Daily Devotion: God Rules over Government

Psalm 82:1, God has taken His place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods He holds judgement.

First and foremost, historical context is required for proper understanding. By “gods” this psalm means earthly rulers. They are called “gods” because it was common belief in the culture during these times that kings, Pharaohs, and such were gods. It is among these earthly rulers by which God sits, rules, and judges. All authority that exists comes from God, as is implied in the fourth commandment.

It is honourable, therefore, to obey your government, so long as the law or policy you obey honours God. If it does not, we must be brave not to obey, for as St. Peter and the apostles courageously said, “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29), even if it costs you your freedom or even your life. If you cannot do it out of reverence and love for God, at least do it out of fear of God, for God sits over your government and judges and can do far worse than your government can.

That is the Law: God sits over all authority and judges governments and every human action and demands obedience. What is the Gospel? If the government oppresses you for your faith and upholding of doctrine, this psalm becomes Gospel for you. God is judging nations that abort infants, demand acceptance and capitulation to sin (e.g. abortion, homosexuality, transgenderism), imprison Christians for their faith, kills Christians for their faith, and so on. Whilst the nations are being judged, you remain justified by faith. Government may rule over you, but God is your King; His Word has the final say. God will one day avenge His people, and you shall see paradise.

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