Jump Start # 3206
1 Timothy 2:1-2 “First of all, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.”
We just had an another election this week. There was a lot of hype saying that this may be the most important election in this generation. It seems that same thing was said about the last election. And, in any election, some are happy and others are sad. The divided times that we live in only makes that magnified. Sad becomes mad and with that comes charges and claims about how unfair the results were.
Our verse today, the apostle calls on us to be prayerful and to include in those prayers, kings and all who are in authority. This was to be so a peaceful life could be lived among the people of God. We remember that those early Christians didn’t have a say in who would rule over them. They did not have elections as we do. Corruption, violence and vice were very common among the political hierarchy in Rome. The brethren couldn’t vote, but they could pray. They could pray remembering that God removes kings and appoints leaders. God is always upon the throne.
Now some thoughts from this:
First, those in leadership positon, be it in politics, business, school, or even within the kingdom must keep in mind those that they are leading. To forget that, is to abuse your position and it often is the source of many problems, complaints and heartache. How many times is the expression, “we don’t count,” often heard in business, in government and sadly, even in the church. Too often the decisions that are made are based upon selfish motives and with an intention of keeping the position and power.
The abuse of power and position often leads to uprisings. On a boat, it’s called a mutiny. The captain is set a float in a small row boat as the crew takes over the ship. In ancient politics, the abuse often led to assassinations and a take over of the government. In business, it leads to workers quitting. And, in the church it leads to splits.
It is an honor to lead people. One must do it nobly and with the intention of doing what is right. When one believes that he is better than others because of his title or position, he will quickly lose the qualities of a leader and become a tyrant.
Second, those that follow are not in the position of leaders and we must remember that. Rebellions, mobs, riots are caused not by those in charge, but by those who wish they were in charge. Leaders often must make the difficult call that is painful yet necessary. Even in the powerful Shepherd Psalm, David was led through dark valleys and sat at the table with his enemies. Those are places he likely would not like to be, but it was necessary as he followed the shepherd. If we only followed the leaders we liked or obeyed the rules that were pleasant to us, chaos would ensue. And, it does. Just notice how people drive these days. In long lines of traffic, people have made U-turns right in front of a No U-turn sign. Some drive in the grass or emergency lane just to get around others. They are doing what they want to do. If followers do not follow leaders, then the leaders have no impact.
Third, we must be prayerful towards our leaders. We may not like them. But much too often we’d rather complain about them, post mean things on social media about them, talk down about them than pray for them. Can you imagine praying for a Caesar? Take your pick of them. None of them would fit our liking. Yet, the apostle urged, begged, pleaded, with brethren to be praying for them. I wonder if our times would be better if we prayed more for our leaders?
Fourth, in the excitement of elections and the obsession with red and blue and left and right, let us never forget that there is an up and a down. Every two years there is an election. The ads fill the commercials on TV. The mailbox is stuffed with information about the candidates. Lots and lots of money flows into these campaigns. For the most part, one won’t hear from the majority of these candidates until another two years. And, in all of this, God is the one who holds our allegiance. There has been wars, recessions, inflation, disasters, corruption, good times and bad times, and our God is still there. Candidates come and go, yet, God is still there. We must never forget that we are first and always disciples of Jesus.
Another election…time for more prayers.