Some of my readers have read this article, but most have not. I wrote it just after the 2008 elections. We are now seeing the fruit of that election. History will likely judge it as a near disaster. But, take heed friends. Who is really in authority? Is it a mere man such as Obama, Bush, Achminijab, Netanyahu? Or is the eternal God who says "He sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers" (Isaiah 40:22). All of us, including world leaders, mere grasshoppers. I hope the following words give us something to deeply consider.
WHO HAS THE AUTHORITY?
With the fairly recent election of a new U.S. president in 2008 , I think this question is appropriate. The answer is not so simple as one might think. Certainly President Barack Obama has a lot of authority, as did former President George W. Bush and all those presidents which proceeded him. But no president has ever had absolute authority, for there is always a power that can overrule his authority. For instance, when George Bush wanted badly, it seemed, to change how Social Security was accumulated and distributed, he submitted a plan to Congress. There were several rounds of presentation, maneuvering and voting, but ultimately the plan of the president of the United States, regarded by many as the single most powerful person on the earth, was defeated.
Another time Bush wanted to handle interrogation of war prisoners a certain way, and the US
Supreme Court ruled against him. So does the U.S. president have all power? No! In our country, “we the people” are supposed to have the power of self-rule. Remember what Abraham Lincoln said in the Gettysburg Address; “That this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom --and that government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish from the earth”.
Even though the country was still divided in a great civil war, that statement was accurate regarding how our government is supposed to be. We have come far from that now, in so many ways. The point is Mr. Obama will not be able to do all that he wishes, in spite of having a majority Democrat, mostly liberal, congress. Why? Because he is not all powerful. He does not have absolute authority. You ask, “who does?” I am glad you asked me that! Let us look at it briefly.
Presidents, prime ministers, kings, absolute dictators, and all other government officials have
some authority, but not all authority. The political and religious leaders of their day commanded the apostles not to preach Jesus Christ, but we read “Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). In other words, this was beyond their authority. There is a higher authority. Teachers in schools and colleges have some authority, but not all authority. Parents definitely have God appointed authority over us when we are children ,but not all authority. “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right” (Ephesians 6:1).
In the mid 1950’s, my father, who worked for the US government (Federal Aviation Agency),
was considering a job transfer halfway around the world. He was a maintenance supervisor, and
the FAA wanted him to consider a higher position in far off Guam (a US territory about 1500
miles south of Tokyo, Japan; 3100 miles northwest of Sydney, Australia; and about 3700 miles
west southwest of Honolulu, Hawaii). Hawaii was not yet a state then. I was a minor child in my
dad’s home. If he had taken the job I would have had to go. This would have been life changing.
Georgia, where I was born and have lived all my life would have likely been only a memory. My
dad was my earthly authority, however, and I would have had to go. In the providence of God,
this job change did not take place for some reason of which I am unsure. If it had, I likely would
have never met Sandra, my wife of 48 years. We wouldn’t have had four wonderful children
together, and be blessed with twelve grandchildren as we now are. My father had the authority
to take this job, but a higher authority was at work here. It was this highest authority --The Most High God! -- The King of Glory! -- The One of whom it is said “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace their shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to order it, and establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this” (Isaiah 9:6,7).
Who is our highest authority? The Bible has the answer for us. Please read and heed! The chief priests and elders in the Jewish temple asked Jesus“By what authority doest thou these things? And who gave thee this authority?” (Matthew 21:23b) Speaking of Christ in Matthew 7:29 “For He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes”. Jesus Christ said “All power (Greek=exousia; authority), in heaven and in earth is given unto me in heaven and in earth” (Matthew 29:18).
Jesus Christ is the true authority in control of all things. Even now in this difficult and urgent
time when many are losing their life savings, their jobs, their homes and their automobiles, this
Higher Authority is working out all things after the counsel of His own will. Is He punishing
America, and many other nations at this time? I do not know, but I believe He is. He has a right
to do so! This nation has every corrupt sin that you can imagine. A nation that was once known
for its high morals. So much that the French statesman Alexis deTocqueville is quoted as saying
over 150 years ago “I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious
harbors and her ample rivers — and it was not there … in her fertile fields and boundless forests— and it was not there … in her rich mines and her vast world commerce — and it was not there… in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution — and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness
did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”
If deTocqueville was alive today, I am afraid he would say we have arrived at that awful time.
Published by Charles Woodruff- email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To the Ends of the Earth
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