Govern Righteously or Go Home

Scripture: Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. Romans 13:1-7 NIV

Observation: Paul teaches about respecting and honoring our governing leaders.

Application: Wow. On the face of this scripture it appears that Paul is telling us to honor and respect our government no matter the level of corruption. I believe that we are to respect the governing positions and pray for those God has put in those leadership positions. However, I also believe that if one of those governors is corrupt we are to rightfully and legally work to remove them and return our leadership to righteousness.
I believe that the bible calls for kings and leaders to be returned to righteousness, 1 Kings 13:1-9 says,”By the word of the LORD a man of God came from Judah to Bethel, as Jeroboam was standing by the altar to make an offering. By the word of the LORD he cried out against the altar: ‘Altar, altar! This is what the LORD says: “A son named Josiah will be born to the house of David. On you he will sacrifice  the priests of the high places who make offerings here, and human bones will be burned on you.”‘ That same day the man of God gave a sign: ‘This is the sign the LORD has declared: The altar will be split apart and the ashes on it will be poured out.’ When King Jeroboam heard what the man of God cried out against the altar at Bethel, he stretched out his hand from the altar and said, ‘Seize him!’ But the hand he stretched out toward the man shriveled up, so that he could not pull it back. Also, the altar was split apart and its ashes poured out according to the sign given by the man of God by the word of the LORD. Then the king said to the man of God, ‘Intercede with the LORD your God and pray for me that my hand may be restored.’ So the man of God interceded with the LORD, and the king’s hand was restored and became as it was before. The king said to the man of God, ‘Come home with me for a meal, and I will give you a gift.’ But the man of God answered the king, ‘Even if you were to give me half your possessions, I would not go with you, nor  would I eat bread or drink water here. For I was commanded by the word of the LORD: “You must not eat bread or drink water or return by the way you came.”’”
I know that the Lord detests corruption, whether in leaders or followers. I believe that we must pray for those in leadership over us but if they continue in their corrupt ways we must strive to remove them and cleanse our government.

Prayer: Father, help me to honor those whom you have placed over me in my government. If those leaders are corrupt show me that and show me how to rightfully remove them and return my government to righteousness. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen

Doug

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