“WHO IS THE BOSS?”                                               By Pastor YAU

Text: Deuteronomy 28:1-6.                                           June 18, 2006

 

INTRODUCTION:

1)   “You are not my boss.” Often times we heard children said “You are not my boss” to people in authority. Statement like this is an attempt children will make to assert their independence. In fact this is not just true with children it is true with people of all ages. We don’t like having someone tell us what to do especially things we don’t want to do or put us in a situation we don’t want to be in.

2)   The problem of authority: Ever since man was created, he or his partner, she, did not abide well with authority, God. The history of man is in someway a history of rebellion against authority: kings and queens, governments and police, teachers and supervisors and parents and all others who have authority over us. Many people don’t believe in God for the very reason they don’t want God to tell them what to do or not to do. Resistance of authority is every where from society to business to schools to homes and churches.

 

WHY DO WE RESIST AUTHORITY?

1)    Authority conflicts with freedom: We all agree that freedom is important in our life and we will do our utmost to resist anything, including authority that may take freedom away from us. To have someone with authority over us is the same as to give up some freedom we have in our life. Authority is from outside while freedom is inside of us and we will do all we can to protect what we think we deserve to have. We want to live life our way.

2)    Authority hurts our image: Image is the “show” of who we are in front of others. We all want to impress others that we are independent, strong, free and in absolute control of our life. To have authority over us and to submit to it will certainly reduce our public image and therefore we don’t like it. This is especially true among teenagers because they are in the years of building their image before their peers especially girl friends. That is why many teenagers think that by resisting parental authority is important in building their otherwise “independent” image.

3)    Authority adds responsibility: Anytime authority puts its weight on us it always puts us under some responsibility we have to obey and we don’t like it. From authority of a teacher in giving homework assignments to authority of speed limit signs on highways and streets, from authority of parents requires us to finish everything on our plates to authority of government demands us to pay taxes, just to name a few, all add responsibilities on us and we won’t like any of them. Responsibility is obligation and few people like to live under obligations. We want to do things we LOVE to do, not things we HAVE to do.

4)    Authority is good for others: Few people will totally reject the need of authority for an orderly society, authority in schools to promote learning, authority of police patrol on highways and streets to protect us from reckless drivers, authority of government to collect taxes from the rich so they will not as so much richer and authority at home to subdue that bullying big brother or to stop that crying and noisy baby sister so long as authority plays its weight on others. We want others to submit to authority so we may enjoy all the benefits of it but to leave us out of its grip, free from any authority. They need authority but I don’t.

 

WHY IS THERE AUTHORITY?

1)      God is the authority: When God issued the Ten Commandments, He assumed all the authority in doing so without consulting with or getting permission from anyone anywhere. Even before that God exercised His authority in “telling” people what to do and where to go. As the sole creator of the universe including all human beings you and me, God is the sole source of authority anywhere and anytime. As long as God is there, and no one can make Him disappear, authority will be there you like it or not. It is part of the nature of God to be the authority over all things including you and me. The existence of God and His authority doesn’t need your permission even though you may not like it but you can do nothing about it. It has always been that way before you were even born. Don’t try to challenge God.

2)      God delegates authorities:  In teaching the early Christians on the importance of obeying authorities, Paul pointed out that all authorities were ordained by God in Romans 13:1, “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has ordained.” The idea that God delegates authority is very important to both the authority and those under authority. To those who are given authority, they need to recognize God as the higher authority and to have the sense of stewardship. They need to follow God’s will in discharging authority God entrusted them. To those of us who are under the authority of others, we need to obey them as we obey God.

3)      Authority for peaceful living: God requires His people to pray for those who were given authority so that they will be able to provide peaceful environment for all people. God sees the importance to live peaceful and quiet life that godliness and holiness may be preserved. (1 Timothy 2:1-2) We all may imagine what kind of society we may have if there were no authority at all. How about the work place? The schools? In the family and the church. We need to have authority to keep us safe and peaceful so we may be able to pursue godliness and holiness.

4)      Authority for punishment: One of the duties of the authority is to maintain law and order and to punish those who violate the law. In Romans 13:2-3, the Bible says: “Consequently he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right but for those who do wrong.” Even though we all agree that punishment is the last step to correct wrong doers but it still is necessary to maintain law and order. One of the reasons people obey the law is the fear of being punished by the authority: the government, your boss or dad.

 

BENEFITS OF OBEYING AUTHORITY:

1)   Guarantees God’s blessings: “When Moses finished reciting all these words to all Israel, he said to them “Take to heart all the words I have solemnly declared to you this day, so that you may command your children to obey carefully all the words of this law. They are not just idle words, they are your life. By obeying them you will live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.” (Deut. 32:45-47) Repeatedly God has promised His blessing on those who accept His authority and obey His words. (28:1-14)

2)   Protected us from harm and pain: In Deut. 28:15-68, Moses listed all the possible harm and suffering on those who reject God and His authority by not obeying His words. The pain and suffering one may receive because of rejecting God’s authority is more than 4 times than the blessings to those who obey Him. In the book of Proverbs, King Solomon repeatedly called on the sons (and daughters) to accept the authority of parents and to obey their teachings in order to gain wisdom and avoid trouble and suffering. How many times do we have to suffer the consequence of our own foolish rebellion before we recognize and obey authority?

3)   Beloved of God: In the longest discourse Jesus had with His disciples from John 14, 15 and 16, He laid out a formula of love by which we all will be measured: “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father and I too will love him.” (John 14:21) Accepting God and His authority is never for His good but for ours. The best way to show God you love Him is to submit yourself to His authority and therefore to be in His love. Can anyone explain how great it might be when God showers you with His love?

4)   Lifted up by God: One of the hindrances on accepting authority is the false idea of being wimpy or loss of personal dignity. The truth is far from it. God has promised those who submit themselves to authority His uplifting of position and honor. In 1 Peter 5:5-6 it says, “Young men be submissive to those who are older. All of you clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble’. Humble yourselves therefore under God’s mighty hand (authority) that He may lift you up in due time.” You won’t get anywhere by playing tough, snub your nose to authority God or his representatives.

 

CONCLUSION:

1)   We need someone bigger than us: We need God to be our authority to show us a better way to live, higher goal to achieve and have more meaningful purpose for our life. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your way my way,” declared the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isa. 55:8-9)

2)   Obeying authority doesn’t make you small: For life to be peaceful and society without chaos, we are to respect human authorities God has placed over us: our government officials and police, your supervisors at work, teachers at school, parents at home, leaders in the community and the church. Snubbing your nose at people with authority doesn’t make you a hero but a rebel or social outcast.

3)   Accept the highest authority: “Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me’.” (Matt. 28:19) He is the Lord of the universe and everything in it including you. Accept His authority over your life, pledge him your faith and receive forgiveness of all your sins and eternal life after this life. It is time now to submit yourself to Jesus.