First of All
God’s Word and human government is a subject that deserves our attention, especially in our day and age. First of all, we must recognize that the Lord has ordained human government. “For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God” (Romans 13:1). With that Word of God so stated, here’s the question, “What about the rule over us that is certainly foreign to the principles of God’s Word? What is our Christian response?” Here’s the next question, “ Since the Lord has sanctioned governmental authority, who really is responsible for the unrighteousness found so rampant in human government?” The Bible does say “God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another” (Psalm 75:7). So, biblically, the truth remains, he does place certain people in human government. Well, here’s the righteous answer to those bewildering questions, for us all to ponder: what fallen man partakes of in evil governmental practice is certainly foreign to the Lord and HIS intent for mankind. Isaiah tells us “Open ye the gates, that the righteous nations which keepeth the truth may enter” (26:2). God’s Word is clear, certain, and to be cherished by us all, so, let’s “open ye the gates.” Open the RIGHT GATES OF RIGHTEOUSNESS and allow truth to enter, because: “Righteousness exalts a nation, and sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34). So, what is the root problem concerning a fallen, God-rejecting, evil government? Here’s the answer: it is the sin of the people that brings a nation to its UNEXALTED, UNRIGHTEOUS state. Then, that nation will be “rewarded” with the governmental leaders that they deserve. Just look into Biblical history and you will see for the most part, that Israel’s kings and rulers were exactly of the character of the people over whom they ruled in wickedness.
So, what is the responsibility of the righteous people of God living side-by-side in a nation with the ungodly, who are living out the same unrighteousness practices that consequently trickle down from high places. There is a “first of all” responsibility given to the believer, and it is a prayer response that beckons a change, first of all in the spiritual world, then in the political world. Paul told Timothy to tell the church, and now the WORD is telling us all, “I exhort therefore, that FIRST OF ALL, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, and for all that are in authority” (I Timothy 2:1-2). So, the answer for a righteous nation is not found in the White House, but in the CHURCH HOUSE. Then and then only, “we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty” (v. 2). Is this the right resource for the heart of the believer troubled at the direction of our nation? Absolutely, “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior” (v. 3). So, let’s do the right thing FIRST, the good and acceptable thing FIRST as the people of God. The answer is not found in the unruly protests, the profane placards, and the divisive picketing, something must happen FIRST. “First of all,” we need to voice our prayers, to “be made for all men” including us (our righteous living in Christ) and to others, then concerning our leaders. The result is then in God’s hands: for the righteousness found in lives lived for Christ will then to some degree exalt our nation. “Righteousness exalts a nation” starts with the believer, then to give testimony to others: “Let your light so shine before men” (Matthew 5:16). It is then IN our godly, patriotic venture, that we with righteous lives can give voice to the right principled leaders to be voted in for our nation. Prayer to God concerning righteousness comes first, for HIM to change us first, then others, and our leaders. “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water he turneth it whithersoever he will” (Proverbs 21:1). The reason: God rules and HE overrules because he is SOVEREIGN even in the hearts of mankind. “The LORD God omnipotent reigneth” (Revelation 19:6), and that’s why we “FIRST OF ALL” need to pray.