Soon after God created man, He informed humans of their purpose for living. They were to have dominion over all other aspects of creation -“…”Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and rule over…the earth.” Genesis 1:28
Man eventually tested the authority of his Creator bringing sin forever in to the hearts and minds of mankind. This established the need for the institution of government – “The authorities are established by God for that very purpose, to punish those who do wrong.” Romans 13:4 He goes on to say – “Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities; For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil;…for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath upon the one who practices evil.” Romans 13:1, 3, 4 This is the fundamental purpose of godly government.
However, God places ALL leaders and governments in place. They serve at His will, whether they are godly or ungodly, good or evil. They serve His divine purposes which are well beyond the comprehension of mere man -“Praise of the name of God for ever and ever, for he alone has all wisdom and power. He determines the course of world events; he removes kings and sets others on the throne.” Daniel 2:20-21
God commands us to be good citizens of the government that he establishes for us -“Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right.” 1 Peter 2:13-14We are given responsibilities as citizens – “You must obey the government for two reasons: to keep from being punished and to keep a clear conscience. Pay your taxes, too, for these same reasons.” Romans 13:5-6
Yet, we are not to be pawns for ungodly government. We are given a
simple formula for living successfully in our Constitutional Republic.
“…if you will fear the Lord and serve Him and obey his voice, and
will not rebel against His way, both you and (your government) who reigns over you will certainly be God’s followers.” 1 Samuel 12:14
That formula requires our active participation -“It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1. “Standing firm,” in a government such as ours would include all forms of civic and political activity necessary to insure our future as a free and God-fearing people. Those who appreciate freedom would be wise to note the source for all freedom -“Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” 2 Corinthians 3:17
Good government is the will of God, 1Timothy 2:2 (roughly translated). Christians have the right and indeed the responsibility to be active participants in our process of government. God instructs us to keep our eyes on the ultimate goal along with a warning, if we stray – “Where there is no vision, the people perish…” Proverbs 29:18 He tells us there are reasons for giving God a proper place in our government -“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord and the people whom he has chosen for his own inheritance.” Psalms 33:12 He also commands us to maintain a healthy personal relationship with Him and with our fellow citizens -“Righteousness exalts a nation.” Proverbs 14:34
We are given insight as to the results of ungodly leadership – “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.” Proverbs 29:2This coupled with the command to, “stand firm” is indeed the Christians call to action!
Finally, God brings all government into perspective and reminds governments of their proper place by telling us -“For the Lord is our judge (Supreme Court), the Lord is our lawgiver (Legislature/Congress) the Lord is our King (Chief Executive); He will save us.” Isaiah 33:22Then, reinforces that by saying, “The Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind; your kingdom will be assured to you after you recognize it is Heaven who rules.” Daniel 4:17, 26