Seeking the Lord, our God
Submitting to Whom?
by Jason Southerland on August 10th, 2017

​“Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable.  For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly.  For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience?  But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.”      - 1 Peter 2:18-20
     This is a hard one.  Our minds can come up with all kinds of images of those in authority who are far less than reasonable – those who treat others unjustly and harshly.  You mean the Bible says we have to submit to them?  If they are legitimate authorities then yes.  Believers are to submit to proper authority and seek the well-being of those with legitimate jurisdiction over them, even those who are morally corrupt.  But we are to maintain holiness and always do what is right, even when that means that we suffer harsh treatment.  That means not compromising the commands of God.  I think of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego who lived in submission to the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar (not a nice guy) until the king asked them to bow before his idol.  We see them choose to trust God in the furnace instead of submitting to the king’s order for them to break God’s law.  "If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up." - Daniel 3:17-18
     We were called into salvation to live holy lives that are distinct from the world.  We are to follow the example of Christ and commit no sin, no lie, not returning insults or threats when we are wronged.  Rather, we continually turn over our situation to God’s will, trusting that He is still sovereignly in control of our circumstances.  He will bring about a greater good, and will judge others justly.

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