Watering the Tulips
February 6, 2013
“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor” –Romans 13:1-7
Government was established by God. He uses it to keep some semblance of order throughout the world. As much as “limited government” minded folks hate to admit it, anarchy would result in mass pandemonium. We need somebody in charge. This is true in homes, at places of employment and in government.
It is certainly true that “when the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when a wicked man rules, the people groan” (Proverbs 29:2). Yet, we know the righteous aren’t always ruling. In fact, many believers in America today are quite frustrated by the happenings in Washington D. C. And, that frustration is certainly justified. However, lest we forget our history, Paul penned the words above under the Roman Empire which was unusually cruel and corrupt.
During the time of the early churches, Rome was spending tax money to hunt down and murder Christians. Many tax “dollars” were used to fund pagan festivities. Caesar himself claimed to be a god and many of the citizens believed he was. It’s no wonder that the Pharisees so hated the taxes imposed on them by the Roman Empire.
Yet Paul, a former Pharisee, says that believers are to be subject to the governing authorities. He directed these Christian citizens of Rome to respect the very government which would eventually have him beheaded.
As a minister of the Gospel, I continue to be saddened at the venom I often see spewing out the mouth of believers. The political climate in America has caused many believers to forget that we are to properly represent our Lord, even in politics. We certainly should care. We certainly should vote. However, even those things should be done in a Christ-like manner…in love.
Let us follow the inspired words of Scripture…”Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior” (1 Timothy 2:1-3).
Lord, help us to focus on the work You left us with!
Watering the Tulips is brought to you by Sovereign Grace Baptist Church in Northport, AL. For more information, please visit www.sovereigngrace.net. “Your App to the Gospel” is available the iTunes app store as well as Google Play. Please download it today!