1Ti 2:1-3 ?I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; ?(2) ?For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. ?(3) ?For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour.
The above passage has proved difficult for Adventist students of Bible Prophecy. As we watch and pray and see events in Washington move towards what we perceive is the culmination of Revelation 13, it becomes very easy to speak of men like Barack Obama as dangerous and that we should warn people about.
It is true that we should be discerning of world events, but is it our motive to discern these things so we can pray for our leaders that they not be led into evil or rather we might be seen as wise for pointing out their errors and lead the people to us as "saviours" from evil men.
The Bible commands us as follows
Jud 1:8 ?Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.
Do we speak evil of dignitaries? Do we speak negatively of world leaders to others and list out all their plans and schemes that we are sure they are involved in? Do we ever meet with out friends to pray for world leaders or church leaders that God will give them wisdom to execute their office? When we see negative decisions being taken by leaders, do we plead that God will help them not to do things that will harm people?
In regards to our church and our new president. I have heard much negative as well as positive feedback about him since his speech at the General Conference. Do we pray for him and his family? What about our local pastor. Do we ask the Lord to grant him wisdom in his words and actions that we might all receive a blessing? Do we feel the pastor is making a mistake? Have we prayed for him on our knees pleading that God will help him or have we shared our frustrations and anger with others that we feel he is doing the wrong thing?
These questions are confronting. I confess that I have failed in this area and spoken negatively about world leaders and church leaders. It is important to remember:
Rom 13:1-3 ?Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. ?(2) ?Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. ?(3) ?For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
God grants authority and takes it away. No authority can exist without Him allowing it. Authority in Government, church and home is ordained by God for our blessing.
Often leaders fail because we simply expect them to do the right thing. But we need to be like Aaron and Hur and pray for our leaders. Pray that God will bless us through them; pray that God will give them words of wisdom and discernment; pray that God will protect them from temptation and appeal to them in a submissive spirit if we fear they might have taken a wrong direction. We must not rebuke elders or speak evil of them but esteem them highly in love and pray that God will safe guard their reputations.
So let us remember to pray for our leaders and uphold them for they are accountable for the positions granted them and must give an account for every decision they take. Let us plead that for their sake God will give them wisdom to do what is right.
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