Authority and Submission – Ecclesiastes 8:1,2
March 6, 2023, 8:25 AM

“Who is like the wise man? Who knows the explanation of things? Wisdom brightens a man's face and changes its hard appearance. Obey the king's command, I say, because you took an oath before God.” Eccl 8:1,2

One little girl was told by her mother at their kitchen table to be seated. She didn't want to sit. The mother explained she needed to sit at the table and not stand. The daughter continued to stand. Finally, the mother gave her a choice of being seated or getting a swat. Disgusted the child sat and said firmly, "I might be seated on the outside, but I'm standing in the inside."

This week the subject is authority and submission. There are many things we do out of compulsion, not out of desire. Typically, we do not like to submit to any authority, but that is the basis by which society can operate without chaos. In our individualist mindset, we want to grant authority to those we deem worthy to receive it and not to those whom we feel do not deserve it, but from the moment we are born until we die there are people in authority over us. We have laws and rules to govern our communities and they are established by procedures that govern the legislature and leaders.

People continually defy rules and laws. We do not always obey those in charge. We might be convinced to do so if it seems to be for our good, but there is this streak within where we think, “No one is going to tell me what to do.”

We resent it if a policeman stops us for going a few miles over the speed limit, but are grateful when there is a disturbance and we want his protection. Young people resent parents’ authority when they put limitations on their activities, but are happy to partake of their benefits of food, laundry, money and a place to sleep.

What rules and laws ought to govern our morals? There is a growing trend in society that each does what is right in his own eyes. This is nothing new, of course. This was the way life was in the days of the Judges from the Old Testament. The philosophy of relativism and pluralism sets up personal opinion guiding our choices and actions.

Throughout our existence we are going to be in conflict with the benefits and the limitations of authority, yet we cannot begin to experience spiritual growth until we learn the lesson of submission.

God's Word has important instructions in Ephesians 6: Children obey your parents. Slaves be submissive to your masters. Wives be subject to your husbands. Be subject to the rulers and authorities. Submit yourselves one unto another. The church is subject to Christ and in the end the Bible teaches “Every knee shall bow and every tongue declare that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father.".

Solomon teaches us wisdom about authority.

Pray for all those God has put in authority over you.

Prayer: Lord, give me a heart of submission first of all to You and then to all those You have put in authority over me.