The Rule of Law

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor. – Romans 13:1-7.

The rule of law has broken down in New Orleans and because of this rescue and evacuation efforts were greatly hindered today. Rescue boats were fired upon and their efforts were suspended for much of the day. A rescue helicopter was fired upon and their efforts were also greatly reduced as a result. However, it was not just in the rescue efforts that the break down in law and order was being seen. There were reports of rape and murder at the convention center. Some tried to force their way on to buses evacuating people to the Astrodome. Looters were trying to force their way into hospitals and if you had any water or food you were at risk if anyone knew about it.

The good news is that there is help on the way with 1400 National Guard Military Police arriving each day for the next three days in New Orleans. Hopefully that will be enough although with what we are seeing you have to wonder if much more will be needed to bring the situation under control.

Government and the rule of law are for our benefit and therefore we should be subject to those laws. Although the Roman Empire often ruled with an iron hand, there was a relative peace within the Empire. The result was that the apostle Paul was able to travel through the empire and letters were sent successfully from place to place.

Through the terrible situation in New Orleans, we can see how fortunate we are when the rule of law is working effectively. We should all try to be good citizens supporting the rule of law and the resulting peaceful conditions that it brings (When not in direct opposition to God’s Laws.). We will all be relieved with the National Guard arrives in force in New Orleans and the people are then able to receive the help and comfort that they have needed. Let us continue to pray for those affected by the hurricane and the rescue workers. Many will be spending another night out in the open – some on the side of a highway or amid the ruble of fallen buildings with little or no water or food. Let us pray that God will give them comfort and protection tonight and that help will indeed arrive tomorrow.

(The rule of law through government is for our benefit.)

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