As I've watched repeated looting, rioting and burning, including cars being set on fire, my heart has sank. Those involved didn’t get the verdict, the decision, the policy or the president they wanted, so they decided to destroy innocent people’s places of business, destroying people’s livelihoods. Neighborhoods, businesses and lives have been ruined—and for what?
Where did all this anger and destruction come from? It’s not ultimately about the verdict or election results. The real cause behind all this destruction is Satan. He is the author of destruction, and when a mind is directed by him, there is no sound reasoning. People become his tools for destruction.
Satan is the supreme rebel who encourages rioting. He was the first rioter! Think about that. He encouraged the fallen angels to rise up and join him in fighting against God. Pride was Satan’s downfall! He looked and beheld his own beauty. He felt he could do a better job than God. So he inspired a third of the angels to rebel and join him in the fight against God. Satan didn’t respect God and His authority, so he encouraged rebellion! (see Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:11-17; Revelation 12:4).
While able to start a revolt, Satan had no chance in his attempt to take over God's throne. Now he works hard to deceive and influence mankind to join him in his rebellion against God by stirring up disrespect and division.
The opposite of rebellion is respect and honor. First, you must respect God, who is in charge of the universe. And then you must treat others right by showing them respect and honor. That means no matter how much you disagree with those in charge, you will do no harm to them or their possessions.
Did you know that God requires us to show respect to those in authority? The apostle Paul states in Romans 13:1-5 (New Living Translation):
“Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished.
“For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong. Would you like to live without fear of the authorities? Do what is right, and they will honor you. The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good.
“But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong. So you must submit to them, not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience.”
We should all be showing respect for all those in authority! That would include schoolteachers, leaders, employers, presidents and, yes, the police. That can be hard at times when we see corruption and unfairness, but here is the key. We can pour our hearts out to God regarding those we might feel are abusing their authority.
Notice that showing respect will help us to lead a quiet and peaceable life! Paul wrote to Timothy: “I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior” (1 Timothy 2:1-3, NLT).
Wow! We have peace only when we understand that God is in charge of the leaders He is allowing to rule, and that in His time He will intervene if a change is needed!
Isaiah 40:28 says: “Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding” (NLT).
So show proper respect to those in authority, pray for them, and receive God’s blessings!