Posts Tagged ‘current-events’

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 22:26 Do not be a man who strikes hands in pledge or puts up security for debts

Do you live risk-free as possible? God expects you to manage risk carefully. He did not give you what you have to lose it by slothfulness, foolish optimism, naïve dealings, or poor risk management. Part of wisdom is to perceive risks and avoid unnecessary losses.

God expects you to be prudent – to look ahead cautiously, see potential trouble, and protect yourself (Pr 22:3; 27:12). If you presume God will protect you in spite of foolishness or sloth, you sin by tempting Him (Matt 4:5-7). He expects you to use means to reduce risk, while you trust Him to bless the use of the means (Pr 21:31; Ps 127:1-2).

Risk management is an important part of financial prudence and success. In an uncertain world, where you do not know what will happen tomorrow, where many do not repay their loans, where political winds change frequently, where criminals devise new ways to defraud honest people, where the Internet exposes you to every financial fraud and hoax, you must pessimistically assess your risks and protect yourself from unnecessary losses.

King Solomon warned his son against foolish financial risks. It was a common temptation, especially for a wealthy prince, to guarantee others’ debts. The desire to help those in need, whether from charity or pride, could be hazardous to his wealth. The wise king saw the danger of his son over-committing his capital and often warned against it for the economic prosperity of his son and you (Pr 6:1-5; 11:15; 17:18; 20:16; 27:13).

Striking hands – shaking hands in our world – used to seal a deal (Pr 6:1; 17:18; Job 17:3; Ps 144:8,11). This simple gesture of commitment could have severe consequences. Done hastily without due regard, a man could create enough contingent liabilities and be obligated to pay off enough debts of others to wipe himself out financially (Pr 22:27). Small risks are one thing, but risking your home and furniture is unacceptable!

Neighborly or brotherly kindness to help a poor man in need or a successful man with a sound investment are two possible uses of co-signing, if the amount of the liability could be easily paid. But the over-confident assuming of debt to impress others is vainglorious folly and a recipe for disaster. Give the poor what he needs instead of assuming a liability that may be forgotten. Tell the businessman to find his investment funding elsewhere; if the deal is as good as he claims, there will be plenty of funds available for it.

Are you prudent with the income and assets God has given you? A symptom of this foolish generation is the many personal and corporate bankruptcies. Nations are also near insolvency. Wise men minimize debt, shun needless risk, avoid co-signing loans, maintain savings, invest cautiously, purchase insurance, and work diligently in a secure trade and industry. They do not get in a situation to lose everything by bankruptcy and transfer their folly to others. They take responsibility to protect themselves and others.

Consider the ways Americans strike hands and take on foolish financial risk. They will reach for the plastic with the slightest temptation or urge. They flash credit cards for frivolous and discretionary spending, and then the bill arrives with a 21% interest rate attached. Many never get out of this black hole. They stay afloat temporarily by making only the bank’s minimum payment and/or using other cards to fund their living. But disaster is just ahead. The cost of high living will drown them. Solomon warned you!

Governments today encourage citizens to over-spend and take on financial risk, so do not listen. Modern governments with central banks have little fiscal restraint, because they want to buy the votes of their constituency, solve every problem, satisfy every lobbyist, and secure the friendship of other nations’ leaders doing the same things. While they can manipulate an economy to save their jobs, you cannot do the same, so protect yours.

They write checks, approve budget deficits, and make promises with little knowledge or regard for the total cost, for they believe they can create or raise money by fiat or printing press to pay their bills. (Or they hope they can survive until retirement when the next administration will be stuck with the bill.) Governments will generally keep spending until the whole house of cards (their financial system) collapses one way or another.

When the boom-and-bust economic cycles show up in a recession or depression, they blame consumers for not spending enough. Though a nation may have a negative savings rate for its overall populace, the government will call for even greater spending by its citizens in an attempt to resurrect the former days of prosperity – but the fear of losing jobs and other results of a recession force even spendthrifts to slow their consumption.

Modern advertising, marketing, and purchasing convenience also encourage persons to spend beyond their means. A constant barrage of seductive displays and implied needs overwhelm the financial caution of many or most. With new credit cards arriving regularly in the mail, it is easy to join the spending generation on the way to the poor house. The government should require warning notices on credit cards, not cigarettes!

Prudent men do not put their eggs in one basket, no matter how attractive a deal appears. They diversify their investments and sources of income. They do not enter business deals under-capitalized, for they know that is a sure invitation for trouble. And they do not over-extend themselves by building too big, buying too much, or living too high.

