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June 4 – Authority comes from God

Choose from your tribes wise, understanding, and experienced men, and I will appoint them as your heads. – Deut. 1:13

Scripture reading: Deut. 1:9-18

Moses needs help in ruling over Israel. Two stories in Exodus and Numbers help us understand this. In Exodus 18, Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro, encourages Moses to appoint elders to help him. In Numbers 11, God shares the Spirit He has given to Moses with the elders of Israel. Deut. 1 summarizes both stories. Notice how Deut. 1:13 is written. First, the tribes choose men who are wise, understanding and experienced. Then Moses appoints them over the people of Israel. God, through Moses, recognizes the natural authority that belongs to certain individuals, men who have a reputation for wisdom, whom others would come to for advice. On top of their natural authority, God gives these men the authority to judge others with regards to God’s law.

Even though we see human action today in electing men to office in the church, it is not the congregation that gives elders authority. It is God. This is applicable to civic authority as well. We know this from Romans 13, where we are told that civil servants are God’s servants. Both church governors and civil governors serve God. Is this good news? Does God sanction every action of our rulers? Absolutely not! Everyone who is in authority over you, everyone whom God has appointed, is first and foremost responsible to God. If local authorities misuse their office in relation to you, God will vindicate you on the final day. God holds our leaders responsible. Our hope for justice finds realization in Christ.

Suggestions for prayer

Pray for your ecclesiastical and civic leaders. Remember and give thanksgiving that God has established true righteousness, by placing our Lord Jesus Christ on His throne in heaven.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. James Zekveld is the pastor of the Ambassador Canadian Reformed Church In Niverville, MB.

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