Bible Study for June 18: Respect Authority

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1 Samuel 24:3-12
Levi Skipper, pastor
Concord Baptist Church, Clermont

Let’s be honest. We don’t like rules. We can look at a speed limit sign and completely ignore it. I know that because I have … and I do. We just want to do what we want to do when we want to do it.

That is why we often disregard and even disrespect authority. I help coach a baseball team and I see how parents talk to the umpires. It is embarrassing. And, what does it teach their children?

God’s Word teaches us to respect authority (see Romans 13:1). We must respect that authority even when we think the authority is dead wrong.

In the life of David we see this principle lived out. Remember, David was anointed to be the next king of Israel. However, that did not happen immediately. Saul was the king of Israel and he wanted David dead. In fact, he was seeking to have him killed so that there would be no threat to his reign.

Imagine what it must have been like for David and his men to be on the run and then out of nowhere it happened. The very cave in which David and some of his men were hiding out, Saul enters.

Saul at this point was not going to search the cave. Saul was going to “relieve himself.” How often do you get to say that in church? But that is what he was doing!

Now put yourself in David’s sandals for a moment. You know God has promised to make you the next king of Israel. The problem is that king Saul is still around. Now, at a very vulnerable moment, Saul, who wants you dead, is in your grasp. One of your men whispers in essence, ‘Now is your chance!’ In other words, kill him and take the crown.

God has prepared this for you. If I were David, I may have considered what was occurring as God’s will. God promised that I would be the king. The king in the way is in front of me relieving himself. One of my men confirms that this is my time. I may have gone in for the kill.

David did the opposite however, he looked at the situation and allowed the principle of respecting God’s authority to guide him. He believed if God wanted him to be the king at that time, God would make him the king. Until then, the authority was Saul. Therefore, David did not take his life but waited upon the Lord.

Our respect of authority is a mirror of our respect toward God. So often we live as if God doesn’t have a clue about what is going on. But He does. He knows exactly what is going on.

Regardless of what authorities you have in your life, He isn’t unaware. Those authorities are provided for your spiritual maturity. As you respect them, you mature and honor God. As you disrespect them, you dishonor God.

Take some time and think through the authorities that are in your life. Ask the tough question. Do I respect that position of authority? Do both my character and conduct reflect respect? If not, confess it to the Lord and ask Him to empower you to live the life He desires.

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