The Theology of Success Part 5- Submitting to Authority
“The eye that mocks a father and scorns a mother, the ravens of the valley will pick it out.” Prov. 30:17
Solomon’s thought is simple. When you see a young man early in life who has a disrespect of God-given authority you can predict where he will end up. Hung on a tree and executed and left to hang until nightfall is an example to all as to what happens to a lawbreaker and fool. And the birds of the air will begin their feast with the eye that looked upon its first authority – parents – with contempt.
Disrespect of authority is a compass needle pointing to disaster. How can a man or a woman enjoy life as it was meant to be – life that submits itself to life’s creator – when they rebel against ever lesser manifestations of divine authority?
“Submit yourselves to every human institution.” Peter
“Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities.” Paul
“Render to Caesar…” Jesus
“Obey your parents unto the Lord…” Paul quoting Moses quoting God on Sinai
To rebel against parents, government, coaches, police, teachers, bosses, employers or the church is to rebel against God “…and bring condemnation upon themselves.” (Rom 13:2)
Are there times of standing against unjust authorities? Certainly. You will know when that happens and you will know what to do. In 40 plus years of ministry I can count on one hand Christians who have had to do so. But the number of people I know who have ruined their lives through rebellion against authority is virtually innumerable – men and women.
The innate DNA of Satan is rebellion. “Better to rule in hell than serve in heaven.” And this fallen man, child of the devil, hates authority. He does not submit to authority without a fight nor does he handle authority well when authority is bestowed upon him. Rather he can become abusive or corrupt or irresponsible. That is why when a young man wants to marry a young woman, they both should note well how that future mate handles authority. If she has been rebellious prior to marriage you can bet that she will rebel against the leadership of a husband. If he has been the classic bad-boy I doubt that he will recognize the divine stewardship bestowed upon him and handle responsibly the authority of a husband. When you see these types – turn and run! They have not earned the right to ever be married to anyone.
Rightly did Job say, “It is good that one bear the yoke in his youth.”
But sometimes I see young folks who are respectful to mother and father, respectful to the elderly, polite to their coaches and instructors, obedient to the police and the law, hardworking on the job, and I think, “there is a young stud marked for greatness if they will just hold to the narrow path. For few there be who walk it with them.”
And it should well be noted that there is not one man or woman of worth in the scriptures who was not faithful to the authority above them before they wielded authority over others. Not Moses, not Joshua or Caleb. Not Gideon or David, Ruth, Esther, Mordecai, Daniel, Joseph, Samuel, Peter, Paul…
And anyone else.
There is not faithfulness to God that is not accompanied by faithfulness to men. Those who are successful begin by making others successful. Human authority is the means of breaking unseemly willfulness and bringing the will into a right direction.
Are you faithful to the authority that God has placed in your life? If not, you will meander from travail to travail, from disaster to disaster.
“And Jesus continued in subjection to his parents….” (Luke 2:51)