(Next week we’ll get back to our study on Worship. Today I had a few thoughts regarding today’s Inauguration.)
Somehow I cannot imagine the Apostle Paul stating, “Nero’s not my emperor!”
We live in a nation where today a new President will take the oath of office and begin his duties. About half of the country likes that idea, and half of the country hates that idea. Over the course of my lifetime there have been nine Presidents. I have to admit in my early years I probably didn’t give much thought to Presidents or politics. Like many, I am sure I learned from my parents and others what they liked and did not like about our elected officials. There have been Presidents in my lifetime that I have agreed with (regarding policy and the direction of our nation), and those I have disagreed with, but all nine of those Presidents have been my President. Simply by the fact that I am an American citizen.
In looking at the fifth commandment, we know we have authority issues. The cry of “He’s not my President,” is just one more example that proves the point. Peter, also writing during the reign of Nero, wrote in 1 Peter 2:13-17, “Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.”
For the past eight years Barack Obama has been my President. For the next four years Donald Trump will be my President. It would have been also true if the election would have turned out differently, that Hillary Clinton would have been my President. Denying reality doesn’t change reality. Instead it fosters rebellious attitudes in me and does not help me to submit to authority or “honor the emperor.”
Scripturally, I have an obligation to pray for those in authority over me. 1 Timothy 2:1-2, “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.”
I’ll be the first to admit that I probably didn’t pray for President Obama as often as I should have over the last eight years. Truth be told, I haven’t prayed enough for any President during my lifetime. And, we should still pray for President Obama in the days to come. I have an obligation now to Pray for President Trump and so do you. Keep in mind, probably in no other time in his life has Donald Trump been prayed for more. If he would not have run for President, if he would have lost the election, I doubt we or other Christians, would have given much thought to pray for Donald Trump. God has, in His wisdom, put this man in a position where He calls us to pray. Today as Donald Trump takes that oath of office, I encourage you to pray. Remember that others are praying as well. And may we be encouraged that no matter who leads our nation, our State, our cities, God is sovereign and He hears our prayers.