What does the Bible say about America’s responsibility for choosing men among you to govern over you?
Acts 6:3: “Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the
Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them.”
#1. 1 Timothy 2:1-2: “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.”
We may not feel like it or we may not believe that they are doing the best that they can, but we are commanded to pray for those who are in “high positions” and that most certainly means praying for governmental leaders and politicians. As bad as they may seem or as corrupt as we might believe they are, this does not relieve us of our responsibility to pray for those who are over us.
#2. Romans 13:1: “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.”
We are subjects of the government of the land. This means that we are to be under their authority, and this means that we should obey those who rule over us, no matter what we feel about them. God has established those in positions of authority as it pleases him and so we ought always to “be subject to the governing authorities.”
#3. Daniel 2:21: “He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.”
We might think that we have control over who runs the government, but God is the one who plucks up and puts down leaders. He is the one who removes and sets up kings and kingdoms, including those who have authority over us. Their day of justice will come, so we must trust God to execute His righteousness in time and not take it into our own hands.
#4. Romans 13:7: “Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.”
Those governmental employees with the IRS deserve the same respect as those in the judicial system, in Congress, and in the White House. We should give them the honor to which they are due. If respect, then give respect, if honor, then give honor, and if taxes are due, pay them and by doing so, we are living in obedience to God.
#5. Psalm 75:7: “But it is God who executes judgment, putting down one and lifting up another.”
God does use men and women to help establish governmental powers but, in the end, God is the one who will execute the final judgment on all who have been given much responsibility. It might even be us. He is the one who sets up kingdoms and tears them down, He exalts one and brings others down, always according to His will.
#6. Proverbs 8:15-15: “By me, kings reign and rulers issue decrees that are just; by me princes govern, and nobles—all who rule on earth.”
Whoever is in power in a nation, it is by no accident. Even issued decrees are under God’s rule. It is by God that princes govern, nobles rule, kings reign, and issues are decreed. Our job is to simply obey.
#7. Romans 13:4: “For he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.”
“If you pay your taxes, obey the laws, and give respect to those in authority, you have nothing at all to worry about but if you do not, then be afraid,” says Paul. God’s servants don’t bear the sword (authority) for nothing but are God’s agents doing His bidding.
I hope these verses have helped you see that the governmental authorities are decreed by God for our own good and not for our harm and even though it is hard to trust any politician or even government employees, we are commanded to show them respect and live a life of obedience that is pleasing to Him because “whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.”
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren church in Mulvane, Kansas. Jack is also the Senior writer at what Christians want to know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book “Teaching Children the Gospel” available on Amazon.
Remember, Act 6:3 says choose men filled of the Holy Spirit and wisdom (Not evildoers) and He (God) will turn his responsibility over to them. It means government and law never override God’s Law. “Ten Commandments.” Matthew 5:17 Jesus said, “I did not come to destroy the Law but to fulfill the Law.”