by Rebekah Harvey
Pastor Jana shared in this week’s Simple Truth Bible study a lesson called, “Under Authority the Blessings Flow”. We read about the command that was given to Moses and the promise that would come through the obedience of it. Numbers 13 tells us the names of the men who were given instructions and sent to spy out the land. Out of the 12 spies that went 10 of them came back to point out the obstacles and opposition they would face to take the land they were given. They also reported to the community their vision of themselves, they were grasshoppers. This land was a beautiful place, with rich bountiful crops, flowing with milk and honey but because their vision of themselves was small and because they had seen giants, they decided they could not obey the command of the Lord.
Their report caused great distress in the community with weeping and crying all night. They even contemplated choosing a new leader and going back to Egypt. Caleb and Joshua tried to encourage the people that it was a wonderful land. Numbers 14:8 “If the LORD delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, ‘a land which flows with milk and honey.’9 “Only do not rebel against the LORD, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the LORD is with us. Do not fear them.”
This community of people continued in their rebellion against the command of the Lord and went their own way and unfortunately paid the consequences. We have the opportunity, to either obey the commands of the Lord or to rebel against them. A few weeks ago, we talked about the 10 Commandments and how they are to help guide us in every aspect of life. If we choose to honor and obey them, we will be operating from a biblical worldview. These commands for our lives will help us honor God and people. When we choose to obey them and allow them authority in our lives, we will receive blessing from that. If we choose to do our own thing and live apart from the commands of God, we will receive the penalty from that. When we defy authority, we put not only ourselves but sometimes others in a danger zone.
Authority creates boundaries. Think of a police officer that is directing traffic, when he puts his hand out traffic is supposed to stop. He has an authority because of his position and training as an officer of the law. If someone decided to disregard his command legal action could be taken against them, a traffic ticket for example. His job of directing traffic is to ensure the safety of the people that are around him, within that boundary.
Many people have had negative experiences with authority and so it is hard to accept authority. But if we can realize that authority is for boundaries and can provide safety in our lives it might be easier to accept. Think about who taught you to read, it might have been a parent or a teacher or both, these were individuals that had authority because they understood how to read and could teach you.
Authority will open the door to blessing. Here are a few examples of the blessing of authority. Parental authority in families, Ephesians 6:1 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: 3 “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” The obedience to the authority of our parents brings with it the blessing of living long. Romans 13:1 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. This authority applies to “every soul” that we should respect our government authorities. This also tell us that authority comes from God.
If you have struggles with authority in your life, I think it is quite common. But the important thing to realize is that for the blessing of God to rest on you and for you to live as peacefully as possible, it requires submission to authority. Ask the Lord to help you deal with your struggle, seek out answers about it in the Word of God, request prayer from a trusted believer that can encourage and help you through your struggle. 1 Peter 2:13 “Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, 14 or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. 15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men– 16 as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God. 17 Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.”