Monday, January 9, 2017
Lately, this bible verse has come to mind quite a bit: “Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.”(Hebrews 13:17) Lets take a closer analysis of this verse. Lets see what it says and also what it does not. When it says leaders, I suppose it is reasonable to believe it speaks of those in every area of our lives. Some are elected and others appointed or assigned. Then there are those who are called of God. Still, all of them are in a position of authority nonetheless. What this verse does not say is that these leaders are perfect and never need to be advised. It does say that they are the ones who will give an account to God, not those who disagree with them or have “better” ideas. The application of the verse begins at home. Let’s say the leader of the house, in most cases the father, is not meeting his obligations or is neglecting his duties. He is the one who will have to answer for it someday before God.
It is a human tendency for people to tell their leaders, sometimes in strong or forceful terms, that they should do this or the other or else to do things some other way. In fact, I think we all do it. Anyone who has read the bible knows how much Moses struggled with his opposing critics and he was the one God appointed as their leader. You are also aware that he also needed support, sometimes even advice. Why? Because he was not perfect. Neither were all those who were leaders before or after him. And also, as the verse indicates, what should have been a joy for Moses, very often was a troublesome burden for him. When he reacted in kind, he, as well as his people, suffered because of it. This can happen to all leaders, especially those who serve God’s people.
All bible readers also know that, in times past, God even placed evil men in positions of authority for the purpose of chastising His own people. This is one thing I’ve had in mind during all the presidential elections since I’ve been a Christian: God is, and has always been, in complete control of man’s affairs. Because of it, in every election I always wonder if God chose him or her to bless or chastise us. And since it is obvious that our nation, as a whole, strays farther from God each new day, is the idea of being chastised by Him that far fetched? One other thing to keep in mind about leaders, especially those who are called or ordained of God, is this: If he placed them in authority, He is just as capable of deposing them. He needs no one to help Him do it either. The same goes for all leaders in all places and levels of authority. What is our part? We are to pray for them. When we are told to have confidence in them, to me it really means we should have confidence in God. After all, He put them there and He will remove them if and when it is necessary. When we do, we will all get the benefit.
God’s word for today: (1 Timothy 2:1-2) “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”