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A Bible Study of The Scripture

Lesson 12: What is Biblical response to unGodly government

Summary to date:

Biblical response 1: Verbal

If the iniquity or wickedness is not physical violence then Christians should respond in kind. In the Bible this was a verbal response. Today it would include some written responses as in our technology driven culture many verbal forms of response have been replaced by written communication.

I Kings 18:17-18

Verse

King James Version

New International Version 1984 (NIV)

17

And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel?

When he saw Elijah, he said to him, “Is that you, you troubler of Israel?”

18

18And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father's house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and thou hast followed Baalim.

“I have not made trouble for Israel,” Elijah replied. “But you and your father’s family have. You have abandoned the LORD’s commands and have followed the Baals.


Ahab was a king that was exceedingly wicked in the eyes of God. He was also a king that had a habit of killing prophets who did not please him (reference Psalm2:3). Elijah was attacked in this case verbally so he responded verbally.

2 Samuel 24:2-4

Verse

King James Version

New International Version 1984 (NIV)

2

For the king said to Joab the captain of the host, which was with him, Go now through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan even to Beersheba, and number ye the people, that I may know the number of the people.

So the king said to Joab and the army commanders with him, “Go throughout the tribes of Israel from Dan to Beersheba and enroll the fighting men, so that I may know how many there are.”

3

And Joab said unto the king, Now the LORD thy God add unto the people, how many soever they be, an hundredfold, and that the eyes of my lord the king may see it: but why doth my lord the king delight in this thing?

But Joab replied to the king, “May the LORD your God multiply the troops a hundred times over, and may the eyes of my lord the king see it. But why does my lord the king want to do such a thing?”

4

4Notwithstanding the king's word prevailed against Joab, and against the captains of the host. And Joab and the captains of the host went out from the presence of the king, to number the people of Israel.

The king’s word, however, overruled Joab and the army commanders; so they left the presence of the king to enroll the fighting men of Israel.


Joab was given a command from the king, which he knew was wrong. He advised the king against this action. However he was over-ruled by the king. This action angered God and resulted in the death of 70,000 people by three days of pestilence. Joab was not one of the 70,000.

Discussion: How would we apply this Biblical principle today?

Biblical response 2: Flight

Flight can be a form of resistance. In this sense it not an act of cowardice. Certainly we would not confuse a command of Jesus with cowardice:

Matthew 10:23

Verse

King James Version

New International Version 1984 (NIV)

23

But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.

When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.


Jesus commanded his disciples to flee when they were persecuted in a city. To go to another city.

John 7:1

Verse

King James Version

New International Version 1984 (NIV)

1

After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him.

After this, Jesus went around in Galilee, purposely staying away from Judea because the Jews there were waiting to take his life.


Jesus avoided Judea, not because he feared for his life, it was not time yet. But this is an example of Biblical flight to avoid iniquity.

Acts 9:23-25

Verse

King James Version

New International Version 1984 (NIV)

23

And after that many days were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel to kill him:

After many days had gone by, the Jews conspired to kill him,

24

24But their laying await was known of Saul. And they watched the gates day and night to kill him.

but Saul learned of their plan. Day and night they kept close watch on the city gates in order to kill him.

25

25Then the disciples took him by night, and let him down by the wall in a basket.

But his followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall.


The Apostle Paul used flight to escape from Damascus. He discussed this again in II Corinthians 11:32-33. As further verification of the meaning of Romans 13:1-7 that we covered last week, the Apostle Paul was fleeing from a government official (“the governor under Aretas the king” II Corinthians 11:32).

Flight is not always an option and it is not always successful. In Jeremiah 26:20-23 Urijah  was preaching the truth against a wicked government. Jehoiakim the king was incensed that someone would have the audacity to attack him and his kingdom. He issued a command to put Urijah to death and Urijah fle to Egypt. Jehoiakim sent men to Egypt who kidnapped Urijah and brought him to Jehoiakim who then murdered him.

How would we apply this Biblical principle today?

 

 

Next: Lesson 12

Lesson 12: What is Biblical response to unGodly government - Part 3

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