They emphasize the negative side of any expected return. If they calculate a 50% probability of gaining 25%, a 30% probability of breaking even, and a 20% probability of losing everything, they flush the idea without remorse. They do not spend their waking hours adding up their new wealth from possible success. They understand that even a modest probability of a large or total loss is too much for a prudent man to consider.

They are properly fearful and skeptical of any naked position where an investment is exposed to significant loss. They do not scoff at the idea of hedging or protecting their investment with an appropriate offset. If an investment idea is truly valid, then it will make a good return even hedged. But the crowd mentality and greed of most investors cause them to bull ahead in wishful thinking for raking in huge profits and returns.

Insurance does not indicate a lack of trust in God. It indicates a fear of God! A man who properly fears God will use whatever means he has to protect what God has given him, for he will give an account of it in the Day of Judgment. God and Solomon classified the man who wastes his assets right beside and related to the lazy and slothful man who has none (Pr 18:9). Insurance is a cheap source of protection to easily fulfill this proverb.

Wise men know that riches are not forever, so they are diligent to assess every aspect of their incomes and the security of their assets (Pr 27:23-27). They understand that naivety or optimism is not a result of faith, but of folly! They know that working hard every day without looking to the future is ignorant and dangerous. They periodically assess their resumes, their company, their industry, their nation, and any other significant factors.

A wise man always asks, “What if?” His question is not, what if this venture is wildly successful, how will I spend my millions? His question is rather, if this venture goes bust, can I still support my family and fulfill my obligations? Solomon warned against any financial choice that creates unnecessary or dangerous risk. You have been warned!

There is a much greater risk you face – being cast into the lake of fire by an angry God in the Day of Judgment (Rev 20:11-15). What precautions have you taken against that risk? Instead of merely losing your job and house, eternal torment with the devil and his angels is beyond comprehension. Wisdom in this crucial matter demands you run to Jesus Christ and beg for mercy (Luke 6:46-49; 16:1-6; Rom 10:9-13; I Tim 6:17-19; II Pet 1:5-11).

Under Gods Command

1 Timothy 1:7-11 They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.    We know that the law is good if one uses it properly.  We also know that law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjures-and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.  

The false teachers wanted to become famous as teachers of god’s law, but they didn’t even understand the law’s purpose.  The law was not meant to give believers a list of commands for every occasion, but to show unbelievers their sin and bring them to God.

“Perverts” may refer to homosexuals. Some people attempt to legitimize homosexuality as an acceptable alternative lifestyle.  Even some Christians say people have a right to choose their sexual preference.  But the entire Bible (both in the Old and New Testaments) calls homosexual behavior sin (see Leviticus 18:22, Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11).

Lets Bring it Home: We must be careful however, to condemn only the practice, and not the people.  People who live this lifestyle can be forgiven and their lives can be transformed.  The Church should be a haven of forgiveness and healing for repentant homosexuals without compromising its stance against homosexual behavior.  


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 30:25 Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer.

Ants are wise. You think they are one of the weakest creatures, but they have wisdom that many men do not have. They save part of all income to use later in life. They work hard when the getting is good, and with an eye to the future, they save for harder times.

Solomon also used the ant to illustrate economic wisdom, when he exhorted his son to consider their diligence, their initiative without supervision, and their foresight to prepare and save for the future (Pr 6:6-8). Are you as wise as the ant, or can you learn a lesson from them? Do you have a regular savings program? Do you leave it untouched to grow?

Though ants are very weak – you may crush hundreds of them with a single foot – they use wisdom to preserve and protect themselves. In fact, they prosper by their wisdom. In the summer, they work diligently to accumulate as much food as possible, which they eat during the fall and spring, when underground. They generally hibernate in the winter.

Wise men do not spend all income; only fools spend it all (Pr 21:20). Saving some of your income is not an option or suggestion – it is God’s commandment. You are to learn from the ants (Pr 6:6-8; 30:25); savings protects you from unforeseen danger in the future (Pr 27:12). Not saving some of your income is sinful presumption (Pr 12:27; 27:24).

Savings must be a priority in life, not an option for money left over after expenses. If a commitment to savings is not made before spending occurs, it will not be done. Paying bills is paying others; saving money is paying yourself. Godly economics is simple: pay God first (tithes and offerings), pay yourself second (consistent savings), and live on the rest. There is no need for fancy budgets or financial models – live on whatever is left.

