March 16, 2014
Introductory personal note: I took on, and met, Jeff Goins’ challenge in January 2014 to write 500 words a day for 31 days. I did 31 day’s worth of writing, but finished it February 2 – two days late. It was exhilarating to reach that accomplishment.
However, all the articles were written without editing (as Jeff asked us to do). That means I have a pile of editing ahead of me, and my writing fire waned for a while. Thus, you haven’t seen me post anything lately. Today, back to writing I go.
Recently, I spent time pondering Psalm 2. Its message is powerfully relevant to any age and any political climate. This section caught my attention the most:
So now, kings, be wise; receive instruction, you judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with reverential awe and rejoice with trembling.
Who would not prefer the leaders of his nation to be wise? Would it ever be considered a good thing to have a foolish leader? Leaders without humility are a danger, and a threat.
A leader, first of all, is a servant. If that is not his attitude (more than just him saying so) he shouldn’t be in the role. Anyone who aspires to be a governmental leader needs to have servanthood uppermost in her motives. Also, according to Psalm 2, a leader needs to know what it is to serve God.
This Scripture talks about “kings of the earth”, not just Jewish or Hebrew kings. They are to be open-minded in order to receive instruction. Kings and judges, rather than dispensing instruction, are to receive instruction. At least, before they dispense any, they need to first receive. Why would that be? Because their authority is not autonomous, but delegated from the Supreme Authority – God. He conceived and created government for His purposes. The primary instruction they are to receive is this: “Serve the Lord”, and they are to receive it with reverence and awe.
This applies to all political systems. How could it not? God is Sovereign. Government was and is His idea and creation. He thought of it. He designed it for the good of humanity. There are a lot of usurpers in leadership positions around the world today, many of them lording it over the nations. That was not God’s intent nor His design.
Governmental leadership is a delegated authority, not an autonomous authority. Man is foolish to think otherwise. Leaders who reject God and His ways may seem to prosper for a time, but bitterness is ahead. Those whom they are supposed to serve will receive bitterness, and ultimately the leaders themselves will reap bitterness.
Do not kid yourself. Separation of theology and state is impossible. Any state system you see is a result of someone’s theology. We are by nature and creation religious, worshiping beings (incurably so, as Ravi Zacharias has said). As a result, every government system will unavoidably reflect a theology.
How would we rejoice if our governmental leaders followed this instruction! How it would change our civic life! A humble leader is not over impressed with his status, his popularity, his ability, or his intelligence. She does not think she has all the answers nor does she see herself as above the populace.
Psalm 2 was written a long time ago. Therefore to have leaders conspire together to resist God and His ways is not a new situation. It existed way back when the Psalm was composed. Nor has God’s stance toward such attitudes changed. Those who hope this would be the case are hoping in vain.
Do you want to be ridiculed by God? I cannot imagine someone eagerly looking forward to that. But, if you do, here is the way: presume to get rid of His “restrictions” on your life. Develop a godless theology (see the Humanist Manifesto, for example) to guide your actions. Be full of yourself and your supreme solutions for society.
A governmental leader who does not serve the Lord with reverential awe, and who does not pay homage to the Son (which is the Messiah, Jesus Christ) is not wise. Why would any nation want leaders who cannot even be said to be wise? How can an unwise person make good decisions? You can know all sorts of facts and still be a record-setter in utter foolishness.
Those who do not serve the Lord with reverential awe are in rebellion. A rebellious stance is not conducive to sound judgment. If a leader is in rebellion against the ultimate authority, how can he inspire devotion to his authority? Thus, we see leaders resort to coercion and force. A leader who is himself a rebel cannot expect people to mildly bow to what he thinks they should do. A rebel inspires rebellion.
This can be taken down to the level of the individual family. How should a father be wise? By receiving instruction from God, serving the Lord with reverential awe and rejoicing with respectful trembling. If fathers did that, would we have the millions of single-parent households we do now?
Revere God or be ridiculed by Him. The wise choice seems obvious.