“Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men” (1 Peter 2:13-15). Boy that first word sends hairs up on the back of our necks. Submission is not something that comes easy to rebellious man. We want folk to submit to us and I’ve learned over the decades not to count on that.
Since the day we were born (and until the day we die) we will be submitting to some type of authority. Whether it be parents, employers, elected officials, the law, teachers, or godly pastors. Most times we forget the Supreme Authority-God Almighty! But in these verses of Scripture the Supreme Commander is commanding us to submit to earthly authority. To a Marine that is the equivalent to receiving an order from the Commandant of the Corps; yet, even he has to submit to someone. God submits to absolutely nothing. The buck stops with Him. A person can resist His authority their entire life but, the Bible says there will be a day that “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth” (Philippians 2:10), and “For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God” (Romans 14:11).
When we are submitting to our earthly authorities we are to do so in line with the Word of God. I’m sure all of us have been told to do things that don’t square with the Bible. Hopefully we’ve not honored those requests. Our land is in the mess it’s in because many disobey God and kill innocent babies through abortion. Just because it is legal here on earth doesn’t mean it is in Heaven. God instructs us to listen to earthly authority only when it’s rooted in His Word. I think of Jesus while being crucified. He obeyed earthly authority to His own death, but it was in the will of the Father. Had He not- ”If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable” (1 Cor. 15:19).
After death, unbelievers will bow to God and it will be something they wished they had done while living. They will have realized it is too late. They will bow for fear and weakness of the knees. There will be some who still defy Authority and wave a fist to God-but they will bow!