Romans 13:1, “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.”
Where did the institution of government come from? Why do we have law enforcement? Did a group of people get together many years ago and decide mankind needed these two things? Or is the Institution of Government something established by God? In order to answer these questions, we will need to read Genesis chapter 9. After the flood, the Lord spoke to Noah. Noah, his three sons and their wives were all that dwelt on earth (human). The Lord’s commands and instructions were given to them to be followed thereafter. Genesis 9:6, “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.” The Lord, in His wisdom and grace, gave man three institutions. Marriage (Genesis chapters 1-2); Government; and the Church. Each of these are capable of functioning correctly or incorrectly. If those involved follow the commandments of God, they will operate smoothly and stand on the Truth declared in the Bible. If any of these fail to operate correctly, it’s not God’s fault, but man’s. Government is an institution of God. Our study verse teaches us this very fact. The Bible does not teach that every person in government was placed there by God (even though God in His precious providence has blessed His people to have some godly rulers through history). It would be improper for a person to claim that God placed a man like Adolf Hitler in the place of rule so that he could lead the murder of millions of human beings. But it is proper for us to recognize that God ordained the institution of government.
Romans 13:2-4, “Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. 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: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.”
The Apostle Paul goes further by teaching us that we, the family of God, have a responsibility to live as law abiding citizens. By resisting the authority of government, we resist “the ordinance of God:…” Everyone of us should labor to comply and respect the law. When the speed limit reads 55 mph, we should drive no faster than 55 mph. When we go faster than the posted speed limit, we should not be angry with the officer who gives us a citation. Those speed limits are posted for our safety and we should abide by them and show our respect to God and the institution. Titus 3:1, “Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,…” 1 Peter 2:13, “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.”
Is it possible for individuals in government and law enforcement to make mistakes? Yes. Psalm 39:5, “…verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity…” Sometimes folks get speeding tickets when they were not speeding. Sometimes people are charged with crimes that they didn’t do. Sometimes there are bad eggs in law enforcement who treat people unfairly. There was a time in Exodus 1 when midwives were commanded by the king of Egypt to kill the male children that were born to the Hebrew women. The midwives were disobedient to the king of Egypt’s commands because they “feared God” (Exodus 1:17).
To be honest, I believe there have been many instances in the last few months when the government has gone beyond the bounds of law and the Bill of Rights concerning the Covid 19 issues. For context, I will include the First Amendment:
Amendment 1, Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
But just because I believe the government misses the mark from time to time, it does not mean that I am against all government and law enforcement; not at all. I am a supporter of government and law enforcement. And even though there have been mistakes made throughout history, I’m still convinced that we live in the greatest nation on earth. I’m thankful for the blessings of being an American citizen. We enjoy freedoms that many of God’s children have not experienced. And to show my thanksgiving, as long as law enforcement doesn’t call on me to do contrary to God’s Holy Word, I will do my very best to comply. Why? Because I love God and my brothers and sisters in Christ. I appreciate the law enforcement in Union County, North Carolina. Since moving here, I’ve been treated with nothing but respect and kindness. My prayer is that God will bless us to continue in this relationship and fellowship until we see Jesus in the clouds. Amen!