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  • Writer's pictureJan Weihl

Submit to Government (Romans 13)

This is a tough one. When we see our government doing things and supporting things that are not in the least bit godly, I'm sure we all question why we should in any way submit to our governing authorities. Yet Scripture is clear on this one.

In fact, this is not something we see in just one verse. We see this same command to "submit to the governing authorities," both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament.

I struggled with this one in terms of submitting without having a bad attitude about it until I studied the book of Daniel. Daniel obeyed horrible King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon because he understood that it was God who had given Nebuchadnezzar his power and authority:

Daniel 2:21 It is God who changes the times and the epochs; God removes kings and establishes kings.

In fact, the only time Daniel and his friends did not obey the king's laws is when the laws prevented them from worshiping and obeying God. They refused to defile themselves with food sacrificed to idols and they refused to worship the Babylonian gods.

Daniel 3:16-18 Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to give you an answer concerning this matter. [17] If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. [18] But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

Daniel 6:16 Then the king gave orders, and Daniel was brought in and cast into the lions’ den.

Romans 13:1,7 Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.

Then the real kicker is Jesus' own words regarding paying taxes:

Matthew 22:21 Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.

So as I sit down this week to begin to work on our taxes, I want to make sure my attitude towards the governing authorities is obedient to God.

These passages have also helped me not to bad mouth the politicians and governing authorities I strongly disagree with.

God has placed them there. Even if what they are doing flies in the face of everything that is good and holy, I must respond and submit in a way that glorifies God.

The bottom line for me boils down to two things:

  • I will not support things which go against God's laws

  • I will worship my great God and Savior, Jesus Christ

But, a part of obeying God is not talking bad about those He has established as governing authorities for His purpose.

Dear Lord, Thank you for putting these verses on my heart this week as I begin to work on taxes and as a reminder to make sure I don't badmouth the governing authorities You have established, now are in the future. Lord, guide me so that even in this I am always glorifying and obeying You. In Jesus' name, amen.

Jan Weihl

Living Word Ministries

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