Much was made this past week regarding voting and elections all across the country during the nation’s midterm elections. Potentially the most obvious observation is that our country is fragmented and divided on what it believes is the best direction forward. Some states are legalizing marijuana and allowing infanticide among babies who survive abortions (Montana), while others seem to be swinging the pendulum the opposite direction morally and socially. Neither political party came out dominant despite predictions to the contrary. And that is not because there are not stark differences in what some of the candidates stand for. As a simple example of contrast, there are various candidates running this past week who:
- are transgender or openly gay
- are openly against people who are transgender and gay
- believe Joe Biden is the worst, and probably stole the previous election
- believe Joe Biden is the best, and will continue his policies forward
First, in writing to the church in Rome, Paul says:
Romans 13:6-7 Pay your taxes, too, for these same reasons. For government workers need to be paid. They are serving God in what they do. Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and government fees to those who collect them, and give respect and honor to those who are in authority.
That would have been hard to hear at the time, considering they never chose Rome and were paying up to 50% of their income in taxes to a conquering nation. But Paul is clear…God uses government for His purposes. It matters. The rest of Romans 13 talks quite a bit about the importance of the government and God’s hand in it.
Secondly, Peter says this in I Peter 2:13-14 For the Lord’s sake, submit to all human authority—whether the king as head of state, or the officials he has appointed. For the king has sent them to punish those who do wrong and to honor those who do right.
He doesn’t address immoral or corrupt governmental authorities here despite the fact that Rome WAS both of those things. He simply says that it is a Christian’s duty to recognize and submit to it.
These and other passages are reminders that God does in fact work through government. But in the end, we do not put our trust in government. Politicians will rise, and politicians will fall. Policies will succeed, policies will fail. The level of passion and our activity in them may vary. But in the end, the greatest passage about government is in Isaiah 9:6-7.
For a child is born to us, a son is given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!
There isn’t enough room here to explain and celebrate all that these verses mean to us. Of course, they are frequented during the Christmas season, but are just as relevant regarding government. If government protects and frees the church to exist as God has called us, we celebrate those freedoms. However, if the government resists or comes against the church, removing some of the freedoms we now enjoy, we know that historically the church has blossomed through similar limitations. So our hope is not placed in government or politicians, but wholly on the One who’s government will never end. His name is Jesus.
Yours and His,