Daily Devotional: Psalms 58:1-5
1 Do you rulers indeed speak justly? Do you judge uprightly among men? 2 No, in your heart you devise injustice, and your hands mete out violence on the earth. 3 Even from birth the wicked go astray; from the womb they are wayward and speak lies. 4 Their venom is like the venom of a snake, like that of a cobra that has stopped its ears, 5 that will not heed the tune of the charmer, however skillful the enchanter may be.
1 Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.
We are living in a time in our country when civil unrest and civil disobedience is running rampant. Far too many seem to have no regard for the authority of the government or its officials – whether in some office or police on the streets. It is the fault of the police when someone commits a crime or the school officials when a child gets into trouble. The root of this is a lack of respect for parents.
Some use the excuse that the officials are corrupt or that they are not really doing the job they were given. While some politicians are corrupt and some police officers abuse their power and some school officials are not fair, we are told to respect their authority because it has been given to them by God.
There has probably never been a time in world history when the government was more corrupt than during the Roman Empire and this is when Paul wrote the book of Romans. Not only was the government corrupt and the rulers selfish, but Christians were often singled out for unfair and ruthless mistreatment. Yet, in this context, Paul says we are to submit to them and show them respect. On another occasion, he said we are to pray for our leaders so that we may be able to live quiet and godly lives. He did not say for us to just pray for the ones with whom we agree or the ones we like. For us, it is a matter of respecting the authority of God.
Heavenly Father I am so thankful to live in a country where we enjoy so many freedoms and so much of our government has been established by our founders with safeguards against personal abuse. I pray that you will convict the hearts of those in authority so they will recognize that you have given it to them and so they will look to you for your wisdom. Give us more parents who will teach and enforce respect for authority, recognizing that it comes from you. Give me greater faith to trust you in every part of my life. I pray in the name of Jesus.