“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”
(1 Timothy 2:1-3 ESV)
“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 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.”(Romans 13:1-5 ESV)
It is striking that those inspired words from the hand of Paul the Apostle, both in 1 Timothy and Romans, were written during the reign of Nero, the Roman Emperor. Nero was not a nice guy. Early writers, from the first century through the fourth, recorded that Apostles Paul and Peter were finally executed under Nero’s reign. Although there is no evidence the executions were at his command, they were in his tradition, having executed his own mother and adopted brother.
Paul, writing from Corinth to the saints at Rome instructs as to how they should live in relationship to the emperor and his government. Paul’s letter to Timothy, pastor of the church in Ephesus instructed the young preacher to pray “for kings and all those in high positions”.
President Obama was not my choice for President. And, I am not fond of some of his people and policies, but he is no Nero. My sense is that he is a decent man. A man who loves his wife and two daughters, and his country. And, according to his words, he claims Jesus as Lord.
So, as I write this post on inauguration evening I ask myself and you, will we follow Paul’s inspired instructions? As a follower of Jesus I have no choice “if” I want to be the citizen God expects me to be. As an American citizen my duty demands that I respect not only the office of the United States presidency, but the man who holds the office. If we don’t, how shall we then live?
My God bless President Obama and may God bless America.
Peace to you,