Posts Tagged ‘civil rulers’

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 24:25 But it will go well with those who convict the guilty, and rich blessing will come upon them.

It is very wrong to excuse or protect the wicked, especially for civil rulers or judges; citizens and nations will curse and despise such leaders and their government (Pr 24:23-24). King Solomon in this context is teaching how rulers must punish evildoers.

In the proverb before you, Solomon encouraged leaders and judges to rebuke wicked men to receive the delight and blessing of God and men. It is the holy duty of righteous men, especially in positions of authority, to judge righteously and rebuke all evildoers.

The proverb is primarily for rulers, as Solomon the king addressed his son, the future king (Pr 24:21-24). Great rulers must govern justly, which includes rebuking sin wherever they find it (Pr 16:12; 20:8,26). It is a calamity and travesty when rulers compromise with wickedness. Jesus Christ is the only perfect ruler (Heb 1:9; Rev 19:15).

But the proverb also applies to all men, especially in their lesser offices of authority, for righteous men have a duty to rebuke sin and warn unruly men. Allowing any you know or meet to continue in sin without a rebuke is an act of hatred (Lev 19:17). If you are an employer, husband, or father, you have a duty to punish sinners to enforce righteousness.

If righteous men do not correct or rebuke sin, how will fools be instructed and warned or saints taught and perfected? If the wicked are not rebuked and punished, what will restrain them? You have a duty to live and speak in a way to reprove evil (Eph 5:11). From top to bottom, all men should rebuke sinners to send the right message (Eccl 8:11).

You are your brother’s keeper (Gen 4:9). “Iron sharpeneth iron,” Solomon said (Pr 27:17). Church members are to warn the unruly, and every church has them (I Thes 5:14). This is the means to help churches grow spiritually (Gal 6:1; Jas 5:19-20). Even fools and simple men can learn and improve by seeing scorners punished (Pr 19:25; 21:11).

Of course, the ministers of Jesus Christ have a great duty and role to rebuke the wicked, like Elihu rebuking the wicked words of Job (Job 32:1-2) or John the Baptist rebuking the unlawful marriage of Herod (Matt 14:3-5). A minister is at war every time he steps in the pulpit – war against the foolish notions of his hearers (II Cor 10:4-6). Public sinners should be rebuked publicly to get the attention of the whole church (I Tim 5:20).

Pastors must lift up their voices like trumpets and show churches their sins (Is 58:1). The work is so harsh at times that they have been described as hewing people in pieces with their words (Hos 6:5). They are to preach the word, whether the people want to hear it or not (II Tim 4:1-4). And they should mock any efforts to despise their authority (Tit 2:15).

They must avoid preaching smooth things, which sinful generations crave (Is 30:8-11). The word of God properly preached is a hammer and fire – it breaks in pieces the rocks of stubborn hearers (Jer 23:28-29). The people were astonished at the authority of Jesus Christ, for He rejected the mealy-mouthed compromise of their preachers (Matt 7:28-29).

The proverb here is primarily for civil rulers and judges, but it applies to every person in a position of authority, especially gospel ministers. Be attentive and faithful to rebuke the sinners God brings to your attention to obtain the delight and good blessing described here. If you exercise your authority well, you will also improve your part of the world.

Under Gods Command
Proverbs 24:22 For those two will send sudden destruction upon them, and who knows what calamities they can bring.

Honor the president! Salute policemen! Thank God for them, and pray for them. Get away from anyone that disrespects government authority, either high or low. Your future safety and success depends on it, for this proverb warns about sudden calamity and ruin.

A spirit of rebellion has infected the earth, and this spirit is not from heaven. America is at the forefront, where citizens mock and ridicule the highest offices without conscience. You can call this warning old fashioned, but it is the timeless will of God about authority.

True wisdom includes submission to civil government. God promises calamities and ruin on those who promote civil rebellion and on those who listen to them or read them! To avoid God’s judgment and instead secure His blessing, avoid all disrespect of rulers.

Part of an orderly society is submission to authority. If you think civil rulers do not deserve your appreciation, honor, obedience, and support, then you obey the same spirit that creates rebellious children, odious wives, striking employees, and obstinate churches.

This verse is the second half of the proverb, so you need the first half’s description of those who deserve sudden calamities and ruin. Here it is: “Fear the LORD and the King, my son, and do not join with the rebellious” (Pr 24:21). If you are serious about wisdom and knowledge, then read the commentary on that verse as well.

