Children don’t always like what we ask them to do. “Why do I have to do that?” Well, sometimes the answer is simply, “Because I’m the Dad, and I said so.”
In 1 Peter 2:13, Peter addresses the Christian’s responsibility to government. He says, “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution…” The King James version says, “to every ordinance of man.”
This word “institution” or “ordinance” means more than the laws of the land, however. The Greek word is “kitisas,” and is normally translated “creation or creature.” In fact, the biblical scholar Edmund Clowney says the word can’t mean “institution and ordinance.” He says: “It is hard to find a clear example of this meaning outside the Bible, and it never means this in biblical usage. Peter is not talking about submission to institutions, but to people…who have been given roles to fill in God’s appointments.”
You see, it is one thing to have to obey the law. But it can be something else when you have to appear before the judge who has the authority to enforce that law. Peter is not referring to the human institution or ordinance, but to the human creature (or authority) behind the law.
He goes on to say, “…whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors…” Kings and governors are the human creatures to whom we are commanded to submit. So, be careful who you elect as President, Governor, Senator, or Judge. They are the human creatures God will expect you to obey.
Say—do you know the issues and the candidates? Remember, you will have to obey whoever is elected.