Tuesday, October 16, 2012

1 Peter 2:13-17

“Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance foolish men: As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.”

Christians who think of themselves as servants of God, and therefore, above government control and government mandate, have obviously not read their whole Bibles. In only a few places of Scripture does God write explicitly what “His will” is, but as we come to 1 Pet. 2:15, we see articulated the express “will of God.” He desires that we “Honor all men, love our brethren, fear Him, and honor the King (when Peter was writing this, that was Emperor Nero, the Christian murderer).” Two thousand years later, the eternal will of God has not changed. His desire is that we still put to silence the foolishness of men, by loving each other, fearing Him, and honoring the ones in authority over us. So what is “honoring?” Let’s start with what “honoring” isn’t: 2 Peter 2:10, “them that despise government, presumptuous, self-willed, speak evil of dignities.” Jude vs. 8 says they “despise dominion (any who rule over them), and speak evil of dignities.” This is in spite of the command of God in Exodus 22:28 to not “curse the ruler of thy people.”
“Honoring” and hence “God’s will” is defined as this: “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves, for they watch over your souls,” (Heb. 13:17); and obey them because “they are God’s ministers,” who are “ordained of God” himself (Rom. 13:1-7). Instead of cursing, God desires that we pray “for kings, and for all that are in authority;” we should not be on the side of the road with a sign that defames the leader of our people, we should not be on an internet social network bashing the “minister of God,” we should not join in the “foolishness” of crass, ill-thought, scorning, bitter men, rather we should be on our knees before the throne of the God who ordained those authorities, joining in the holy trust that He has enlisted us for, namely, supplication, intercession, and thanksgiving for those authorities. Now, partake in the will of God, not the foolishness of men.
Food For Thought: What is listed out in this text as the explicit “will of God?” What does that mean?