It is God’s command for you and all men to fear Him and your nation’s top rulers. They are linked together, for God gave authority to your nation’s leaders (I Pet 2:17). He even refers to them as gods in the Bible, so that you will get the right idea of how high they are (Ex 22:28; Ps 82:1,6; John 10:34-35). Get away from anyone that speaks lightly of them.

Humble yourself, submit to your government, and pray for them. Even when they make decisions you do not like. Even when they make decisions that are wrong. These are the orders of the high God of heaven for you (Rom 13:1-7; I Tim 2:1-2; I Pet 2:13-17). What are the consequences, if you do not? You will soon be terrified and destroyed. God gave this proverb through Solomon to warn you. Beware, or your last hours may be numbered!

Jehovah hates those who evilly criticize or resist authority, especially civil government. He condemns even associating with such people (Pr 24:21). Here He promises sudden calamity and ruin on them both – the leaders and followers of rebellion and sedition. The fear of God and respect of civil government go together – it is impossible to rightly fear God and be critical of His appointed authority (Pr 24:21). See the comments on 24:21.

Solomon warned his son to fear God and the king (Pr 24:21). You fear God first; but you fear the king as well, because his authority is from God. To resist the king – or any civil authority – is to resist God and His ordinance (Rom 13:1-2). You obey the government for two reasons – fear of punishment from both God and the ruler (Rom 13:3-7). Those wanting to change government have two potent and terrible enemies – God and the king!

Submission to civil authority is true Christianity. Peter taught the same – fearing God and honoring the king go together. He wrote that you are bound by duty to God and man to submit yourself to every ordinance of civil government (I Pet 2:13-17). He condemned thinking or speaking evil of government as marks of ignorant reprobates and brute beasts, cousins to sodomites, needing to be taken out and shot (II Pet 2:10-12; Jude 1:8-10).

There is a God in heaven! Though men accuse, criticize, despise, ridicule, or undermine civil rulers in private, He hears and sees it all. The dreadful God of heaven will repay. He does not care if you promote disrespectful thoughts and speech, or a mere follower and willing listener of such men. Calamity and horrific ruin of both parties will occur soon. Give God the glory! The rabid dogs barking against civil government will be put down!

Why are some men in such trouble in their lives, families, and businesses? One certain reason is their wicked attitude and speech toward government. God is not mocked. It hardly matters what they try to do; nothing is going to work. God is against them. They cannot disrespect His appointed authority and get away with it. Why are some men so blessed in their lives, families, and businesses? One certain reason can be their peaceful and reverent submission to government. God blesses and rewards the righteous!

Hate civil disrespect or rebellion even in your heart or your bedroom. Solomon wrote, “Curse not the king, no not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter” (Eccl 10:20). Rebellious words travel far! And the great God also sees the very thoughts and intents of the heart – He will punish those who criticize matters far too high for them.

Is the warning overdone? Lucifer, the anointed cherub of God, will be tormented forever in the lake of fire for rebellion against authority – the rule of Almighty God. Miriam, the dear sister of Moses, spoke only once against his authority, and God made her white with dreaded leprosy (Num 12:1-15). Korah, and even the wives and children of the rebels, were buried alive by the earth for merely speaking against Moses (Num 16:1-34).

Absalom rebelled against David, so God caught him by his head in a tree for Joab’s darts (II Sam 18:9-18). Adonijah did not give enough respect to the new king, so Solomon had his own brother killed (I Kgs 2:12-25). Joab murdered competitors for his office, so Solomon killed his first cousin (I Kgs 2:28-34). Shimei cursed David; and though David forgave him, Solomon eventually had him killed (I Kgs 2:35-46). Forty-two children teased Elisha about his bald head, and God sent two bears to maul them (II Kgs 2:23-24).

King Zedekiah ignored Jeremiah’s warnings and rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar; for that offence he had to watch his sons killed before him, and then his eyes were put out (II Kgs 25:1-7). The rebellious Jews revolted against Rome, which sent Titus to destroy their city and temple and bring upon them greater tribulation than the world has ever seen or will see. These examples of rebellion include the low, the high, and whole nations.

Is the lesson overdone? Angels, far greater in wisdom and might than men, do not bring railing accusations or mocking ridicule against rulers on earth (II Pet 2:11). Truly! Why should a foolish man, who knows nothing of the weighty decisions of his leaders? But the angels do check hair length on women, to see if they show public submission to their husbands by wearing it long (I Cor 11:10). This warning is not overdone. Get serious!

Speaking lightly about parents was worthy of death in God’s estimation (Deut 27:16). Those who cursed their parents were put to death severely (Pr 20:20). And God considered a mocking face toward parents to be worthy of horrible judgment (Pr 30:17). The blessed God defends His appointed authorities and punishes the disrespectful. Is the warning overdone? It is not overdone, because the spirit of rebellion has infected many.

