Friday, July 1, 2016

July 2, 2016

Are you frequently frustrated with the leaders of your government?

Do you get discouraged as you look and listen at the next slate of candidates promising to make it all better if they get elected?

Is it tempting to just drop out of the system? Or opt out of voting? Or strike out in anger?

Me, too, at times. But as Christ-followers we must be careful. Jesus has commanded His followers to be "salt and light" in the world He has strategically placed us. That demands involvement and impact from us.

In my last post I shared Paul's admonition to the Romans to obey their laws and be subject to the authority of their government. We are cautioned and counselled to find ways to be submissive not subversive, but the Bible records several exceptions to that admonition.

I will share them briefly with you over the next couple of posts so you can study them in greater depth.

In Exodus 1, after the Pharaoh decreed that all Hebrew baby boys were to be killed at their birth the mid-wives disregarded his edict and continued delivering them. 

Of course, this was blatant defiance of governmental authority but the Scripture records that God blessed the Hebrews with a surge of healthy, robust baby boys, therefore honoring the civil disobedience of these Jewish women.

That is one example of God showing favor those who broke Egyptian law.

In Daniel 3, the three young Hebrew men living under captivity in Babylon very but respectfully defied a royal decree when they refused to bow to Nebuchadnezzar's large graven image.

For this bold stand honoring God over the king, God delivered them from the fiery furnace, thus vindicating them and validating their rebellion, as respectful as it was.

Over in Daniel 6, the King urged by his devious counselors, issued a decree that would be punishable by death if anyone was caught praying. 

Even though Daniel heard the King's decree he continued his daily practice of three prayer sessions. It was a trap set by these jealous and hateful men who were out to get Daniel. He knew what they were up to and he knew it was against the law but he chose to pray to his God.

It is obvious that Daniel was a law-breaker but we all know the rest of the story. God shut the mouths of the lions when he was sentenced to death in the lion's den. Daniel's God rescued him from the punishment of the King thereby sanctioning Daniel's act of civil disobedience.

So, there are three Old Testament stories that chronicle God's exceptions to His general rule of living under the authority of the state and by extension the sovereignty of God.

Prayerfully see what you can learn from these three inspiring accounts of courageous faith contrary to the law of the land.

As a rule, Christ followers are to be exemplary citizens so if they ever make an exception there better be a very good reason.

In these three instances the exception had to do with obeying God's will above the royal directives to the contrary.

Read. Pray. Tread cautiously.