“You shall not curse God, nor curse a ruler of your people.”
Let me put down right this moment that I am not pleased with the current state of politics in America. I do not approve of the people’s choice as elected by the electoral college nor would I have approved of the other candidate. I think we set ourselves a choice between terrible and horrible and we are left to sleep in the bed we made.
That written, God’s standard is higher than man’s and, while man allows cursing a ruler, God prohibits cursing a ruler. In the case of the Israelites, it was the situation that God was making the appointments to governmental positions. Moses, later Joshua, the judges after him, all the way down to King David — all appointed by God Himself. To curse those leaders would be to curse God’s choice; to say, in effect, that God does not know what He is doing.
I have been working on obedience to this for a long while. God has never once told me that I cannot come to Him and ask Him just what is going on with these rulers. He also never says that He will answer that question from me — If He did, would I fully understand the answer? — but there is always the chance that He will. And asking Him what is happening is a far cry from coming to the internet or going into my echo chamber and yelling about how the whole situation is messed up and wrong and what-have-you. God cannot reason with me if I do not speak with Him and that, I think, is one of the potentially myriad reasons God forbids cursing the rulers. I cannot be reasoned with while I am busy cursing someone. More, cursing the people ruling me is cursing myself by proxy. They are, after are, ruling the place in which I live.
I should do something else. God does not outline it in this verse, but elsewhere in The Bible I am told that I should be praying for my rulers and seeking good for the place in which I live. I may not like them (God never says I have to like them). I may think them reprehensible people (God does not command that I change my opinion of a person’s character). But I should be praying for them and for the place over which they rule. I live in California and disagree with the vast majority of things that the governor of this state does. When I think of him (which is not often) I try to remember to pray for him; to pray that he comes to salvation if he has not and to pray that he governs in accordance with God’s will for this place. And I try to do the same with all of the government folks and to vote in accordance with my values and beliefs when the opportunity arises. My griping and complaining does not change anything — never has and never will — but prayer always changes something, even if the only thing that changes is my outlook. If I achieve nothing else through prayer than to reestablish my focus on God’s absolute control of everything that is happening, then I have invested that time well.
Father, thank You for the encouragement to stay the course in working with You to stop complaining about the rulers and to start praying for them. I know that You want me to use the rights and privileges I have in this nation to speak Truth and that part of that Truth is that You are in control. We have elected our leaders, You selected them and planned for this moment from before the foundation of this world. You are not surprised. You are not caught off guard. You are not going back to the drawing board to revise Your plans. This is part of the plan that moves things to where You want them. Thank You for that reminder and for the encouragement to stay the course and for the exhortation to do better.