#DailyDevotion Your Leaders Are Appointed By God
Rom. 13 Everyone should obey the government that is over him, because there is no government except that which is put there by God. God has ordered our government to be over us. 2Then anyone who is against the government opposes what God has ordered, and those who oppose will be condemned. 3If you do right, you don’t have to be afraid of those who rule, but only if you do wrong. Would you like to live without being afraid of your government? Do what is right, and it will praise you. 4It is God’s servant to help you. If you do wrong, you should be afraid, because the government doesn’t carry a sword without a purpose. It is God’s servant, an avenger, who must punish anyone doing wrong. 5You must obey, then, not only because God punishes wrong but also because your conscience tells you to obey. 6That is why you also pay taxes. Men in the government serve God and are busy doing their work. 7Pay to all whatever you owe them. If you owe anyone tribute, pay tribute; if taxes, then taxes; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.
Perhaps the most asked question when this text comes up is, “Must I do everything the government says?” The answer is a resounding yes, unless God forbids what the government is commanding or is telling you to not to do something God commands. The elders in Jerusalem commanded the apostles not to preach Jesus. They had to refuse. Rome commanded Christians to offer a pinch of incense to the emperor or his image, an act of worship. Christians refused and were persecuted for it. What about a law that is unjust? You should love your neighbor.
Remember the emperor at the time Paul writes this is Nero Caesar, one of the worst of the Roman emperors. Paul says he was placed there by God. This is probably the most offensive to our American, democratic ears that our votes are actually the hand of God, choosing for him as his instrument who will lead our country. No matter what party here you belong to or don’t , your voting or abstaining to vote, is placing the person in the office of president God has chosen. That goes also for all your representatives and governors. That goes for everyone appointed. The LORD had chosen and raised up many a pagan king to accomplish what he wants through them.
What this does not mean is those persons God has placed in positions of authority have a Carte Blanche to do whatever they want. They are each responsible to God who has placed in that position. If they do good, they are doing God’s will. If they do evil, as we see in Romans chapter eight, God will still use that for the good of his people, but they will answerable to God for what they have done.
For these reasons, we should, for conscience sake, obey the government. We should pay taxes, give honor or give respect for those in authority over us. Thankfully in our system of government in the States, we can promote someone we think is good or better to take the place of someone we think is bad. We can voice or protest over injustices. We can petition our leaders to do something different or change things. Yet for the sake of Jesus’ name we give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s. We promote Christ Jesus by doing that is good and being honorable citizens.
Heavenly Father, give us a spirit of humility to submit to the authorities placed over us and wisdom and courage to face inequities and justice with rights we have under our government to do so, to give glory to you and your Son Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.