Together, we serve
to know Christ
and to make Christ known
for the glory of God

3 November 2021

Proverbs 24:21-22

Fear the Lord and the king, my son,
    and do not join with rebellious officials,
22 for those two will send sudden destruction on them,
    and who knows what calamities they can bring?

It is our tendency to separate the authority of the Lord from that of the king (person in position over us). The “king” could be our President or mayor or boss or teacher or parent – anyone who has responsibility for us. We are quick to point out the deficiencies of the “king,” claiming that we follow only God. And so we neglect the tendency of Scripture to equate obedience to earthly authority with that of obedience to God. Read Romans 13 and 1 Peter 2. Consider the scriptural principal that we are to respect positions of authority in whatever circumstance that may be – parent to child, official to citizen, master to servant, husband to wife. Certainly there are many in authority who abuse their position, and they will be held accountable to God. But we are not to be quick to reject the authority of others who have been duly placed in their positions.

Apply this to church. Everyone who joins a church is happy to say that he will abide by the authority of the church leaders. But let the moment come when elders hold a person to account for his actions, and he will quickly reject their “presumption.” He must be faithful to God and reject the counsel of the elders who are God’s undershepherds responsible for the flock. The same pattern follows in the workplace and school and other areas. We know best. We know what God wants. It is up to us to stand against appointed leaders.

Take to heart the final warning: “Who knows the ruin that will come from them both?” People have gone from job to job, from church to church, even from marriage to marriage because everyone else is being unreasonable; no one else seems to understand what they alone can see. Fear the Lord and the king, the person placed in authority over you. If indeed that person is wrong, then all the more fear the Lord who is in control. Ultimately, the question is a matter of trust. Will we trust the Lord to have placed certain people over us for our ultimate good? Will we take the time to examine our hearts and discover what our Lord would have us learn about ourselves?

 

Psalm 98

Sing to the Lord a new song,
    for he has done marvelous things;
his right hand and his holy arm
    have worked salvation for him.
The Lord has made his salvation known
    and revealed his righteousness to the nations.
He has remembered his love
    and his faithfulness to Israel;
all the ends of the earth have seen
    the salvation of our God.

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth,
    burst into jubilant song with music;
make music to the Lord with the harp,
    with the harp and the sound of singing,
with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn—
    shout for joy before the Lord, the King.

Let the sea resound, and everything in it,
    the world, and all who live in it.
Let the rivers clap their hands,
    let the mountains sing together for joy;
let them sing before the Lord,
    for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
    and the peoples with equity.