How Does God Want Us to Think about Government?
Tuesday night brought a turbulent, disturbing, and ugly election season to an end. Besides the incredibly controversial presidential election, numerous local elections and state and federal propositions were also decided. Trump was a shocking winner, California legalized marijuana, Colorado legalized assisted suicide, and in it all God continues to rule supreme. As David Platt said, we should keep doing the work of missions as if this election didn’t change anything because, well, it didn’t really. Mark Dever pointed out that nothing that is eternally true about us changed either. But there’s no doubt that our country’s politics and policies affect the way we live. We’re citizens of Heaven in an ultimate sense, but also pilgrim citizens here. How does God want us to think about government?
Here are five passages to meditate on in this election year.
- It is an abomination to kings to do evil, for the throne is established by righteousness. Proverbs 16:12
- The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will. Proverbs 21:1
- Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. Proverbs 20:7
- 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. Romans 13:1–7
- 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. 1 Timothy 2:1, 2