Rom. 13

So am I getting ready to do my devotions. And todays passage is from Rom. 13. In light of what just happened "1 Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. 4 For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. 6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing. 7 Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor."

The question is, do we submit ourselves to Barak Obama or to the President of the United States? Who do we pray for? Who do we pay taxes to? Now in no way am I suggesting that we don't pray for the man or his family. I think that God wants us to pray for him and his future. Paul points out that all authority comes from Him. He said this in the midst of a political culture that was corrupt and criminal in its ways. The quick demise and succession of Caesars was the rule of that day. Claudius was poisoned; Caligula died violently; and the ruler of that day, Nero, was a tyrant. Paul didn't want the hope of Christians to be tied to the political future of a particular Caesar or ruler.

To answer the question, "Who do we pray for?" the answer is both. We pray for the man whom God has allowed to enter into this office for a season. We also pray for the office of the Presidency. No, I do not believe that they are one in the same as many people would assume. Much of what Paul writes in this scripture uses military terms to communicate his intentions. Soldiers obey the commands of their superior officer. Regardless of what they think of them as a person, they obey the rank. Here Paul tells Christians to do the same.

More to come tomorrow.