Read 1 Timothy 2
Focus on verse 1-2
Currently there is significant controversy going on in America as President Trump is attempting to establish his role serving as the 45th POTUS. The nation is clearly divided over this with the media attempting to focus the nation’s attention on the most vocal dissenters. What seems to be causing the most consternation among political elites, particularly the president’s political opponents, is that Trump has actually begun carrying out many of the campaign promises he made. This same fact is also gaining him increasing loyalty and support among those who voted for him, and even some who did not.
There are many political activists on both sides of this battle for control, not the least of which is the past president, who is being accused by some of setting up a shadow government for the purpose of undermining the Trump administration. This also is an anomaly historically, as most past presidents of recent history have been content to return to civilian life and refrained from interfering in the political matters of their successor.
As a follower of Jesus, and one who believes that God is the One who ordains the rise and fall of nations and rulers, I wrestle with how to engage this culture in a manner that not only is consistent with who I am as member of this culture, but also in a manner that honors God and His role in all this. In today’s reading Paul gives some wise instruction to Timothy that also provides us with some helpful direction in how to do this with effectiveness and grace.
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. (v.1-2)
“A peaceful and quiet life” is what most citizens are seeking. It is perhaps the reason so many refugees abandon their homeland, looking for a place where they can live a peaceful and quiet life, without fear of losing their property or even their lives in the midst of a civil war. I am thankful to God that in my short life I have been privileged to live in places in this world where there is relative peace and safety…thankful that I have never been forced to run for my life, or witnessed the senseless tragedy and horror of war first hand.
I believe as a followers of Jesus we have a responsibility to let our voice be heard in the political arena, not as agitators seeking to stir up violence, but as advocate for truth and justice. There is so much deception in the political arena, even within the media it is difficult to discern fact from fiction because every media outlet spins the story to support their agenda. In some cases only God knows what the truth really is, but I am confident that God knows! Politicians and bureaucrats are very effective at manipulating facts without technically lying…and some are just extremely skilled and convincing liars! Either way, while they may be able to deceive the people, they can never deceive God, and at the end of the day, the Truth will become evident and the deception will at some point be exposed.
Our role as followers of Jesus is to pray for all people, but especially for those in positions of influence and authority, because our prayer not only affect the choices they make, but our prayers also affect our attitude toward them and the people around us. In fact, I suspect that perhaps the reason our prayers affect the degree to which we will live a peaceful and quiet life is not so much because it changes the choices governing official make, but it changes our hearts and attitudes toward the decisions they make.