How do you speak of the President? With reverence, or disdain? Do you joke about him or other officials? What do you read about the government – supportive, neutral, or critical? Do you pay taxes respectfully? Do you wickedly imagine a conspiracy or cover-up in every decision they make or action they take? Do you criticize new laws? With what kind of people do you discuss government? Do you pray and thank God for rulers?

If a parent, do you want your children criticizing your decisions, ridiculing your faults, mocking you, and sowing unrest in your other children? If a husband, do you want your wife ridiculing you to others and talking back? If an employer, do you want your employees organizing a union to attack and undermine your position and business? Can you not see that unless you give honor and respect, you do not deserve them from others?

The root cause of disrespect to authority is pride and rebellion – the devil’s sins (Pr 13:10; I Tim 3:6). It is not principle; it is pride and rebellion. Men do not evade taxes for principle, but for covetousness and greed. There are lawful and peaceful means for principle, but their tactics prove wickedness. God will crush proud and rebellious men.

Christians pray for rulers and do all they can to live quiet and peaceable lives in all godliness and honesty, regardless of how pagan or wicked rulers are (Jer 29:4-7; I Tim 2:1-4). They do not despise authority. They know God or the king will come in vengeance on such rebels. They know God’s blessing is on those who revere authority. They know God is higher than the highest and will soon rectify every wrong (Eccl 5:8).

If you are a baptized follower of Jesus Christ, you are a citizen of an eternal monarchy, the kingdom of God, where Jesus rules with absolute power and perfect righteousness as David’s Son. He does not miss a single aspect of every government decision. What is the word of God to them? “Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him” (Ps 2:12).

Faithful ministers like Paul preach the whole counsel of God and everything for your profit that is found in the Bible (Acts 20:17-27). You have just heard God’s will for this part of your life. What will you do with the information? You should repent of any past wrongdoing toward civil rulers or other authority, and you should commit before God to never disrespect or rebel against any of the five spheres of authority God has ordained.

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 24:21 My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change:

 You think outside the box? Make sure it is not the box of the government God picked for you! God chose your government and each person in its offices. He will change it when it pleases Him, but you do not have the ability, duty, or right to even consider it (Dan 2:21).

 The most valuable proverbs for you are the ones you compromise or violate. It is human nature to love the proverbs that condemn others, especially your competitors or enemies. But real wisdom, had only by a few rare men, loves the proverbs that hit nerves and point up a problem with you. Are you humble enough and wise enough to fully trust God here?

God commands you to honor and obey civil rulers. This includes presidents, governors, mayors, sheriffs, clerks, and all public offices. God ordained these offices and chose the persons in them, so He connects your reverence of them with your reverence of Him! Here is basic wisdom for the glory of God and the peace of nations.

He further commands you to avoid those with revolutionary rhetoric, ideas, or plans. They are guilty of sedition and treason against men and rebellion against God, and they deserve damnation (Rom 13:1-2). As you do not want a spouse, children, or employees fomenting rebellion against you, it is your duty to set the same standard for civil rulers.

If you want a peaceful, prosperous, God-blessed life, submit to this proverb and its strict wisdom. God hates free thinkers and talkers, and those who read them or listen to them. He says, “Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities” (II Pet 2:10). You have opened God’s word for wisdom. Here it is. Take it, and prosper!

Are there times when we should not submit to the government?  We should never allow government to force us to disobey God.  Jesus and his apostles never disobeyed the government for personal reason; when they disobeyed, it was in order to follow their higher loyalty to God.  Their disobedience was not cheap: they were threatened, beaten, thrown into jail, tortured, or executed for their convictions.  Like them, if we are compelled to disobey, we must be ready to accept the consequences.

Willingly or unwittingly, people in authority are God’s servants.  They are allowed their positions in order to do good.  When authorities are unjust, however, upright people are afraid.  When authorities are just, people who are doing right have nothing to fear.  This provides our principal motivation to pray for our leaders, Praying for those in authority over us will also mean that we will watch them closely.  If we pray diligently for our leaders, we will be functioning as God’s sentinels.

You should follow the Lord Jesus Christ, Who, though being the King of kings, submitted to Caesar’s de facto government’s taxing authority over Israel and avoided all unnecessary political offence (Matt 17:24-27; 22:15-22). Later, exercising His sovereign rule of the world, He ended the nation of Israel in 70 A.D. and the Roman Empire in 476. He rules heaven and earth with a rod of iron, and no earthly ruler causes Him any grief.