaders or laws. However, I believe a tough-love God allows His children, and even a nation, to suffer the consequences of bad choices. Certainly He allowed Israel to suffer mightily--though He loves it and His people 'With an everlasting love' (Jeremiah 31:3), which is beyond measure.
Through Jesus, He loves us the same way.
When things seem bad, remember: 'We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose' (Romans 8:28)--even elections.
Therefore, pray for our government. Do not complain against our leaders--because both have been allowed by God. Good will surely come.
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the The Chain of Command series.