Our Government is Not in Control!!
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that
all the world should be taxed. ~ Luke 2:1
On March 15th, 44 BC Caesar Augustus’s Father was assassinated. Augustus (originally known as Octavian), took over ruling the Roman Empire with his father’s close friend Marc Antony. When Augustus learned that Antony wanted to solely rule the empire himself, he set out to war against him. Each man’s naval army met at the Battle of Actium in 30 BC. After Antony’s fleet was destroyed, him and his lover, Cleopatra, committed suicide together.
The Roman government, then ruled by Caesar Augustus exclusively, began an era called the Pax Romana, Peace of Rome (27B.C. – 180 A.D.). This time period emphasized tolerance and diplomacy. Trading and culture prospered, and travel ways were secured. People lived, worked and traded in peace throughout the empire.
It was during this time that Augustus asked for a census to be taken from the entire empire. Judea, where Joseph and Mary lived, was part of the Roman Empire. They had to travel from Nazareth, in Judea, to Bethlehem to be counted as part of King David’s family.
Now David was the son of an Ephrathite named Jesse, who was from Bethlehem in Judah.
Jesse had eight sons, and in Saul’s time he was very old. ~ 1 Samuel 17:12
Jesus’s would come from David’s family line. Thus proving that his parents, Mary and Joseph would have to travel back to their families’s home town of Bethlehem. If it wasn’t for Caesar Augustus, demanding that a census (taxation) be taken, Jesus would have never been born in Bethlehem.
It was about a four day travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem, 97.6 miles. Mary was on the verge of conceiving the baby at any moment. She had to ride on a donkey, nine months pregnant, and travel a great distance, because the Roman Emperor had sent out a decree. Augustus didn’t even know that he was part of God’s plan. He wanted to tax his constituents and have a head count of how many people were in his empire. A godless man, was fulfilling God’s purpose.
15 Now it was the governor’s custom each year during the Passover celebration to release one
prisoner to the crowd – anyone they wanted. 16 This year there was a notorious prisoner, a man named
Barabbas. 17 As the crowds gathered before Pilate’s house that morning, he asked them, “Which one do you want
me to release to you – Barabbas, or Jesus who is called the Messiah?” 18 (He knew very well that the religious
leaders had arrested Jesus out of envy.) 19 Just then, as Pilate was sitting on the judgement seat, his wife sent
him this message: “Leave that innocent man alone. I suffered through a terrible nightmare about him last night.”
20 Meanwhile, the leading priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas to be released and for Jesus
to be put to death. 21 So the governor asked again, “Which of these two do you want me to release to you?” The crowd shouted back,
“Barabbas!” 22 Pilate responded, “Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” They shouted back, “Crucify him!”
23 “Why?” Pilate demanded. “What crime has he committed?” But the mob roared even louder, “Crucify him!”
24 Pilate saw that he wasn’t getting anywhere and that a riot was developing. So he sent for a bowl of water and washed his hands
before the crowd saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood. The responsibility is yours!” ~ Matthew 27: 15-24
Pilate was a Roman governor of Judea, who was more worried about his public appearance, than he was with listening to his wife or to think about justice being done. He even states that he has found this man to be “innocent,” yet gives him back to the Jewish leaders to be crucified?
Another godless man sent to fulfill God’s promises. He didn’t even know that his need to keep his reputation, made him send God’s son to death.
The Jewish leaders were so zealous in their appeal to have Jesus killed, they didn’t realize that the one God who had favored their ancestors for years, was now in human form. The One God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, was to be beaten, spit on, hit, and to die a horrible death.
How many current politicians and leaders do you dislike? I know that there are many that I want to ask God, why are they in power? You see, I can have a strong opinion about why I do not like a certain leader, but I do not see the bigger picture.
Its like having a bunch of puzzle pieces in front of you, without having the box, with the picture on the front, to use as a guide on how to put the pieces together. Slowly, methodically, I find strategies and ways to fit the pieces together. As a picture purposefully starts to take shape. I do not know exactly what the end product will be, but as I add another piece and then another, the clues start to click into place and make more sense. The picture carefully starts to reveal itself, and the world around me starts to make sense.
“Praise the name of God forever and ever, for he has all wisdom and power.
He controls the course of world events; he removes kings and sets up other kings.
He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the scholars.” ~ Daniel 2:20-21
Remind the believers to submit to the government and its officers. They should
be obedient, always ready to do what is good. ~ Titus 3:1
We are to obey our government leaders in things that are lawful and honest, not when they are asking you to do something that is against what God wants. We are to still show ourselves as an example of obedience to our government first, then lawfully object in a peaceful way, that shows God’s glory within us. It is not easy at all. I can open my mouth and what comes out is anything but godly. I can get so heated about certain topics that my face will feel like it is on fire and I find myself shaking. But this is not how God meant for us to act. So I find myself on my knees asking for guidance on certain topics. For wisdom on what is right and what is wrong. To help me to be more like his son in the midst of this chaos.
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. ~ 1 Timothy 2:1-2
We are to pray for all people. FOR ALL PEOPLE. The ones that have hurt us, the murderers, the corrupt politicians, for ALL. That statement within itself seems ludicurous. Why would I want to pray for people that hurt others? For those that are selfish and only care about themselves? Because, without our prayers, their hearts may never soften enough for God to do the impossible, change them for the better.
I think that we lose sight of the astonishing power of prayer. Our God can do the impossible.
As you watch the news, and fear starts to set in as to what is coming up next, let us not succomb to the fears of this world. Let us hit our knees instead and pray. Pray with ferverent need to have things change. Pray with a never ending consistency. Pray with our whole hearts in a God who answers prayer. Knowing that in prayer things will change, because our God listens.
May God bless you and keep you,