The Biblical Responsibilities of the Law

“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” Romans 13:1

While there are commandments that God created for us as individuals to follow, there are also many instances throughout the Bible where God granted certain responsibilities to those in authority; those in government. Government has been given the responsibilities to protect life (Genesis 9:5), punish those who do evil (Romans 13:3-6), protect rights to property (Exodus 22) and handle disputes between people (Exodus 23:1-9). When current controversies erupt, we must take into consideration whether our authorities are fulfilling these responsibilities and enforcing consequences appropriately. It is appropriate for governments to determine consequences for the breaking of laws, but the consequences must be equal for all who are affected by it. We must also be mindful of when our personal feelings may consider something to be unfair even though it may truly be neutral. Once we consider these things, we can determine how to shape our opinions and actions concerning authority and reflect on how they affect, and are influenced by, our individual responsibilities.

Prayer: Lord, help me to better understand the responsibilities given to those in authority by you and to understand what is appropriate for the authorities to allow. Give me understanding to see the side of law where I may feel it may be unjust. Allow me to consider how to bring change if needed, and to see where change may not truly be necessary after all. Help me to be fair in my assessments and actions. Amen.