What is your political leaning: Democrat? Republican? Independent? Nothing at all?
No matter what your political views are, God has a message for you about how he wants you to view your government. That message can be found through the words of the Prophet Jeremiah. Jeremiah lived about 600 years B.C. He lived and served as God’s prophet during the time when the nation of Israel was defeated militarily and the people were taken off to live in captivity in a foreign land.
If you were one of those captives, what do you think your view would be of your captors (i.e. the government you must now submit to)? I think the natural reaction would be to hate them and what they have done to you. You would probably complain about your situation in life. You might even hope that they would get what you believe they deserve.
Yet, that’s not the view that God wanted his people to have. Instead, God gave them the following command: “Seek the welfare of the city I have deported you to. Pray to the Lord on its behalf, for when it has prosperity, you will prosper” (Jeremiah 29:7).
Stop and consider what that command means. God is telling the people to pray for the prosperity of the very people who defeated them. God is telling them to do everything they can to help their captors prosper. Why? Because as they now live in this land, the prosperity of that country would directly result in bringing prosperity to them.
Apply that thought to us today. Although this command was specifically written for the Israelites who were living in exile, the message still applies. We may not be living as captives in a foreign land, but we may sometimes view our government in a similar way as these captives may have initially viewed their captors. We may not always agree with what our local, state, and national leaders are doing. We may not always agree with everything our governor or our president does or says.
Yet, what does God tell us to do? He doesn’t tell us to bash our leaders. He doesn’t tell us to make their job more difficult. Instead he says, “Pray on their behalf.” Pray that, through their work, your city, state and nation may prosper. For, as the Apostle Paul wrote to the Romans, “Everyone must submit to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those that exist are instituted by God…For government is God’s servant for your good” (Romans 13:1,4). May God continue to bless us through our government and may he continue to bless the government through our prayers!
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