Paul and Joseph both give us two responses that I stand in amazement of and pray for that kind of courage. They had the courage to face corrupted governments and still bow to the authorities God had placed over them.
Paul was imprisoned for a crime that was no crime at all. He stood before Agrippa and shared with him the good news of the Gospel. Paul used this miscarriage of justice to carry the message of Jesus to palaces and even hoped to share it with Ceaser. Paul took what the corrupted authorities had given him and used it to share the gospel. How amazing is that?
Joseph was accused of rape and thrown into the dungeon without a trial. While he did ask those he helped to tell the king about him, he continued to serve God in the jail. He served his jailor and helped him to run the same prison that was keeping him in the walls. He didn’t try to escape, he didn’t tell everyone that he had been wronged, he served God and others from where he was.
Over the last few weeks, we have been looking at authority. We have looked at how David treated Saul, how God calls us to treat those in authority, and Peter’s stand against authority. Armed with all this knowledge, how are we to respond?
I think both Paul and Joseph point us toward the conclusion that is easy to miss: We are Christian’s first, citizens to our country after. Both Paul and Joseph suffered horrible miscarriages of justice. Yet, both of them responded not with anger or disrespect, but by turning their adversity into something that glorified God.
In this world, we will have trouble. Our enemy, the devil, is corrupting the world and its governments. We are the light of the world. We are to let our light shine before men. We are not to do that by shouting against our leaders, but by carrying the Good News to every corner of the earth. We cannot overcome evil with disrespect, hatred, anger, and dishonor; we can only overcome it with good.
I want my response to mirror Paul, Joseph, and Jesus. I want to stand before authorities without fear, and boldly speak of the gospel. I want to be faithful to respect them, even when they don’t deserve it. I also want to be filled with this knowledge: greater is He who is in me, than he who is in the world. He is the King of kings, the Lord of lords, and holds the ultimate authority in my life.
Could I be in better hands?