Summary: After election hype, we remember that God’s perspective on citizenship and what makes for good leadership stays the same. Citizens need to be cooperative and leaders need to attempt to be fair.
After the Election: Citizens and Officials
1. The political season is over, for now. So it is time for 2 non-partisan joke.
2. Three contractors are bidding to fix a broken fence at the White House. One is from Chicago, another is from Tennessee, and the third is from Minnesota. All three go with a White House official to examine the fence. The Minnesota contractor takes out a tape measure and does some measuring, then works some figures with a pencil. “Well,” he says, “I figure the job will run about $900. $400 for materials, $400 for my crew, and $100 profit for me.” The Tennessee contractor also does some measuring and figuring, then says, “I can do this job for $700. $300 for materials, $300 for my crew, and $100 profit for me.” The Chicago contractor doesn’t measure or figure, but leans over to the White House official and whispers, “$2,700.” The official, incredulous, says, “You didn’t even measure like the other guys! How did you come up with such a high figure?” The Chicago contractor whispers back, “$1000 for me, $1000 for you, and we hire the guy from Tennessee to fix the fence.” “Done!” replies the government official.”
3. A thief stuck a pistol in a man’s ribs and said, “Give me your money.” The gentleman, shocked by the sudden attack, said “You cannot do this, I’m a U.S. congressman!” The thief said, “In that case, give me my money!” [humorpedia]
4. As much as we joke and tease, government is necessary. And, despite our governments many flaws, it is among the world’s most honest.
Main Idea: After election hype, we remember that God’s perspective on citizenship and what makes for good leadership stays the same. Citizens need to be cooperative and leaders need to attempt to be fair.
The 30th and last of the 30 wise sayings…
A. When people rebel, they are putting much at RISK.
1. Wrath from the ruler/Wrath from God
B. The general principle is to OBEY both God and legitimate authority.
C. Several NEW Testament Midrashim grow from this
I Peter 2:17, “Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.”
Romans 13:1-7, “ Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.
I Timothy 2:1-4, “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
1. Government’s primary purpose is to ENFORCE law and order.
2. Government executes justice as God’s REPRESENTATIVE.
3. Our main concern, as Christians, is FREEDOM to live our faith.
D. Balancing principle: If God and government contradict, we obey GOD.
Acts 5:29, “But Peter and the apostles answered, ‘We must obey God rather than men.’”
E. Some people have an anti-authority BENT, except when they are in authority!
3 John 1:9, “I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority. So if I come, I will bring up what he is doing, talking wicked nonsense against us. And not content with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers, and also stops those who want to and puts them out of the church.”
One forum person asked this question over the internet: