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“He said to his men, “The Lord forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the Lord’s anointed, or lay my hand on him; for he is the anointed of the Lord.” (1 Samuel 24:6 NIV)

You respect authority in your life because of God’s sovereignty.  Sovereign means supreme in power; possessing supreme dominion; as a sovereign ruler of the universe.  Supreme, in this definition means highest in authority; holding the highest place in government or power. Therefore, God’s sovereignty means He is the ultimate authority for all of us.  In other words, God knows who the President is.  God knows who your boss is.  God knows who your teachers are.  God knows who the people are in your life who have authority over you.  And He expects you to respect them:

“Then Jesus said to them, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” And they were amazed at him.” (Mark 12:17 NIV)

You respect authority in your life because of God’s sovereignty.

David understood God’s sovereignty.  Today’s scripture comes after a pivotal moment in his life.  Saul, King of Israel, is trying to kill David.  He is in a cave, relieving himself.  David sneaks into the cave and cuts off a corner of the King’s robe.  David felt remorse for disrespecting the Lord’s anointed one.  David understood, God had placed Saul in authority.  When he disrespected Saul, he disrespected God.  David felt this way, even though Saul was actively trying to kill him.  David respected Saul because of God’s sovereignty.

We all struggle with people who have authority over us. Respecting someone we disagree with is difficult.  Respecting politicians in positions of power is difficult if we’re on opposite sides.  Respecting bosses who don’t appear to know what they are doing is difficult.  Respecting our spouses when we completely disagree is hard.  Respecting God’s sovereign authority in our lives is challenging.  

If God is sovereign, why does He allow sinful leaders?  God has no choice, we are all sinful.  The politician is a sinner.  The boss is a sinner.  Our spouse is a sinner.  I am a sinner.  You are a sinner.  We are all sinners.   Anyone in a position of authority is a sinner.  We have sinful leaders because we are sinful people.  Therefore, we pray for all of us:

“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—  for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”  (1 Timothy 2:2 NIV

The best way to show respect for our leaders is to pray for them.   Whether politician, boss or spouse, pray for them.  We respect authority because of God’s sovereignty.  Praying for them is our first step.

Question of the Day:

What authority figure in your life needs prayer today?

Further Reading: 1 Samuel 24:1-25:44 NIV, John 10:22-42 NIV, Psalm 116:1-19 NIV, Proverbs 15:20-21 NIV

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