Daily Devotional: Psalms 76:1-12
In Judah God is known; his name is great in Israel. His tent is in Salem, his dwelling place in Zion. There he broke the flashing arrows, the shields and the swords, the weapons of war. Selah You are resplendent with light, more majestic than mountains rich with game. Valiant men lie plundered, they sleep their last sleep; not one of the warriors can lift his hands. At your rebuke, O God of Jacob, both horse and chariot lie still. You alone are to be feared. Who can stand before you when you are angry? From heaven you pronounced judgment, and the land feared and was quiet — when you, O God, rose up to judge, to save all the afflicted of the land. Selah Surely your wrath against men brings you praise, and the survivors of your wrath are restrained. Make vows to the Lord your God and fulfill them; let all the neighboring lands bring gifts to the One to be feared. He breaks the spirit of rulers; he is feared by the kings of the earth.
"Do you refuse to speak to me?" Pilate said. "Don't you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?" Jesus answered, "You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore, the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin."
We often get upset with the corruption, greed, immorality, and the ungodliness in our nation, both in government and in the business world. This is nothing new. In the time of Jesus, the governors, kings, and rulers reported to Caesar and were measured by how much money they collected, if the emperor received honor, and if they kept peace. Otherwise, they could be as ungodly as they wanted.
Herod tried to kill the baby Jesus, then later killed all the baby boys under two years old in Bethlehem. Herod killed John because he told him he was wrong in taking his brother’s wife to be his own. Pilate killed Jesus. Herod killed James, the brother of John, just to please the Jewish leaders. These are just a few of the atrocities they committed, without any restraint. Times were bad for good people.
We are told that no power exists without the consent of God. That does not mean that he approves of wicked rulers in power, but he allows it for his own reasons. It may be that he just allows wicked people to select wicked rulers, as he often did in the Old Testament. There comes a point at which God gives up on people who reject him and refuse to acknowledge him as God. This is true with individuals, with families, with churches and with nations. But he is God and is in control.
O Lord God, be merciful to our nation and give us leaders who respect you as God and who will follow your will for us. Be with your people, wherever they are. Help us show you respect by showing respect to our rulers. In Jesus’ name.