Things Above Us

Though I am no advocate of mindless obedience to superiors, the reality is that we live in a time where many believe themselves experts in matters of church and state and yet, rarely, have a considered opinion in either. Though are legitimate ways to address errors in the powers that be, we must first think about whether or not it is our station to do so and particularly if we are even competent to judge the matter. Consider these words from Matthew Henry on Joshua 9:18:

“They [ed. the congregation] did indeed submit to the restraints which this league laid upon them, and smote not the cities of the Gibeonites, neither slew the persons nor seized the prey; but it vexed them to have their hands thus tied, and they “murmured against the princes” (v. 18), it is to be feared, more from a jealousy for their own profit than from a zeal for the fulfilling of God’s command, though some of them perhaps had a regard to that. Many are forward to arraign and censure the actions of princes while they are ignorant of the springs of those actions and are incompetent judges of the reasons of state that govern them. While therefore we are satisfied in general that those who are over us aim at nothing but the public good, and sincerely seek the welfare of their people, we ought to make the best of what they do and not exercise ourselves in things above us.[1]

1. Henry, Matthew. A Commentary on the Whole Bible, Volume 2: Joshua to Esther. Old Tappan, New Jersey: Fleming H. Revell Company, page 53.

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