Who's in Charge Here?

in Doubt/Fear Faith/Trust God Hope Obedience/Discipleship Pain/Suffering

Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 1 Peter 2:13-14

Peter's unwavering belief in the sovereignty of God is seen in this very practical passage. Peter notes that God has established every authority for the purpose of law and order. Our submission to these divine appointments demonstrates our obedience to the Lord.

Now the interesting thing about this passage is the historical context. Peter writes this letter in late A.D. 64/early 65, as intense persecution was raging under the Roman Emperor, Nero. When Nero was blamed for the Great Fire of A.D. 64, he used the Christians as a scapegoat. Because of this, many believers were crucified. Others were tied up in animal skins and torn apart by dogs. Still others were dipped in pitch and set aflame. Peter, more than likely writing from Rome, was put to death in A.D. 67. And yet in the midst of persecution, he reminds Christians to submit themselves to "every authority instituted among men."

Peter believed in the sovereignty of God--in good times and bad. He knew that God was in charge. Solomon said, "The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases" (Proverbs 21:1). Rulers, kings, emperors, prime ministers, and presidents come and go. Nations rise and fall. Economies soar and crash. But this one thing is sure:

"The LORD reigns forever; he has established his throne for judgment. He will judge the world in righteousness; he will govern the peoples with justice. The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you" (Psalm 9:7-10).

Father, thank You that You are sovereign. Thank You for Your eternal reign. Thank You for the promise that You "have never forsaken those who seek you." In Jesus' name. Amen.