What you save is what you pay yourself. What you spend is what you pay others. How much do you have for all the years of sweat, toil, difficulty, and frustration of working? You have nothing left from all those years, except your savings account and net assets. Is paying yourself – saving some of your income – starting to make sense? Thank you, ants!

Saving less than 10% of gross income is playing games. Wise men will save at least 10%. The change in lifestyle to save 10% is insignificant, if prudence is practiced elsewhere. Many employers today will match your savings in a 401(k) plan. A simple savings program is easy. You pay God first (10%+), yourself second (10%+), and live on the rest. By living on 80% of your income, you will appreciate things more (Pr 27:7). Try it!

Savings creates another benefit – capital! See the important comments on Proverbs 14:4. Every man will have a few opportunities in his life – called time and chance in the Bible – to make big money (Ec 9:11). But you must have capital – savings – to take advantage of these opportunities. Some call this investment capital seed corn, for it is the seed that is planted for a future harvest. The ant’s wisdom has taught you savings and investment.

You never touch savings. It is for the future – dire emergencies and opportunities. If the ants took vacations and ate their food stores, they would die in the fall and spring, when they need those food stores. If you need extra cash for unusual expenses during the year, it comes from cash management and other reserve funds; it does not come from savings. Your saved capital is not to be touched; your seed corn is not to be eaten!

If you invest your capital conservatively and wisely, it will grow during all the hours of the day and night. If you buy bonds, you are earning interest every second of every day and night (Matt 25:26-27). If you buy stocks, you have many people in many companies around the earth working for you every day and night. You are leveraging your limited ability and effort by the multiplied abilities and efforts of many others. Thank you, ants!

Financial success requires diligence, discipline, sacrifice, consistency, and time. The ants do all five well (Pr 6:6-8; 30:25). Diligence is working hard to maximize your income. Discipline is paying the Lord first and yourself second, before spending even a dime. Sacrifice is doing without a few toys and luxuries you want. Consistency is doing it without interruption during your productive years. Time is what allows savings to grow.

If your estate is small and your savings negligible, reader, it is because you have ignored the ants and Solomon’s wisdom. Have you never heard that you ought to save at least 10% of your income for the future – for emergencies and opportunities? Have you never heard? Or are you more foolish than the ants, which save without a ruler or guide?

Preparing for your eternal future is far better than preparing for your financial future. Here is wisdom in its brightest and purest form. As the unjust steward protected himself from unemployment, Jesus exhorted His children to protect themselves from that great accounting to take place in the last day (Luke 16:1-16). Have you looked to the future and laid up a good foundation against the time to come (I Tim 6:17-19)? The Lord Jesus Christ will come soon, and you will face an emergency like no other. Save up for it!

Under Gods Command

Romans 14:13 therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way.

Bothe strong and weak Christians can cause their brothers and sisters to stumble. The strong but insensitive Christian may flaunt his or her freedom and intentionally offend others’ consciences. The scrupulous but weak Christian may try to fence others in with petty rules and regulations, thus causing dissension. Paul wants his readers to be both strong in the faith and sensitive to others’ needs.

Lets Bring it home: Because we are all strong in some areas and weak in others, we need constantly to monitor the effects of our behaviors on others.

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 5:17 Let them be yours alone, never to be shared with strangers.

Bastards are a big problem, especially to kings. Solomon warned his son to avoid whores, lest he pollute his family tree. A wise man delights in a legitimate family of children, but one consequence of sexual sin can be the painful difficulties of bastards or stepchildren.

Sex is mainly for pleasure, though a church in Rome says different. Sex is also to reproduce, as a husband and wife can create a family by God blessing their lovemaking. Such a marriage is called wedlock, because other spouses or children are locked out!

Solomon warned his son against sexual sins (Pr 5:1-23). Though the world calls it casual sex, God calls it fornication, adultery, and whoredom, and He will judge every violator (Heb 13:4). As part of the lesson, he exhorted his son to maximize his sexual pleasure with his wife only (Pr 5:15,19-20). He then added the precious incentive of having a legitimate family without any confusion of it by other women or children (Pr 5:16-18).

The plural pronoun “them” in the first clause, “Let them be yours alone,” are the fountains and rivers of waters of the previous verse, which are the legitimate children and descendants of a good and noble man (Pr 5:16). The children must all be legitimate by his lawful wife to maximize the pleasure, peace, reputation, and power of a great family.

