Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

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Lafayette, CO 80026
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July 30 – Accountability To God

“They have neither knowledge nor understanding, they walk about in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken. I said, ‘You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you; nevertheless, like men you shall die, and fall like any prince.’ Arise, O God, judge the earth; for You shall inherit all the nations!” Psalm 82:5-8

Devotional Thought For The Day

We continue and conclude our consideration of this short psalm which centers on the responsibilities of government, and now concludes with warnings of the consequences of ruling unjustly.  Though the ruling authorities are afforded great dignity by God Himself, the downfall of those who favor the wicked and deny basic equality and justice to the “weak, fatherless, afflicted and destitute” is quite dismal.  Death is the consequence, and what is indicated is premature death as a direct consequence of malfeasance in office. In the past few years we have witnessed just this kind of judgment on several world leaders.  All who govern and rule should take this warning seriously.

Those who rule unjustly are described: “They have neither knowledge nor understanding, they walk about in darkness.”  Many who come into positions of power have done so through great cleverness, skill, effort, and stealth, including those who are elected. They often consider themselves “superior” because they have risen to such heights of power and authority. They have been supported by others – often the rich – and so they have debts to repay with favoritism. They consider this favoritism to be wisdom, as enhancing and solidifying their power.  But God calls this “darkness” and clearly identifies this as lacking “knowledge” and “understanding.” And He assures all of us that such injustice and foolishness will be punished.

I suppose the same dynamics prevail also in smaller “kingdoms,” within the church, in congregations, in businesses, and even within homes. When cynicism and unbelief prevail, there is no cognizance that all authority comes from God, and hence no regard for our accountability to God. For this darkness and ignorance – for thinking that we somehow have earned and deserved respect and power, and that God has no stake in the matter – we all have need to repent. Thankfully, forgiveness, mercy, and gracious deliverance has been provided for us in the cross of Jesus Christ. “If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” [1 Jn. 1:9]  Such is His love for us, even for those who abuse the authority He has given them.  But all who rule should recognize that God has this same love for all people – including especially those who are entrusted to our care.

The foolishness and darkness of wicked rulers also fails to consider that all things belong to God, that He will “inherit the nations.”  We too worry about political shifts and changes, and fear that God is not in control, that we are responsible to effect all things.  Actually, only God can effect dramatic changes; we are responsible first for our own sphere of authority, and second to advocate and speak for the cause of good, what God has instructed in His Word. We cannot control the behavior of our rulers, or determine the outcome of elections, but we can speak and encourage wisdom in others. But unless those who vie for positions of power understand God’s prerogatives, and that they are accountable to Him to govern wisely and justly, they remain under His condemnation and vulnerable to His judgment.

Prayer For The Day

Dear Lord Jesus, help us to focus first upon our own exercise of authority, so that we are concerned first about the good and welfare of others. Grant wisdom to those who govern and rule over us, that they too understand their purpose and their accountability to You. Give us wisdom to influence others for good – and keep us joyfully mindful that You remain in power and control over all things. Amen.