A book I am currently reading, is set in the time of one of the ‘Highland Clearances’.
In the aftermath of the battle of Culloden, the author has the entire family of the protagonist slaughtered. The father and brothers in the battle; the mother, wife and children in acts of retribution against ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’s’ followers.
The protagonist is imprisoned and then sent to ‘the colonies’ as a slave. He, who had been a church-going man, now hated God, blaming Him for the loss of his entire family and homeland. (Scots are, or were, incredibly – even fiercely patriotic.)
Conversely, I have recently listened to a sermon on ‘submitting’.
Submit therefore to God….
James 4: 7a
And be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.
Ephesians 5: 21
Bless those who persecute you, bless and curse not.
Romans 12: 14
Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will reply, says the Lord”.
Romans 12: 19
Obey, is a hard word these days. It flies in the face of the culture of the world we live in, where everyone has ‘rights’ (except, it seems Christians).
The first scripture I quoted was the instruction to submit to God. In fact, all through the Bible there are instructions about submitting… some stating that we are to submit to those in authority over us, as to Christ.
The sermon I heard stated, ‘The Christian chooses to suffer evil, rather than do evil.’ Mmm.
Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore he who resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation on themselves. Romans 13: 1, 2
In these days, where in most of our countries, we can see the corruption in our governments, and governing authorities, it would be easy to think ‘well they don’t deserve my submission/cooperation.’
That is not a ‘new’ thing. In my research for Hold the Faith and Grow in Grace, I learned much about our first century Christian forebears. They certainly had to submit to some very ungodly men. Some chose to die, rather than ‘recant’ their beliefs. As yet, we are not in that position, but we are expected to obey, to submit to laws that do not contradict the law of God.
Notice Romans 13: 1 again. “For there is no authority except from God, and those which are established by God.”
In the New Testament, a look at the life of the Apostle Paul will demonstrate that the Christian life is no ‘easy’ walk to the Kingdom. It is trusting God that He is in charge of all circumstances in our lives..
No wonder the Christian life is spoke of as a ‘high calling’. (Philippians 3:14)
All the more reason to be very grateful for the grace of God, without it we would never reach the goal that the Apostle Paul spoke about.
I wonder if the author of the book I am reading will bring her protagonist to that realization.
Considering many things