Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people. - (Proverbs 14:34)

Paul told us in 1 Timothy 2:2 to pray for our leaders and those in authority so that we might have a peaceful society. We need to pray that leaders will become sensitive to God’s way of doing things, because a culture can be a reasonable place to live if it is informed by biblical principles.

The Bible says that God sets up and deposes kings (see Daniel 2:21). David said, “I will also speak of Your testimonies before kings” (Psalm 119:46). David knew that society must run by God’s rules. In fact, we read in Deuteronomy 17:19 that the king of Israel was required to read God’s Word each and every day. A nation is going to stand or fall based on whether God’s rules have permeated the culture.

Eventhough many don’t know it,our governmental leaders arealsoreligious leaders.The Greek word for minister is a religious term. It means “one who acts on God’s behalf.”So although leaders serve in the civil realm, they are still God’s ministers.

That is, our leaders’ jobs are to uphold and carry out God’s standard in the civil arena. For instance, the Bible forbids murder. When a murder is committed, a minister, in this case called a judge, must act and impose appropriate punishment on the murderer.

Whether or not the judge acknowledges it, the rule being imposed—“You shall not murder”—is God’s rule. The reason He gave it is that we are made in His image. So when a person commits murder, he or she has in reality attacked God.

So when that happens, God has His representatives, His ministers, to act on His behalf in punishing the offender. Judges may not even realize they are acting as God’s ministers when they impose such a sentence, but the Bible says that’s what they are doing.

Reflection: How is it reassuring to know that rulers act under God-given authority? What rulers act within your own community (your government leaders, school authorities, etc.)? Take time to pray that these people would have God’s wisdom as they make decisions . . . and that you and your family would have the proper attitudes toward them as well.

You have created the rules by which we live, Lord. Your creation follows those rules without complaint or argument. Help us as Your people to follow them as well and hold each other accountable to Your order.

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