When God And Government Come In Conflict
Now when day came, there was no little disturbance among the soldiers over what had become of Peter. And after Herod searched for him and did not find him, he examined the sentries and ordered that they should be put to death. Then he went down from Judea to Caesarea and spent time there. — Acts 12:18-19
So Peter has escaped prison and based on the situation, this would make Peter a legitimate fugitive of the Roman government. Yes, he is innocent of wrongdoing, but he is still a fugitive. And I thought this situation was interesting because it illustrates a conflict between God and government.
We should always remember that our biblical worldview assumes six decrees about the relationship between God and government for us who follow Christ. First, that God is King and rules over all human governments. (Psalm 22:28) Second, that God establishes human government for the good of people. (Romans 13:1-4). Third, that throughout the bible, God disciplines disobedient nations and rulers. (Jeremiah 25:12) Fourth, if there are moments, a law comes in conflict with the law of God, and in these moments, we must obey God. (Acts 5:29) Fifth, the human government cannot legislate a change of a sinful heart, even though it may try. (Romans 3:22-25). Sixth, the redemption of the human heart is the work of God's grace done by a kingdom that is not of this world. (John 18:33-36) And I think these six decrees are evidence in some manner at this moment.
So back to Peter. He is a fugitive. But he was released by God. He did not escape by his own accord but by an angel of the Lord's army. This was a moment that King Herod Agrippa and God our King were in conflict. And in a moment, we are going to see that Agrippa will be on the losing side of this conflict.
But friends, here is something to consider. When we don't like what we see happening in our respective governments, I think we should call on God as our King. He is still the only True King. He can do whatever he wants. And rather than get so anxious about what a human government is doing or not doing, we can spend our time praying for God's will to be known and even ask him to either change the hearts of those who lead or intervene supernaturally. But either way, God is King over every kingdom.
ASK THIS: What’s the issue in government that has you anxious today?
DO THIS: Ask God to change their hearts or intervene.
PRAY THIS: God, may our leaders soften their hearts to your kingship, and if not, intervene.
PLAY THIS: Dr. S.M. Lockridge — That's My King.
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