FRIDAY, MARCH 1
“Whosoever therefore resisteth the power,
resisteth the ordinance of God …”
BE READY TO FULFIL OBLIGATIONS
In Exodus 22:28-31, God commands that His children must not revile gods or curse the rulers. The “gods” here refer to judges like in Exodus 21:6 (same word in Hebrew). The point is that His children are to respect civil authorities. We are commanded to do the same in Romans 13:1-5: “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.”
Christians must realize that God appoints even civil authorities and rulers. We ought not join in conversations wherein others criticize and scorn authorities, nor join demonstrations. This is not to say that we are to obey them when we are asked to sin or that we cannot respectfully submit petitions. Rebelliousness against authorities is all too common today. God will deal with unjust authorities. All the more He expects the children of Israel to promptly offer their tithes as instructed by Him. All that we have is from Him and we must not hesitate or give excuses. Do not say, “I will tithe when I have paid up my loans, or when my children’s education is paid for.” But it is not just the outward obedience and physical giving that God demands. They were to be a holy people. What He forbade them to eat, they must avoid as unclean. They were to be an obedient and separate people from others both in their outward lives and with an inward purity of a genuinely holy life. So must we.
THOUGHT: God expects ready subjection to His commands.
PRAYER: LORD, teach me to obey, and not to be rebellious.