Godly men, great men, understand the value of a large, happy, and prosperous family (Ps 107:41; 127:3-5; 128:1-6). They know it is one of the great blessings and goals of life. They are not like today’s perverts, who choose other men for their lovers or use women for sex with neither marriage nor children desired. A great family is a valuable motive for godly men to avoid whorish women. Wise parents will include this in their child training.

The “strangers” of the second clause are whores (Pr 23:27). Kings have had mistresses from the beginning, because of their power and wealth. King Solomon warned his son to limit sex to his wife (Pr 5:19-20). He used the euphemism “strange woman” often (Pr 2:16; 5:3,20; 6:24; 7:5; 23:27; Judges 11:1-2). She is a stranger in that she is foreign to his marriage bed; he has no right to intimacy with her, for he promised all lovemaking to his wife. Though he may know her well personally, she is outside his sexual territory.

God allowed polygamy because of the hardness of men’s hearts (Matt 19:8). Though He could easily have created many wives for Adam, He chose one wife for each man for a very good reason (Mal 2:14-15) – godly children. Polygamy corrupts families, as the Old Testament history shows, even though polygamy actually involved legitimate marriages.

Sarah encouraged her husband Abraham to take a second wife named Hagar. But as soon as Hagar conceived, even before any children were born, the envy and trouble had started (Gen 16:1-6). When each wife had birthed a son for Abraham, the rivalry came out in the open, and Abraham’s polygamous family was ripped apart permanently (Gen 21:1-11).

David’s sons fought among themselves, because David had polluted his family tree by polygamy (I Chron 3:1-9). Solomon had witnessed this deadly conflict personally, when Absalom killed Amnon for molesting his half-sister (II Sam 13:1-39). And he had experienced it himself, when Adonijah tried to steal his throne (I Kgs 1:1-53; 2:12-25).

Adultery is far worse than polygamy, for there is no commitment or marriage at all. Children conceived by adultery do not have two loving parents, for one parent is missing from the child’s home, and the stepparent may not have strong affection for the stepchild. It is such troubles of a mistress conceiving that Solomon warned his son and you against.

But how much worse are children stolen from opposite-sex intercourse to provide children for two men or two women in same-sex sham marriages? Even nature itself condemns such unions and denies them ability to reproduce (Rom 1:24-27,31; I Cor 6:9; I Tim 1:10; II Tim 3:3), yet they want the result of opposite-sex love! Solomon never saw such perversity! The proverb applies even more powerfully against such inventions, for it declares, “Let [your children] be only thine own, and not strangers’ with thee” (Pr 5:17).

The living and true God, Who limited marriage and sex to one man and one woman, also condemned frivolous divorces – the kind that occur in about 50% of first marriages in America. He hates such divorces (Mal 2:16), and He declared that they are merely a legal fraud to whitewash the terrible sin of adultery (Matt 5:31-32; 19:3-9). These divorces also violate the proverb, for they break up marriages and confuse families with stepchildren.

The children of God should marry godly and virtuous spouses of the opposite sex for life and build great families with legitimate and loved children, whom they train to love godliness and hate this world’s abominations. May such children see the glory, feel the joy, and know the profit of a godly and real family. May they learn to hate fornication, adultery, sodomy, and unscriptural divorce as enemies of the family. May the fountains and rivers of such godly children increase more and more (Pr 5:15-18; Ps 144:11-15)!

The God of heaven has His family of children by glorious wedlock to the Lord Jesus Christ (Eph 3:14-15; 5:25-27; Heb 2:10-13). All others outside the electing grace of God are bastards, and He denies them His love and chastening (Heb 12:5-8; Eph 1:3-6; Rom 8:28-33; 9:21-24). Jesus Christ guaranteed eternal life to every one of these children (Jn 6:38-39; 10:27-28; 17:1-4), and they shall spend eternity rejoicing in a new heaven and earth with Him and their Father (Ps 16:11; 36:8; John 14:1-3; Rom 8:17-23; Eph 2:4-7).

Under Gods Command

Romans 10:16-20 But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?” Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did: “their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. “Again I ask: Did Israel not understand? Fist, Moses says, “I will make you envious by those who are not a nation; I will make you angry by a nation that has no understanding.” And Isaiah boldly says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people.”

