A Fresh Perspective

5 Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of the wrath of the authorities but also because of your conscience. 6 For this reason you also pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants devoted to governing. 7 Pay everyone what is owed: taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due (Romans 13).

Recently I read of a young man arrested on drug charges—someone I once knew as a young teenager in a church youth group, who subsequently left the faith of his family in pursuit of worldly gain. My heart was broken. Then on the following day I awoke from a terrible dream, the likes of which I wish never to experience again. I was the driver in a car with a student in the passenger seat. We were stopped in a parking lot, and I’m dumbfounded to see him handing me a bomb of some kind and talking about using it across the way somewhere (the reason for which is not in the dream). Suddenly a patrol car comes screeching to a halt, blocking us in, and there I sit, my body paralyzed from shock and fear, except for uncontrollable sobbing.

Now I’m reading God’s Word about “the wrath of authorities” who are “God’s servants devoted to governing” and I can’t help but gain a fresher perspective in the matter. We owe a debt to the governing authorities—a debt to pay the “taxes … revenue … respect … and honor” that is due them—in short, to obey the laws of the land.

Lord, we thank You for the governing authorities You have placed in our society, for without them we would know only anarchy and chaos. Help us This Day, when given the opportunity (at least in our driving), to obey the laws of the land. Amen.