The Psalm writer wrote: Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your law. As we come before a Holy God and hear his word, may we have eyes open to the wonderful and fearful things from his law. May it move us to repent and seek forgiveness, fear disobedience, and live in light of the grace we have received. This is the word of God. It is eternally true and applicable for all of life.
Proverbs 20:21-30 An inheritance gained hurriedly at the beginning Will not be blessed in the end. Do not say, “I will repay evil”; Wait for the Lord, and He will save you. Differing weights are an abomination to the Lord, And a false scale is not good. Man’s steps are ordained by the Lord, How then can man understand his way? It is a trap for a man to say rashly, “It is holy!” And after the vows to make inquiry. A wise king winnows the wicked, And drives the threshing wheel over them. The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord, Searching all the innermost parts of his being. Loyalty and truth preserve the king, And he upholds his throne by righteousness. The glory of young men is their strength, And the honor of old men is their gray hair. Stripes that wound scour away evil, And strokes reach the innermost parts.
We live in a land that has become dependent upon the bitter milk that flows from the breast of big government. To some degree, everyone looks to government with a sense of expectation and entitlement, saying in word and practice: “I am a citizen, and I have rights, give me what I deserve”. Whether it is free Healthcare, free education, or your favorite tax incentive, everyone looks to government to provide for their perceived needs. Our founding documents do offer the promise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, however, nowhere does it state that it is the government's role to provide those things. The government exists to protect the exercise of our God given rights, not to guarantee outcomes. Equal rights are not synonymous with equal outcomes. Our society is currently selling its soul for the prospect of equal outcomes for all. For far too long our government has stretched its tentacles into areas of life which it has no business being in, engaged in picking winners and losers, instead of fostering an environment where righteousness flourishes and evil is pushed into the darkness. Let's take education for example. The latest statistics suggest that the US spends on average $620 billion per year on k-12 education, combine this with the estimated $80 billion per year spent on public post secondary education (minus student loans), and what you have is a massive tax burden placed on the American people, with results that are abysmal. School shootings, a less skilled workforce, teachers raping students, juvenile delinquency, drugs, skyrocketing debt, and a generation of kids growing up with a sense of entitlement, believing that someone owes them a life of ease and comfort, with no work necessary. These are the fruits of a government and a people who have forgotten why God ordains governments in the first place. So, why does God establish governments? Is it to ensure equal outcomes for all its citizens? No. The proverb tells us “A wise king winnows the wicked, And drives the threshing wheel over them.”
Matthew Henry says this about magistrates: “ What is the business of magistrates? They are to be a terror to evil-doers. They must scatter the wicked, who are linked in confederacies to assist and embolden one another in doing mischief; and there is no doing this but by bringing the wheel over them, that is, putting the laws in execution against them, crushing their power and quashing their projects. Severity must sometimes be used to rid the country of those that are openly vicious and mischievous, debauched and debauching. What is the qualification of magistrates, which is necessary in order to do this? They have need to be both pious and prudent, for it is the wise king, who is both religious and discreet, that is likely to affect the suppression of vice and reformation of manners.”
Romans 13:1-7 tells us this:
“Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.  Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.  For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same;  for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil.  Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience' sake.  For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing.  Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.”
As Christians, we must repent of trusting in horses, chariots, and man made institutions for our salvation and provision. We must trust in the name of the Lord our God, and love Him, rather than the world and its scheming. Our government exists to punish evil. It should not, it cannot, be used as a substitute for parents teaching and raising their children, for Christians loving the widow and orphan, or as our standard for morality. The authorities are to punish evil, with God's Law as the standard, and the Church is to disciple the nations. How might you need to repent this morning? Church, your heavenly Father loves you. Your Good Shepherd Jesus Christ says “Repent lest you likewise perish”. Won't you heed His call today? If you able, please join us in kneeling as we confess our sins. Praise be to God that He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Merciful Father, we are frail, weak, and unprofitable servants. We like sheep have gone astray, and often times we find ourselves chasing after the trinkets and promises that this world and its authorities have to offer. Lord, we know that all the treasures and precious things we store up on earth will be destroyed by moth and rust, with what remains being stolen by thieves. Yet we are stubborn and stiff necked oh Lord. We always seem to return to the bitter well of the world, rather than to the springs of living water. Please forgive us for our idolatry. Please forgive us for our unfaithfulness. Please forgive us for trusting in man, rather than our Creator. In Jesus name we pray, amen.
Listen now to the comforting assurance of the grace of God, promised in the gospel to all that believe:
For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. - Hebrews 4:15-16
To all those who thus repent and seek Jesus Christ for their salvation, your sins are forgiven in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Lift up your hearts!
(From the 7/15/18 liturgy of Sovereign King Church. Written by Aaron Sabie.)