Many Jews who looked for the Messiah refused to believe in him when he came. God offered his salvation to the Gentiles (“those who are not a nation” and “a nation that has no understanding”); thus many Gentiles who didn’t even know about a Messiah found and believed in him. Some religious people are spiritually blind, while those who have never been in a church are sometimes the most responsive to God’s message. Because appearances are deceiving and we can’t see into people’s hearts,

Lets Bring it home: Beware of judging beforehand who will respond to the gospel and who will not

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

Romans 09:10-14 Not only that, but Rebekah’s children had one and the same father, our father Isaac. Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad-in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: not by works but by him who calls-she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” What than shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For he says to Moses.

“I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”

The Jews were proud of the fact that their linage came from Isaac, whose mother was Sarah (Abraham’s legitimate wife), rather than Ishmael, whose mother was Hagar (Sarah’s maidservant). Paul asserts that no one can claim to be chosen by God because of his or her heritage or good deeds. God freely chooses to save whomever he wills. The doctrine of election teaches that it is God’s sovereign choice to save us by his goodness and mercy, and not by our own merit.

Was it right for God to choose Jacob, the younger, to be over Esau? In Malachi 1:2,3, the statement “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated” refers to the nations of Israel and Edom rather than to the individual brothers. God chose Jacob to continue the family line of the faithful because he knew his heart was for God. But he did not exclude Esau from knowing and loving him. Keep in mind the kind of God we worship: he is sovereign; he is not arbitrary; in all things he works for our good; he is trustworthy; he will save all who believe in him.

Lets Bring it Home: When we understand these qualities of God, we know that his choices are good even if we don’t understand all his reasons.

Under Gods Command
God’s Sovereign Choice

Romans 9:1-4 I speak the truth in Christ-I am not lying, my conscience confirms it in the Hoy Spirit. I have great sorrow and unceasing aguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race, the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption as sons: theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises.

The Jews viewed God’s choosing of Israel in the Old Testament as being like adoption. They were underserving and without rights as natural children. Yet God adopted them and granted them the status of his sons and daughter.

Lets Bring it Home: Have you truly been adopted by God? Have you receive his invitation of adoption to be His Sons and Daughters?

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 31:1-3 The sayings of King Lemuel-an oracle his mother taught him “O my son, O son of my womb, O son of my vows, do not spend your strength on women, your vigor on those who ruin kings.

The queen mother appealed to her son King Lemuel as only a mother can do and warned him against the greatest threat to his life and reign – women. Kings, due to their power and riches, were great objects of seduction by whorish women. Kings, by their power and riches, lived luxuriously, which promoted lascivious living and the lusts of their eyes and flesh. This great mother despised whores and warned her son against them.
Kings ruled nations, raised armies, and conquered empires. Kings are the greatest rulers in history. They made weighty decisions that affected the lives of those in and out of their kingdoms. They had absolute authority of life and death over every citizen. To influence a king was to influence nations and the lives of millions. For a king to become infatuated with a woman was to give his strength, duty, and honor to the base lusts of his loins!
How many kings have been destroyed by evil women affecting their decisions? Or would it be easier to ask how many kings have not been so affected! The threat was real; the historical record bleak; and the consequences terrible. Kings, and all men in authority, must be stricter and stronger in resisting women than other men. Power is an aphrodisiac and an opportunity for the flesh. On these two counts men in leadership roles must be vigilant. They must deny the flesh to keep themselves, their offices, and their charges.
King Lemuel’s mother knew good women, for she wrote the loftiest description of the most perfect woman ever imagined (31:10-31) She wanted her son the king to have one woman – a virtuous, God-fearing woman – to be his wife. She did not desire a harem for him. She did not allow thoughts of mistresses. She despised concubines and courtesans. She knew his success depended on one great woman as his wife. Consider it well, men!
Samson was judge of Israel, but the conniving whore Delilah brought him down to terrible destruction. David had a harem of wives; but taking the wife of one of his best friends brought him sore trouble, nearly destroyed his kingdom, and cost him dearly for the rest of his life. His son Solomon followed David’s horrible example against his own wisdom and is left in ignominy and shame in the Bible (1 Kgs 11:1-11; Numb 13:26).
What are the lessons? Great mothers warn their sons plainly about the danger of whorish women. Great men, especially in positions of authority or leadership, must take extra precautions to be vigilant against this dangerous threat. And if women can destroy gifted rulers, common men should be even more careful. Great women will realize their sexual power and restrain it diligently for righteous purposes only with their husbands.
There is only one King never moved by evil. David wrote of his distant Son, “He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. And he shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain” (II Sam 23:3-4). Jesus Christ is that perfect king. Tempted in all points like other men, He never sinned (Heb 4:15).