The role of authority and positionRomans 13:1 reads: Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. 

But you know what I find really interesting? Romans was– almost certainly– written during the reign of Nero, one of the most brutal Roman emperors ever. None of the emperors were paragons of Christian virtue, but Nero was one of the worst. And yet Paul wrote that we are to give respect and honor to those who are in authority (Romans 13:7).

Over the past couple of decades, I’ve heard people in the US talk so disparagingly and disrespectfully about people in government…. And that holds true on either side of the political fence.

Instead, what if we recognize that God is in it? That he somehow uses people in authority to accomplish his purposes? Just as God placed Joseph, Nehemiah, Esther, and Daniel in positions of authority and political influence, he also places those who hold positions today.

Sometimes help comes from unexpected places… like the Persian empire. The Persians conquered the Babylonians in 539 BC, then Cyrus, king of Persia comes on the scene. In the very first year of his reign, God spoke to him. Then Cyrus decreed that the Israelites could go back to their land with their treasures and rebuild their temple (Ezra 1). All the temple goods returned – plus lots more to fund the project!

Throughout the scriptures, we see people placed in positions of authority to do a certain thing. Sometimes godly people, but God also works through nonbelievers in government to accomplish his purposes. We are to be faithful to the process, praying for our city to prosper, and putting down roots to play whatever part we are called to.