Pray for Leaders
Today I have stayed off of Facebook for two reasons. First, I was sick all day and pretty much laid around. Second, I didn’t want to see all of the raw emotion being flung around in the aftermath of the election. When I finally did, I found something somewhat amusing. Interestingly, we happened to be in 1 Timothy 2 today which deals with this precise issue.
When your guy wins the election you will post something like “Okay, the election is over and America spoke. WE voted for ________ and he won fair and square. So now it’s time to come together and unite to make the best country for all of us.” For examples of this please see anybody who voted for George W. Bush or Barack Obama.
When you guy loses the election you will post something like, “We’ve lost the country. It’s all over. I can’t believe there are enough people out there who think _________ can be President. After all he is a (war criminal/violator of the Constitution) and he belongs in jail.” For example, please see anybody who did not vote for George W. Bush or Barack Obama.
What would the Apostle Paul say on Facebook if he was around today: “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. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people.”
My prayer tonight is that God will bless President Obama with health, wisdom, success, and many other good things. Paul also mentions that the reason to pray for leaders is so that Christians might live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. The reason to pray for the earthly kingdom is so that it won’t come into conflict with God’s Kingdom. And I don’t care who the President is…he/she is not going to be the Messiah and fix everything because Jesus already claimed that role and Jesus is going to still be King of Kings and Lord of Lords no matter who wins an election.
If you thought right now is, “But Kent, it’s so hard to pray for him when….” You might be right. But a lot of God’s commands to us are difficult. Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it. And besides, no matter who the President is, it’s easier to pray for him than a Roman Emperor who demands you worship him or die.
I want to focus on the instructions to women that deal with modesty. This isn’t a new idea for women in God’s Kingdom to behave and dress modestly. In fact, if you will look back at Isaiah 3 there is a rather lengthy section dealing with immodestly dressed women who sway their hips and flirt a lot. What’s interesting is that this section falls right in a long description of the many injustices and problems that exist in Israel that are going to lead to the Babylonian Exile. Serious stuff. Check out this passage from Isaiah:
The Lord says,
“The women of Zion are haughty,
walking along with outstretched necks,
flirting with their eyes,
strutting along with swaying hips,
with ornaments jingling on their ankles.
Therefore the Lord will bring sores on the heads of the women of Zion;
the Lord will make their scalps bald.”
In that day the Lord will snatch away their finery: the bangles and headbands and crescent necklaces, the earrings and bracelets and veils, the headdresses and anklets and sashes, the perfume bottles and charms, the signet rings and nose rings, the fine robes and the capes and cloaks, the purses and mirrors, and the linen garments and tiaras and shawls.
Instead of fragrance there will be a stench;
instead of a sash, a rope;
instead of well-dressed hair, baldness;
instead of fine clothing, sackcloth;
instead of beauty, branding.
We often skip over this passage in 1 Timothy 2 because we just want to focus on the more controversial and admittedly troublesome instructions about women being silent. However, the issue of women behaving in immodest ways and in their clothing is very serious. God wants women who portray beauty in their attitude, actions, and treatment towards others. God is more interested in women who reflect his characteristics to the world, rather than ornate sensual worldly external beauty. It’s definitely something to think about.