You woke up on November 5th and you weren’t very happy with your newly elected official (insert whoever YOU voted for if he wasn’t the guy the rest of the free world chose) that the majority of the People elected to lead our great country. What happens now? Do you rant and rave about how ignorant those other folks were? Do you let fear and worry set in about what might happen to your future, or your children’s future? We might be tempted to lean in that direction but if we are smart then we will dig into the Word of God and let Him be our guide.
The first thing you have to remember is that God is always in control. Men who run a race sometimes… OK, quite often… do it out of selfish ambition, but they are not in control. They are not the end all and be all of our society and our own election process proves that they can, and will, be replaced a short span of years from now. As a matter of fact, one does not have to search the scripture very far to find Words of assurance for that very fact.
Daniel 2:20 Daniel answered, Blessed be the name of God forever and ever! For wisdom and might are His! 21 He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and sets up kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding!
Proverbs 21:1 The King’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as are the watercourses; He turns it whichever way He wills.
Romans 13:1 Let every person be loyally subject to the governing (civil) authorities. For there is no authority except from God [by His permission, His sanction], and those that exist do so by God’s appointment.
To make sure we understand who is in control, God repeats it to us in His Word over and over again. One such passage of scripture is Daniel 4. The phrase “until you learn and know and recognize that the Most High [God] rules the kingdom of mankind and gives it to whomever He will” is a continual reminder to King Nebuchadnezzar, as well as us. That same phrase is repeated at least three times in the fourth chapter of Daniel. That means you need to PAY ATTENTION to what it says because it is important!!
The second thing you must remember is that even if you don’t like the newly elected official and you didn’t vote for him, we are still under the One Great Authority and commanded by Him in the appropriate reactions we have towards our leaders.
Romans 13 does not just stop at verse 1. The rest of the passage, through verse 7, gives us specifics about our duties, and what our punishment will be if we don’t follow God’s commandments:
Therefore he who resists and sets himself up against the authorities resists what God has appointed and arranged [in divine order]. And those who resist will bring down judgment upon themselves [receiving the penalty due them]. For civil authorities are not a terror to [people of] good conduct, but to [those of] bad behavior. Would you have no dread of him who is in authority? Then do what is right and you will receive his approval and commendation. For he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, [you should dread him and] be afraid, for he does not bear and wear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant to execute His wrath (punishment, vengeance) on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be subject, not only to avoid God’s wrath and escape punishment, but also as a matter of principle and for the sake of conscience. For this same reason you pay taxes, for [the civil authorities] are official servants under God, devoting themselves to attending to this very service. Render to all men their dues. [Pay] taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, and honor to whom honor is due.
You know, honestly, it is pretty easy to pray for a President elect, or other governing official, that you voted for and who stood for the same things openly that you stand for. It’s a little tougher to pray for someone whom you’ve already deemed “unlikeable” or “ungodly” because of his opposing public stance on issues that are important to you. The Truth is that if you don’t pray for our leaders, and you don’t follow the guidelines for us set out in Romans 13, then you are telling God that He is a failure and doesn’t know what He is doing. The Truth is that these men and women are servants ordained by God and by His choosing. The Truth is that we are subject to God and his chosen leaders. However, our true judgment for disobedience in following God’s Word does not come from these civil authorities (though it may for a time) but from God Himself. We must render to all men their dues: taxes (render unto Caesar’s that which is Caesar’s), revenue (pay shop owners what is due them), respect (reverence for our superiors), and honor ( respect for their position of distinction).
I’m writing this article before November 4th and I don’t yet know who will be elected to the office of President. The thought of it all can be a little scary to dwell on but I know what I am commanded to do and I know from Whom my help comes from. I opened my Bible this morning to Psalm 121 because I knew I needed this timely reminder. It is one of which perhaps we can all use:
I will lift up my eyes to the hills [around Jerusalem, to sacred Mount Zion and Mount Moriah]–From whence shall my help come?
My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to slip or to be moved;
He Who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand [the side not carrying a shield].
The sun shall not smite you by day, nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all evil; He will keep your life.
The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.