“Chasing the Wind”
Pastor Aaron E. Lavender
April 17, 2016
“The Corrupted Nature of Authority and Wealth”
King Solomon left the temple and went to the city hall where he again witnessed corrupt politicians oppressing the poor (3:16–17; 4:1–3). The government officials violated the law by using their authority to help themselves and not to serve others, a practice condemned by Moses (Lev. 19:15; Deut. 24:17).
In this rather lengthy section, King Solomon tackles the problem of the corrupted nature of authority and wealth. Two specific facets of this will be unmasked: the abuse of authority and the distress of being rich. Due to the length and nature of this section, we will attempt to tackle the first aspect this morning, and then, God willing, the second one next time.
1. The Abuse of Authority Eccl. 5:8-9
Organized authority can lead to corruption.
(v.8) If you see the oppression of the poor, and the violent perversion of justice and righteousness in a province, do not marvel at the matter; for high official watches over high official, and higher officials are over them.
Organized authority is preferred over anarchy.
(v.9) Moreover the profit of the land is for all; even the king is served from the field.
Government is one of the facts of life in this world. All of human history has shown that we need to be governed. Not surprisingly, the Bible speaks to this issue. Here are five things the Bible teaches us:
Pastor Tim Challies, Grace Fellowship Church, (Toronto, Ontario).
- Every government is put in place by God (John 19:11; Rom. 13:1).
- God uses even sinful governments to do His will (Jer. 25:8-9; Acts 4:27-28).
- We ought to pray for those who govern us (1 Tim. 2:1-2.
- We should honor and submit to those who govern us (Mark 12:17; Rom. 13:1-4; 1 Pet. 2:13-17).
- All human governments will eventually end and Jesus Christ will reign over everyone forever (Isa. 9:6-7; Rev. 19:11, 15-16).
BOTTOM LINE: We are commanded to obey governments unless they violate God’s Word (Acts 5:29; cf. Also see Daniel 6). Whenever a government violates Biblical teaching, Christians are obligated to disobey that government. For example, if a government were to declare that we should kill all Asians, African Americans, Mexicans, or immigrants, or people with Down’s syndrome, or others who have incurable disease(s); or, declare that we must perform same-sex marriages, abort babies, cease praying, reading God’s word, and attending church, we should disobey.