Syria, Politics, and the Lord’s Day

Posted on September 1, 2013 · Posted in Current Events, Worldview, Worship

Our God keeps his own counsel. Therefore, it is not wise to predict what God might or might do in a particular political situation.  There are, however, biblical principles that bear directly on any government. If a leader or elected official chooses to ignore them, they do so at their own peril. 

 

The Lord’s Day has to do with the glory of God. Thus, it is a fitting time to consider three of these principles. 

 

The first two are found in Daniel chapter 2. 

 

Here is the first: The Holy Spirit leaves no doubt about who controls the world’s political scene. It is the God of the Bible. 

 

The second principle is that if anyone seeks wisdom about what course to follow when leading a government or country, God is only the source that can be trusted. Daniel was not speaking to a gathered assembly of God’s people. He was speaking to a great pagan king who was advised by leaders who had no love for God. Daniel was not concerned about political correctness. He was concerned about reality. 

 

As I said, it is not wise to presume to know which political leader has God’s favor. But, it is vital that each leader know that he serves at the pleasure of God and none other. Here are Daniel’s words:

 

“Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever;
    wisdom and power are his.

 

He changes times and seasons;
    he deposes kings and raises up others.
He gives wisdom to the wise
    and knowledge to the discerning.

 

He reveals deep and hidden things;
    he knows what lies in darkness,
    and light dwells with him.

Daniel 2:20-22

 

The third principle has to do with the application of the first two: 

 

It is foolish for political leaders not to give God glory and honor. 

 

An example of this principle is found in Acts 12:21-24. Failure to acknowledge God’s rule over the affairs of a government is in effect a defiance of that rule. Sometimes, the consequences of this defiance are not known immediately, but not always. Herod made a political speech. The crowd was thrilled. God was not.

Notice Luke’s striking observation in verse 24. Unlike Herod, it was the word of God that prevailed. Here is the passage:

 

21 On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat upon the throne, and delivered an oration to them. 22 And the people were shouting, “The voice of a god, and not of a man!” 23 Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him down, because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last.

 

24 But the word of God increased and multiplied. Acts 12:21-24

 

Pray for our leaders to acknowledge God for who he is as they consider actions regarding Syria and other issues. Also pray that we will not lose sight of God’s rule, regardless of the circumstances that we face. 

 

Praise, glory, and honor to the King of Kings.

 

 

 

Jay Younts
John A. (Jay) Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger, and is a ruling elder serving at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He has written Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, Finding the Right Track, the In Touch With Paul stewardship series, and What About War. He has studied and taught about biblical childrearing for 30 years. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.