Authority

‘Serve wholeheartedly.’ Ephesians 6:7 NIV

All throughout our lives we’re under the authority of others. When we’re children, we have to do as our parents say. At school, we have to obey our teachers. At work, we’re reporting to a boss. In our everyday lives, we follow rules made by government.

Romans 13:1 talks about the importance of submitting to those in authority. But this can be really challenging when we don’t agree with what those above us are doing, or when we’re frustrated with how we’re being treated. In the Bible, we read about David and his ‘boss’ King Saul. Every time Saul became jealous, angry, and violent, David kept on serving him. Why?

(1) David knew God had called him to be king eventually, and being in Saul’s palace was the best place for him to learn. Sometimes we have to stay in places we’d rather not stay in, because God has things He wants us to learn.

(2) David recognised that because Saul had been called by God to the position he held, it was God’s job, not his, to remove him. We’re not ultimately in control, God is. It’s up to Him to bring justice in our situations. It’s our job to be faithful. Paul writes, ‘Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people.’ Instead of complaining, let’s work hard for God.

But it’s also worth remembering that if someone is treating us badly, we should speak up about it to people who can help us. God calls us to work hard for Him, and to respect people above us. But if those people are abusing their authority, we don’t have to stay and let it carry on. Instead, we need to ask God for wisdom on how to deal with our situation.

SoulFood: Hab 1–3, John 6:25–34, Ps 98, Pro 24:15–18

word4today an adaptation of The Word For Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2021

Today’s Readings

Habakkuk 1–2:11 ()

()

1:1 The oracle that Habakkuk the prophet saw.

  O LORD, how long shall I cry for help,
    and you will not hear?
  Or cry to you “Violence!”
    and you will not save?
  Why do you make me see iniquity,
    and why do you idly look at wrong?
  Destruction and violence are before me;
    strife and contention arise.
  So the law is paralyzed,
    and justice never goes forth.
  For the wicked surround the righteous;
    so justice goes forth perverted.

  “Look among the nations, and see;
    wonder and be astounded.
  For I am doing a work in your days
    that you would not believe if told.
  For behold, I am raising up the Chaldeans,
    that bitter and hasty nation,
  who march through the breadth of the earth,
    to seize dwellings not their own.
  They are dreaded and fearsome;
    their justice and dignity go forth from themselves.
  Their horses are swifter than leopards,
    more fierce than the evening wolves;
    their horsemen press proudly on.
  Their horsemen come from afar;
    they fly like an eagle swift to devour.
  They all come for violence,
    all their faces forward.
    They gather captives like sand.
10   At kings they scoff,
    and at rulers they laugh.
  They laugh at every fortress,
    for they pile up earth and take it.
11   Then they sweep by like the wind and go on,
    guilty men, whose own might is their god!”

12   Are you not from everlasting,
    O LORD my God, my Holy One?
    We shall not die.
  O LORD, you have ordained them as a judgment,
    and you, O Rock, have established them for reproof.
13   You who are of purer eyes than to see evil
    and cannot look at wrong,
  why do you idly look at traitors
    and remain silent when the wicked swallows up
    the man more righteous than he?
14   You make mankind like the fish of the sea,
    like crawling things that have no ruler.
15   He brings all of them up with a hook;
    he drags them out with his net;
  he gathers them in his dragnet;
    so he rejoices and is glad.
16   Therefore he sacrifices to his net
    and makes offerings to his dragnet;
  for by them he lives in luxury,
    and his food is rich.
17   Is he then to keep on emptying his net
    and mercilessly killing nations forever?
2:1   I will take my stand at my watchpost
    and station myself on the tower,
  and look out to see what he will say to me,
    and what I will answer concerning my complaint.

And the LORD answered me:

  “Write the vision;
    make it plain on tablets,
    so he may run who reads it.
  For still the vision awaits its appointed time;
    it hastens to the end—it will not lie.
  If it seems slow, wait for it;
    it will surely come; it will not delay.
  “Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him,
    but the righteous shall live by his faith.
  “Moreover, wine is a traitor,
    an arrogant man who is never at rest.
  His greed is as wide as Sheol;
    like death he has never enough.
  He gathers for himself all nations
    and collects as his own all peoples.”

Shall not all these take up their taunt against him, with scoffing and riddles for him, and say,

  “Woe to him who heaps up what is not his own—
    for how long?—
    and loads himself with pledges!”
  Will not your debtors suddenly arise,
    and those awake who will make you tremble?
    Then you will be spoil for them.
  Because you have plundered many nations,
    all the remnant of the peoples shall plunder you,
  for the blood of man and violence to the earth,
    to cities and all who dwell in them.
  “Woe to him who gets evil gain for his house,
    to set his nest on high,
    to be safe from the reach of harm!
10   You have devised shame for your house
    by cutting off many peoples;
    you have forfeited your life.
11   For the stone will cry out from the wall,
    and the beam from the woodwork respond.

John 6:25–34 ()

()

25 When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” 26 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. 27 Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” 28 Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” 30 So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” 32 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”

Psalm 98 ()

()

A Psalm.

98:1   Oh sing to the LORD a new song,
    for he has done marvelous things!
  His right hand and his holy arm
    have worked salvation for him.
  The LORD has made known his salvation;
    he has revealed his righteousness in the sight of the nations.
  He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness
    to the house of Israel.
  All the ends of the earth have seen
    the salvation of our God.
  Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth;
    break forth into joyous song and sing praises!
  Sing praises to the LORD with the lyre,
    with the lyre and the sound of melody!
  With trumpets and the sound of the horn
    make a joyful noise before the King, the LORD!
  Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
    the world and those who dwell in it!
  Let the rivers clap their hands;
    let the hills sing for joy together
  before the LORD, for he comes
    to judge the earth.
  He will judge the world with righteousness,
    and the peoples with equity.

Proverbs 24:15–18 ()

()

15   Lie not in wait as a wicked man against the dwelling of the righteous;
    do no violence to his home;
16   for the righteous falls seven times and rises again,
    but the wicked stumble in times of calamity.
17   Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,
    and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles,
18   lest the LORD see it and be displeased,
    and turn away his anger from him.

Sat 24 October, 2020


CALENDAR
Select a specific day

Post Date

Recent Articles

Bring What you Have, and Let Him Multiply

You’d think the chance to audition for one of the biggest Christian bands in the world would be super exciting. But when 17-year-old Jen Ledger got the chance to play with Skillet, she just felt terrified. ‘I honestly couldn’t think of anything worse,’ she told Alex when they caught up recently. ‘It was so intimidating…

God’s Patience in One Man’s Life

Part of having faith is knowing that God has a plan for each of us. But we also know that sometimes we can’t know how that plan will play out. Sometimes God plays the long game. When Tim Bisagno was ten years old, a visitor said that if, later in life, he was struggling, he…

How a Gideons Bible Changed Anna McGahan’s Life

Through starring roles in Underbelly, House Husbands,  the Doctor Blake Mysteries and Picnic at Hanging Rock, Anna McGahan became a familiar face on Australian TV. But with the rise of her fame, her self-esteem was crashing. She’d come into acting pure-hearted and trusting, but by age 23, she’d realised her industry treated her as a…

Jots & Tittles: Chata (Sin)

Way back a thousand years ago, people thought that if someone hurt or killed a member of your family, you were duty-bound to take revenge. Feuds could go on for generations, like a deadly tennis match, one person murdering your cousin, your uncle avenging that, someone on the opposing side getting rid of him, your…

Donate to vision

Over 80% of our income is from the freewill gifts of wonderful people just like you.
So thank you for helping. Your generous support is 'Connecting Faith to Life'.