You know that its going to be an interesting day when God hits you between the eyes on one of your shortcomings. One of the things that I know is that when God wants my attention, His Word leaps off the page at me. Today was such a case...
I have struggled greatly with the election of President Obama. I have written here and have spoken elsewhere of my convictions towards this end. I still believe that he is unfit and unqualified to lead our nation.
However, today's scripture in my personal devotions steered me to 1 Peter 2:13-17. In particular, verse 13 and 17 jumped at me. These verses are not opaque, and I quote: "submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every authority instituted among men...show proper respect to everyone. Honor the king."
Ouch! For whatever eternal purposes, God has ordained Barack Obama as our nation's president and top ruling authority for now. The recipients of Peter's letter had similiar yet more severe struggles in the first century with their ruling authorities. It was common place for Christians then to be brutally executed, denied economic benefits and in general, marginalized from the society at large.
Peter's point here hits the nail on the head. Subjecting myself and respecting the ruling authority of President Obama is not just an exercise in futile servitude or blind obedience. We do it for the Lord's sake (verse 13). God wants me to respect the governing authorities he has placed in power. Its a matter of obedience and witness.
We live in a time where its sheik to diss our political leaders. The blogs, the internet and the cable news networks pump this poision 24/7. But, Scripture tells us to take a different tact. Respect and honor the king just as we would respect and honor the King of Heaven. We don't need to agree with Obama's policies but we need to avoid disrespect and dishonorable acts.