Read 1 Peter 2:13-25.I really looked forward to the inauguration this year, not because I think the savior of our nation is in the White House now, but because I was getting so sick of Bush Bashing. I have not approved of all the presidents I've experienced in my lifetime, but I do my best to respect them as our leader. If they are elected in a democratic system, then the people have spoken, and I will move forward with that decision and support them in every way possible. Not only is this the toughest job out there, but God has allowed that person to be in that office and the Word says that I am to respect them. It doesn't say that I have to agree with every decision they make. It doesn't say that I have to throw parades to support them. It says that I show respect and live my life in honor of the leadership.
"Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king." NIV
I've had some leadership positions, and they are tough. No one can fully understand a particular leadership position until they have walked that walk. Leaders carry a weight on their shoulders that no one else can share. They often have hundreds if not thousands of people they are responsible for. Do they all do it well? No. Are some leaders corrupt? Yes. But that doesn't diminish the responsibility they carry every day.
The Word says that we are to submit. Christ had to submit to corrupt religious leaders and then to the oppressive Roman rule. He was crucified under this kind of authority. And if they had not been in place at that time in Christ's life, God's plan for the salvation of the world could not have happened.
For what ever reason that is beyond our comprehension, God is in control of the authorities that are set in place -- the good and the bad. Probably because we have chosen independence from Him as a people when we chose sin. Therefore, He allows some of our choices to go through. But He can take those choices, however bad they may be, and make good out of them. We may set up systems where the tyrant or the corrupt can lead, but He can take the bad and make something good come out of it. After all, He took Christ from the crucifixion to the resurrection and thus, the redemption of mankind. It all occurred under submission to the authority God had in place.
- Look back through the OT at the authorities in God had in place. How were even some of the corrupt leaders' decisions brought around for God's good plan?
- Do you have a problem with showing respect to authority? Why?
- Do a word study of "loyalty." How does loyalty honor the authorities over us and ultimately, God?
- How can you better show respect to our present leadership in our country? Your city? Your work? Your home?