Thank God it's Monday Devotional 16
by David Joynt on September 19, 2022
ROMANS 13:1-7 | 1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those authorities that exist have been instituted by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists authority resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct but to bad. Do you wish to have no fear of the authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive its approval, 4 for it is God’s agent for your good. But if you do what is wrong, you should be afraid, for the authority does not bear the sword in vain! It is the agent of God to execute wrath on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore one must be subject, not only because of wrath but also because of conscience. 6 For the same reason you also pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s agents, busy with this very thing. 7 Pay to all what is due them: taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due.
MATTHEW 4:8-9 | 8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory, 9 and he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.”
JOHN 14:30 | 30 I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over me,.
The ambiguous relation we have to political authorities roots deeply in the biblical tradition. Paul expresses one half of this perspective in Romans, insisting that authorities are not arbitrary inventions but are inspired divine structures, in place to prevent chaos in the name of order and so to restrain evil. But these same structures are led by men and women who themselves are subject to both good and evil influences. Evil is also at work corrupting the kingdoms of this world, as Jesus emphasizes in John and as Matthew bluntly states in the temptations. In Revelation, the same Roman Empire Paul calls his friends to obey becomes the Incarnation of Evil, a Babylon-like oppressor of God’s people, destined for destruction (see Revelation 16-18).
Do you have a positive or negative attitude toward political authority?
Or is your view mixed?