Government: A Fearful Master

“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.”

— Romans 13:1-5

Do you ever listen to the news and find it hard to believe that God has ordained all governments? Whatever our opinions about governments around the world, the Bible tells us that God has appointed all governing authorities and we must submit to them.

The Bible teaches three truths about government that our founding fathers clearly understood, but which today have been blurred and obscured. If we understand these truths, we will place government in its appropriate place as God has ordained. The first truth is this: Government is under God and separate from the Church. The early founders knew nothing about a secular state (except for one caused by the ghastly French Revolution). They knew only about a nation under God. They knew that God Himself is above government, and that God, not the government, grants us our rights. The second truth is this: The purpose of government is justice. God has commissioned governments to legislate and administer laws for fairness among the people. Today the government has departed from this concept and attempts to practice benevolence. Governmental benevolence is incredibly wasteful, ineffectual, and harmful. The third truth is this: Government is a terror to evil works and not to good. God has ordained governments to punish evil deeds. Unfortunately, today we often see that, because humankind is basically sinful, government is becoming a terror to good works as well. We see the government beginning to direct oppressive tendencies toward the Church and its schools.

The government is a fearful master, but God is a faithful master. Today pray for those who run your local, state, and national governments; pray that God will use them for His glory and His will.

“Government is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.”
George Washington