HomeReligion ZoneAuthority and choice — God-given

Authority and choice — God-given

By creating us in His image, God became our authority. The purpose of an authority is to lead, maintain law and order as well as to ensure the continued survival of the subjects.

sundayword BY PROSPER TINGINI

On the other hand, the subjects have to bow down to authority and obey the set down rules and regulations for law and order to prevail. Lack of it breeds a lawless society and subsequent disintegration of humanity.

Authority is normally distributed downwards through the delegation of power. Even upon the creation of the first recorded biblical humans, Adam and Eve, God immediately delegated some of His authority to mankind as per the first chapter of the Bible. Genesis 1: 28 reads: “and have dominion (authority) over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth (including other humans)”.

The spiritual authority is still vested in the Lord to pick, bless and anoint people to act on His behalf in the spiritual realm. He also delegated some earthly authority to the people to pick society leaders of their choice, to be governed by them. Deuteronomy 17:15; the Lord our God directs the people, “You may indeed set a king over you whom the Lord your God will choose. One from your brethren you shall set as king over you”. He was thus vesting His powers to the people to choose political leaders of their choice whom He will in turn endorse, thus introducing the concept of elections or choice by the people.

The idea of a leader as a one centre of power defeats the purpose of delegation of authority, contrary to what is exhibited by the Lord our God. Anyone who imposes himself upon the people against their choice does not have God’s blessing. It will bring misfortunes upon a people. Politics and religion go hand-in-hand. God appointed and anointed Moses as both a political and religious leader. A nation has its own constitution which its citizens have to abide by, including the leaders themselves. The nation’s constitution becomes the authority of the land. The national constitution can allow delegation of authority down to municipal levels by which municipalities can formulate their own laws or by-laws, to be further adhered to by the residents. The authority of municipalities can further cascade down to district and ward levels, thus further promoting the delegation of authority. The purpose of all this is to ensure a strict adherence to the rules and regulations through delegation of power. Supreme authority starts with the Lord our God and is distributed downwards to the grassroots. This authority, at whatever level, has to be respected.

People choose to obey or disregard rules and authority. People choose to follow particular paths because they have the choice, as it is within their power to do so. Freedom of choice is a God-given right, although there can be consequences for bad choices. No one can operate outside the law, so whatever choices people make have to be made within the laws of the state, of the municipality, of the church and of the Lord our God above all else.

God gave the first humans, Adam and Eve, a rule to show them His authority. He allowed them to make a choice to obey or disobey that directive. In Genesis 2: 16-17, the Lord God commanded Adam saying, “You may eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day you eat of it you shall die”. He thus gave Adam and Eve the choice to eat or not to eat of the fruit and spelt out the consequences for disobedience. He empowered people to choose, to make their own choices whether of the good or of evil intent. There are rewards for good choices and punishments for bad ones. Most of what we become is a direct result of our own choices. Unless we ask the Lord our God to assist us in making our choices, He freely allows us to determine our own decisions.

The Almighty God is the supreme authority over the planet earth. He gave mankind a set of rules and regulations for people to follow so as to maintain law and order on this planet, to ensure the continued survival of the human species, i.e. eternal life. It is up to us to make a choice to ignore, go against or obey his commands. It is us who will determine our own destiny.

In His regard, in Leviticus 18: 4, the Lord spoke: “You shall do my ordinances and keep my statutes and walk in them. I am the Lord your God”. Jesus Christ also warned us, “If you want eternal life, keep the commandments (Read Matthew 19:16-20; Luke 18:18-25 and Mark 10:17-21).

However, should we make bad choices by disobeying the Lord our God, He is prepared to forgive our transgressions upon repenting of our sins and asking for forgiveness. Our God is a Lord of mercy and He says so. In Leviticus 26: 40-43, God spoke to the people via Moses, “But if they confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers in their treachery which they committed against me, and also in walking contrary to me, so that I walked contrary to them and brought them into the land of their enemies (punishment) and if then their uncircumcised heart is humbled and they make amends for their iniquity (repentance); then I will remember my covenant with Jacob, and I will remember my covenant with Isaac and my covenant with Abraham (forgiveness), and I will remember the land (blessing/prosperity)”.

Decisions we make in our personal lives outside of God and authority are done through the choices we make. The outcome of our choices shapes our personal lives. Each of us has the freedom to make the choices independently. It is a God-given right. If we make bad choices we will suffer the consequences for those choices. Good decisions bring good results and create wealth, both in terms of knowledge and tangible benefits. Choice is a very important part of human life that leads us to our destiny. Before we make any choices affecting our lives, let’s first weigh the pros and cons of that choice before coming to a decision.

Come election time, let’s also reflect and choose our leaders wisely, with caution. Our choices will impact on our lives greatly. Some promises from candidates are meant to deceive us when such promises are never fulfilled. Last but not least, let’s all go to register to vote so that we can make our choices through the voting system. To fail to register is to deny ourselves the God-given right to choose a leader of our choice.

Prosper Tingini compiled a book titled God’s Constitution for Mankind — The Laws and Commandments. His contact details are 0771 260 195 or email: neglectedcommandments@gmail.com or the book can be purchased from Innov8 Bookshop, 23 G. Silundika Avenue, between First & Second Street, Harare

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