“Morning by morning, O Lord, you hear my voice”

Psalm 5:3

“Ordained of God”

(Please read Romans 13:1-7)

January 19

In the early days of the church, Christians had many run-ins with the government, in Judea and other places. Later clashes with civil government led the Pilgrims to come to the New World, looking for freedom to practice their religion without fear.

And Americans have, for the most part, preserved that freedom ever since. We’re all interested in the government, because we live here and government affects us in countless ways, and because, as Paul wrote in our text, “the powers that be are ordained of God” (13:1, KJV). Since God in his wisdom saw fit to establish governments, It is the duty of Christians to submit to the government (except when its laws violate the laws of God).

This doesn’t mean that all the deeds of every king and president are approved by God. It means only that the existence of governing authority is part of God’s plan, for without such restraints civilization could not exist. Christ’s kingdom is not of this world, and this world is not our permanent home. But Christ himself honored civil government when he provided for paying taxes to Caesar, when he indicated that Pontius Pilate’s authority came from above and in other words and actions showed himself a law-abiding citizen of the Roman empire.

Both Peter and Paul wrote of the need to obey the laws of the land. Moreover, Christians are told to pray for the government and its representatives, that we may lead “quiet and peaceable” lives. And we should give thanks continually for the blessings of liberty we enjoy so much.

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