The Bible provides solid, amazing guidance regarding political authorities on this Earth. Depending on where what country we’re on, we might have a president, a prime minister, or even a king, as it is in some parts of the world.
A lot of the Biblical guidance regarding political leaders on this Earth stems from the amazing book of Daniel and the words of the apostle Paul, who wrote to Christians in the middle of the Greco-Roman world. Roman law concerning figures of power was extremely stringent, as you were required to obey, comply, or face arrest or an even worse fate.
As Christians who live in a secular world, in different secular societies, government and political leaders will be part of our lives in different ways, whether big or small, and the Bible beautifully conveys how Christians ought to conduct themselves with regards to political leaders and government in the world, in this life. So, let’s take a look at those now.
Here Are 10 Important Bible Verses About Political Leaders:
1. Daniel 2:20-21:
20 “Daniel answered and said: “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for wisdom and might are His. 21 And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise And knowledge to those who have understanding.”
The book of Daniel serves as a beautiful, illustrative example on what people love God ought to do, in certain special circumstances, regarding political leaders. Daniel, who was greatly loved by God, and his friends teach us a lot about pleasing God before political authority.
In this Bible verse, Daniel gives a beautiful praise to God for saving him and his friends from the government decree of Nebuchadnezzar. It teaches us who is in the backdrop of the political world and who makes the ultimate decision about who rises to power, similar to the book of Esther. None other than God, as he “removes kings and raises up kings.”
2. John 19:11:
11 “Jesus answered, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.”
As the words of Christ state in this Bible verse, human authorities on earth would not have any power over us unless God had given it to them, so we are to be good citizens and obey the law whenever this is possible.
3. Romans 13:1-3:
1 “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. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. 3 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.”
The apostle Paul gives us a powerful command here, illustrating to Christians in the Greco-Roman world of his time that authorities should be obeyed and not resisted.
It’s God’s will that we be good citizens and excel in every our law-abiding behavior. However it is important to keep in mind the one exception, which the holy apostle knew very well and we find in the books of Daniel and Luke.
4. Titus 3:1-2:
1 “Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, 2 to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men.”
In this Bible verse we find a reiteration to have our due deference to human authorities as this glorifies God; in various reiterations from the apostles we find that it glorifies God that we be good citizens in this way.
5. Daniel 3:16-18:
16 “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17 If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. 18 But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”
As the words of the Lord say in Luke 20:25, and as the apostle Paul wrote in his letters, we are to obey the law, political authorities, and be good citizens as this glorifies God, but in Daniel 3:18 we find what is the one limit regarding deference to political authorities.
Some misinterpret Christ’s command to give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, but at the essence of this command as well as this Bible verse of Daniel we find the crucial element concerning Christians and deference to political leaders in the Bible. Christians should not give to Caesar what doesn’t belong to him, and this is whatever is in the will of God, and his commandments for his followers.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego knew this, as they couldn’t disobey God to please political authority. This is the same we should do today. Whenever political authority or public policy conflicts with God’s will, we are to keep faithful to God’s commandments, same as Daniel and his friends.
6. 1 Peter 3:22:
22 “Who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him.”
As this beautiful Bible verse conveys, all political leaders are subject to God, and we should trust God on that matter and not fear man.
7. Luke 20:21-25:
21 “Then they asked Him, saying, “Teacher, we know that You say and teach rightly, and You do not show personal favoritism, but teach the way of God in truth: 22 Is it lawful for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” 23 But He perceived their craftiness, and said to them, “Why do you test Me? 24 Show Me a denarius. Whose image and inscription does it have?” They answered and said, “Caesar’s.” 25 And He said to them, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
This is a powerful Scripture that should guide Christians’ behavior regarding political leadership and authority, and epitomizes what it should be. It conveys the same theme as the book of Daniel. All due deference to political leaders is recommended and even encouraged, but not on the matters of our lives that belong to God and to men.
The Lord left us this passage for a reason. In Roman times, Christians resisted Roman Emperors when the Christian faith was threatened and often faced arrest or an even worse fate, because the principle of Luke 20:25 will stand forever.
8. Colossians 3:22-24:
22 “Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God. 23 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.”
This is an important Bible verse for every Christian who works in political positions; keeping an attitude in the heart that one does things for God primarily and not for men can inspire us to do better work.
9. Psalm 138:4-5:
4 “All the kings of the earth shall praise You, O Lord, when they hear the words of Your mouth. 5 Yes, they shall sing of the ways of the Lord, for great is the glory of the Lord.”
Even when we have particularly anti-Christian figures of authority in any country, we can take comfort in this Bible verse, which on a similar theme to Romans 14:11, states all kings shall praise God one day, and no one will be able to avoid it.
10. 1 Timothy 2:1-4:
1 “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
In the Roman world when 1 Timothy was written, there were Christians who prayed for the Roman emperor. In this Bible verse, the apostle Paul conveys that every Christian should not only pray for the highest figures of authority, but “all who are in authority,” so it’s our important task as Christians to pray and wish well to all those in charge.
As we have seen, the Bible is the best guide for every aspect of our human lives. I hope you enjoyed these Bible verses about political leaders! God bless.