David and the Finkelsteins
Bible Reading: Titus 3:1-8
Remind the people to he subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good. Titus 3:1, NIV
ANN LANDERS HAS written a newspaper column giving advice and information for over forty years. During that time, readers have often written her to share interesting statements kids and others have made about the Bible, like those listed below:
- “Noah’s wife was Joan of Ark.”
- “Lot’s wife was a pillar of salt by day and a ball of fire by night.”
- “Moses went to the top of Mount Cyanide to get the Ten Commandments.”
- “Joshua led the Hebrews in the Battle of Geritol.”
- “The people who followed Jesus were called the ‘Twelve Decibels’”
- “The epistles were the wives of the apostles.”
- “David fought the Finkelsteins, a race of people who lived in biblical times.”
- “A Christian should have only one wife. This is called monotony.”
As you can see, each of those statements is sort of close to the truth. But each one is wrong because it’s based on a misunderstanding. Moses got the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai, not Mount Cyanide. Joshua fought the battle of Jericho. David fought the Philistines, not the Finkelsteins. Having only one wife is called monogamy.
Those kids just got the wrong idea, that’s all. And many of us have also gotten a wrong idea when it comes to respecting those who are in positions of authority over us.
You see, a lot of us think that people in authority (police, teachers, presidents, church leaders, and so on) should earn our respect. When we get a new teacher, or pastor, or president, we tend to withhold our respect until he or she earns it, until he or she makes us respect him or her. But according to the Bible, we should do just the opposite.
The Bible says that we should give respect and obedience to those who are in authority over us. They don’t have to earn our respect—we owe it to them; they only have to lose it. There are times when Christians must protest or resist people in authority (see Acts 5:17-42). But unless obeying those authorities would mean disobeying God, God’s Word is clear: Respecting and obeying those in authority is right.
REFLECT: In the space below, list ways you can show respect for:
others (specify) ____________________________________________
PRAY: “Lord, I do want to please you and obey you. Please remind me to show respect for rulers and authorities, to be obedient, and to be ready to do whatever is good.”