Honor To Whom Honor Is Owed
For the most part I don’t pay attention to or get involved in politics. Of what little I do follow I pay closer attention to issues in our local government and have even held public office for one term in the City of Trenton.
Right now every media outlet is covering the presidential nominees and upcoming election. It’s the subject of many different conversations and disagreements alike. As it goes with every election there is much talk of who is the best and right fit for the job and who is liked the most. It always amazes me to hear people talk about some of the candidates as if they know everything about them and their character. Yes we can see fruits of one’s character but reality is we only see what they want us to see and know what they want us to know. Ha…we do much the same thing don’t we.
I don’t expect others to have to share my lack of interest or concern for politics. Others share different views and are very passionate about current national affairs and that’s great. But where do we draw the line as children of God? At what point do we realize that we’re not in control?
It seems that one of the things we hear prayed for in the collective assembly is our nation and our leaders. That’s fitting as Paul told Timothy “First of all, the, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions…” (1 Tim. 2:1). It’s never inappropriate to pray for our leaders and all those in “high positions.” But in those same prayers and conversations do we sometimes miss the point?
It seems often those prayers and conversations are focused on getting this country back to God, that our leaders that will look to God’s word for guidance and wisdom. While I understand the sentiment let’s honestly ask ourselves when has this country or world ever been focused on God? While this nation’s founding fathers may have used God’s word as a source and reference reality is this country has never been fully founded upon God’s word. This country is not God’s chosen people or nation. In that same verse Paul said that we were to offer those prayers and supplications “…that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.”
It saddens me to read and listen to brethren discuss and banter on about the current president and say all kinds of unkind things and even hateful things. I recently visited a meeting where the speaker felt the need to throw multiple jabs at our President during his lesson and the lesson was on the deity of Jesus Christ. It takes creativity to go from the Deity of Jesus Christ to politics I’ll give them that.
Have we forgotten who we have been called to be in this life as children of God, as lights in this dark world? Paul told those living in Rome, who were currently under the reign of Nero “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.” (Rom. 13:1-2)
If they were able to vote like we are today do you think they would have sought to elect Nero? Absolutely not. None of us could ever imagine living under the rule of someone like this extremely wicked man and yet notice what Paul says. “Those that exist have been instituted by God.” God is the one who has always been and will always be in control. Yes most, if not all, of our current candidates or those currently holding positions are those that we may not believe are the people we need but we’re not in control and we don’t see the whole picture.
In Isaiah 44 & 45 God prophesied that he would use Cyrus, who was a pagan king of a nation that was given fully to all kinds of pagan worship and wickedness. In Ezra 1 that’s exactly who God uses to accomplish His will. He used the Pharaoh of Moses day, the Assyrian kings, the Babylonian kings, Judges 2:14 says that the Lord “sold them into the hand of their surrounding enemies.”
We must be people who have faith in God to accomplish His will as He sees fit. If God can use men like Cyrus, whom Isaiah says didn’t even know God, how much more can God accomplish by those who know Him and are seeking to do His will? While we may not like those in places of authority, such as the presidency, let’s remember that our allegiance belongs to the Lord and His kingdom and show “respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed."