In less than a week, those of us in the US will exercise our right to vote. I thought it would be timely to consider what the Bible has to say about the privileges and obligations of citizenship.
Many passages and examples in the Bible clarify our responsibilities as citizens, not the least of which is found in Paul’s letter to the Romans, where he writes, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment” (13:1–2).
Two observations come to mind regarding this. First of all, government is God’s design. The sinful predicament of man necessitates oversight, and government is God’s way of providing for the well-being of human society. This doesn’t mean that all governments are good, nor do all governments recognize God’s supreme authority. Yet, the book of Daniel teaches that God “removes kings and sets up kings” within His sovereign will and purpose. It’s no doubt challenging to understand God’s purpose when we watch the news or read the newspaper and see so much that is upside down—yet even in this, we must remember that nothing is unfolding outside the sovereign will of God.