The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

07/30/2010

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The Law Of The Land


"I say, 'Keep the command of the king because of the oath before God. Do not be in a hurry to leave him. Do not join in an evil matter, for he will do whatever pleases him'. Since the word of the king is authoritative, who will say to him, 'what are you doing?' " (Eccl. 8: 2-4).

The Bible, and especially the book of Ecclesiastes, looks at wisdom in an interesting way. It views it as much more than just having a great mental acuity or even sound judgement. To the writer, wisdom is based in God and will give it's owner a distinct advantage in all human ventures. I really like verse one of this chapter that says; "A man's wisdom illumes him and causes his stern face to beam." It is as if Solomon is saying that a wise man has certain advantages and that his character will reflect a kind of poise that will make him self-assured. All that being said, we get into to today's thought about respecting the authority of the land. One might say that this an easy philosophy for Solomon to have since he after all is the king. But it goes much deeper than this and is surely a New Testament teaching too. When the Pharisees were trying to trap Jesus in the book of Matthew by asking whether they should give a poll-tax to Caesar, he responded, "render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's; and to God the things that are God's" (V 21).

In the thirteenth chapter of the book of Romans, the apostle Paul spends the first seven verses talking about this very thing. It might do us all a bit of good to read these verses from time to time. "Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities" (V 1). He goes on to say that God has allowed that ruler to rule and if we resist, we are in a sense resisting God. Even though we may think that Solomon might have been writing from a king's perspective, (I don't think he was) Jesus and Paul certainly were not. There would be no edge for them in espousing to this tenet except for the fact that it is how we must be. God's wise servant is urged to do his duty as pledged to God and the king. The safe way (God's way) is to respect the king, do his will and enjoy his protection. Despite his convictions, the wise person will know the best time to voice his opinion despite a burden or inconvenience. Remember the words of Moses when tempted to join someone in an evil doing. "You shall not join a crowd to do evil; nor shall you testify in a dispute so as to turn aside after many to pervert justice" (Ex. 23:2). Just because a lot of folks are engaging in an activity, it does not make it right. God wants us to respect our laws and leaders...

Have a great day..The best way to effect positive change is by letting your light shine FOR HIM.... Love mark Phil. 4:11

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