God and Government

I’m always surprised when I see a sermon that gets an unusual number of hits on our website.  The one from Sunday July 15 Government Is God’s Servant generated about three times the normal number of hits, and resulted in a discussion with a friend that was very insightful.  Since he did not make his comment publicly, but privately, I will not use his name here, but he said (in part), “My problem is that so many turn over to government what is God’s creating a false god of worship.”  I think that there is a lot of truth to what he says. People (particularly in the context of the United States) want a government that will provide all their needs and give them security. Only God can make you eternally secure, and He can do that no matter what type of government you live under.

 

I understand and agree with my friend’s point.  I also, however, feel that people have done much more.  In our nation, where we elect our leaders, we often feel as though the government exists for our purposes instead of for God’s purposes which He has ordained.  We love to feel like we are in control, particularly in areas where we do not want to cede authority to God. But scripture plainly tells us that “Everyone must submit to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those that exist are instituted by God. (Rom. 13:1, HCSB)”  Our government will exist as long as God allows it, and not one minute longer. After all, He allowed Israel to be taken captive when they as a nation rejected Him.

 

When we think of government as our servant, instead of God’s, we tend to turn our government into what we want instead of what God wants.  This is how we wind up with a government that sanctions the murder of unborn children. Or sanctions ideas of matrimony contrary to God’s word and will.  Or attempts to force people of faith to violate their conscience. Or, (in order that I might be an equal opportunity offender), continually spends WAY more than it takes in.  Or has a tax code that it takes a PhD to understand. Or gets involved in ill-advised wars taking out the governments of other sovereign nations. Or makes it very difficult for outsiders to enter legally.  Anyway, you get my point. If we let God be God, and do not try to make the government a god, we would be a lot better off!


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