December 29, 2015
THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 29 December 2015
King David was a warrior, and thus his words to his son are characteristic of a battlefield charge: “Be strong, therefore,” and demonstrate maturity (1 Kgs 2:2; cf. 1 Sam 4:9). The next king, Solomon, would display strength and qualities appropriate to his gender only as he directed his life by God’s revealed Word. The priority of his life personally, in addition to his stately administration, must be distinguished by commitment to the will of God.
God providentially installs all leaders (Prov 8:15; Dan 2:21; John 19:11; Rom 13:1); therefore, no official is a law unto self. Scripture teaches that there is absolutely nothing that humanity can do which will ultimately thwart the sovereign decree of God. He alone providentially installs leaders in the realm of government. God even installs pagan elected officials, and yes, even sinful leaders. Yet, is that God’s desire? No! God’s desire is seen in his provision given to government leaders.
God’s provision for political leaders, which is salvation and “knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim 2:4), means that all officials are bound by divine orders. Recognizing the divine gift entailed in political office, one must “walk in His ways” and uphold God’s commands and decrees, as revealed in the Holy Bible (1 Kgs 2:3; cf. Deut 17:18-20). The leader’s greatest responsibility is to honor the will and Word of God.
Recognizing political responsibility as a divine gift results yields several results. First, one may be certain that living with “knowledge of the truth” (cf. 1 Tim 2:4) will initiate personal success in all life’s actions and wherever such activities guide. The notion of “success” (1 Kgs 2:3) involves acting with insight and skillfulness, with the result of prospering in all one’s activities. Political and national prosperity would be the consequence from a life of obedience (which is a theme revealed in the subsequent chapters of 1 Kgs).
Second, one may attain the blessing of God for subsequent generations (1 Kgs 2:4; cf. Prov 2:11-15; 5:11-14; 22:6; Ezek 18:20). God’s unconditional promise to provide an eternal dynasty for David and his descendants ultimately anticipates the kingdom of the Lord Jesus, God’s Messiah from the line of David (2 Sam 7:11-16); and yet, one may deduce general truths upon specific situations from that promise. For instance, many of the biblical proverbs express truths that are necessarily conditioned by prevailing circumstances (cf. Prov 22:3-4; 9, 11; 16, 29). The positive value of biblical obedience is conveyed in the opening verses of 1 Kings 2.
What distinguishes genuine authority in political office? The answer is recognizing oneself as a minister of God in governing (administering) divinely granted authority. The world belongs to the Lord and includes all within it (Ps 24:1; 1 Cor 10:26); therefore, anyone occupying political office administers authority over God’s realm and, thus, not to seek the glory of God does not result in the exercise of stately rule but brigandage. Furthermore, a person is deceived who seeks enduring prosperity in the political realm when God’s Word does not regulate that sphere. God is one who cannot lie and has declared that the absence of his revelation (“vision”) culminates in people who “are unrestrained” (Prov 29:18).
Knowing that God has a sovereign purpose does not mean that one waits passively for it to develop. God’s people are called to decisive actions that will advance his purposes. Nathan the prophet knew the will of God, and thus he acted with boldness, preparedness, and shrewdness (1 Kgs 1:11-37). May each of us heed the wisdom of Proverbs 4:23, “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.”
God's Grace and Peace to You,
Ron J. Bigalke, Ph.D.
Capitol Commission Georgia