by Christopher Harbin

Bowing to Authority
Christopher B. Harbin
Ps 25:1-9; Ezek 18:1-4, 25-32; Mat 21:23-32; Phil 2:1-13

Submission is overrated and passé, anymore. We are much more concerned with rights, position, assertiveness, and making our own paths. After all, we exist not to serve, but to be served, don't we? It is our birthright as Americans that we be free, independent, and seemingly responsible to no one. Or maybe it is that attitude that has brought us to our current national crisis. Refusing to bow to any sense of earthly authority, we tend also to refuse God's design for our lives. Is bowing to God's authority really all that onerous, or are we just to afraid to allow God sway in our lives?

The proverb Ezekiel cited was very well known. "The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's mouths have been turned on edge." It was a way of referring to the past catching up with us, though more often than not rather late. It was also a way to say that the problems we face are not of our doing. We have just inherited the problems of those who have gone before. We are not the ones who messed things up, it was our ancestors. Now we just have to reap the consequences.

Interestingly enough, the Jews were still using this proverb in Jesus' day, asking whose fault it was when a man was born blind, his own, or his parents. Ezekiel had answered that this was not the way of God, but the people were still grappling with the issue. If this is not how God operates, then why do we suffer for things that are not of our own doing? Why do we still struggle with the consequences of what previous generations have done with the world around us?

Are we really interested in finding God and God's will for our lives? Aren't we more concerned with communicating our will to God and somehow manipulating God to follow our own will and plan? We want God to correct the crises we face personally, but we don't really want to be involved in God's solution to the crises faced ...

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