I think you would agree: these are troubling times that we are living in. Repressive governments around the world are murdering their own citizens. And those are people who are alive: What about the unborn? We are slaughtering them by the millions!
And in the United States (or should I say the UN-united states), look at the venomous rage being hurled back and forth between the political parties. They’re like children squabbling over a toy in a playground sandbox. Right?
But having said all that… Who is really in charge of things? What is God trying to teach us? Let’s let God tell us in His own words:
16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy:16~17)
Now that we’ve established the origin of this wisdom, let’s let Him tell us Who is really sovereign over all these things:
Submission to the Authorities
1 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. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3 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, 4 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. 5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience.(Romans 13:1~5 ESV)
Now: I didn’t say that. Almighty God is saying that!
Let’s review what that Scripture passage is saying:
- …there is no authority except from God…
- …those that exist have been instituted by God
- …whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed
- ..those who resist will incur judgement.
- 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 win 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.
First: let me establish who is going to teach us from the Old Testament writers:
20 knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of scripture= comes from someone’s own interpretation. 21 for no prophesy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
(2 Peter 1:20~21)
Now, let’s let the Holy Spirit tell us what could happen — and why!
1 “The whole commandment that I command you today you shall be careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land that the Lord swore to give to your fathers. 2 And you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. 3 And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. 4 Your clothing did not wear out on you and your foot did not swell these forty years. 5 Know then in your heart that, as a man disciplines his son, the Lord your God disciplines you. So you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God by walking in his ways and by fearing him. 7 For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing out in the valleys and hills, 8 a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, 9 a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper. 10 And you shall eat and be full, and you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land he has given you.
11 “Take care lest you forget the Lord your God by not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes, which I command you today, 12 lest, when you have eaten and are full and have built good houses and live in them, 13 and when your herds and flocks multiply and your silver and gold is multiplied and all that you have is multiplied, 14 then your heart be lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, 15 who led you through the great and terrifying wilderness, with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water, who brought you water out of the flinty rock, 16 who fed you in the wilderness with manna that your fathers did not know, that he might humble you and test you, to do you good in the end. 17 Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ 18 You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day. 19 And if you forget the Lord your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I solemnly warn you today that you shall surely perish. 20 Like the nations that the Lord makes to perish before you, so shall you perish, because you would not obey the voice of the Lord your God.(Deuteronomy 8:1~20)
Let’s review what that Scripture passage is saying:
After reviewing all the luxuries and benefits that God has lavished upon them, here’s God’s warning:
- Take care lest you forget the Lord your God…
- by not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes,
- …which I command you today
- Beware lest you say in your heart,
- ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’
- You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth,
- And if you forget the Lord your God…
- …and go after other gods and serve them and worship them,
- I solemnly warn you today that you shall surely perish.
- Like the nations that the Lord makes to perish before you,
- so shall you perish,
- (WHY?)because you would not obey the voice of the Lord your God.
Then the Holy Spirit reviews all the benefits that He has supplied.
And then, He proclaims this warning:
Back to my original question:
We know that God approves or disapproves everything that happens.
God is allowing all the chaos in the world to happen…
But He doesn’t tell us why, or what will happen…
Or does He…
Isn’t God putting us on notice?
Isn’t He warning us?
What is God trying to teach us?