Author: Ron Graham
I Love God and My Country
—Honour the flag, serve the King, obey the law.
“I love God and my country, I will honour the flag, I will serve the King and cheerfully obey my parents, teachers and the law.”
That oath of allegiance was said in school assemblies all over Australia in days gone by. Upon the death of King George VI (1952), Elizabeth II was crowned. Children continued to say the oath, saying "Queen" instead of "King". Today, however, that pledge is no longer borne on children’s voices.
There are four elements in that old oath that are still among the pillars of our society —whether or not they are recognised and honoured. They are: (1) our God, (2) our nation, (3) our monarch, and (4) our laws.
However this is not just an earthly matter limited to human politics. There is a spiritual and eternal Kingdom of Heaven. The pillars of our earthly nation arise from the principles and nature of God's spiritual kingdom.
The heavenly kingdom does not change. Always its pillars and foundation stand. Worldly nations are prone to change. They may not love God and their country; they may reject their monarch; their laws may become corrupted; their pillars may be removed.
1 ‘I Love God’
Mark 12:30; Deuteronomy 6:5
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength."
Why should we love God? What has he done for us that we should love him deeply? John says, "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the atonement for our sins." (1John 4:10).
The love of God conquers hate. If there is growing hatered in our society, only a genuine love for God will banish the curse. Those who love God, also love other people. Those who don't love God are prone to practise hatred.
Of course there are the hypocrites who claim to love God yet practise hatered. John warns, If anyone says, 'I love God,' but hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen (1John 4:20)
Our world, our nation and our individual souls will all fare ill if we do not love God.
2 ‘I Love My Country’
Acts 22:27-29 BSB
"The commander went to Paul and asked, 'Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?' 'Yes,' he answered. 'I paid a high price for my citizenship,' said the commander. 'But I was born a citizen,' Paul replied. Then those who were about to interrogate Paul stepped back, and the commander himself was alarmed when he realized that he had put a Roman citizen in chains."
This piece of conversation shows that Paul valued being born a citizen of the great Roman empire. On this occasion Paul was protected by his citizenship from a painful interrogation. The commander also valued the Roman citizenship that he had purchased for a large sum.
We should be very glad to be citizens of our country and we should love that country and honour its flag. We should be greatly displeased to hear anyone hate our nation and call it evil.
We know (and God knows) that our nation may err. But that's very likely because it isn't loved. A country genuinely loved by all its citizens is unlikely to err. Pride, deceit, hatred, hypocrisy, dishonesty, and suchlike, do not mark a nation genuinely loved by its citizens.
3 ‘I Will Serve the King’
(Romans 13:1-5 ).
1 "Everyone must submit to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which is from God. The powers that be have been appointed by God. 2 So whoever resists authority is opposing what God has put in place, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. "
3 "For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Do you want to be without fear of the person in authority? Then do what is right, and you will have his approval because he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. 4 He is God's servant, an avenger to deliver wrath to the wrongdoer.
5 "Therefore it is necessary to submit to authority, not only to avoid punishment, but also as a matter of conscience."
Whether it be a monarch, a president, or other ruler, we as citizens must serve and try to please those in authority by doing what is right. We must, however, listen to God and serve him first if there is any conflict between him and our rulers (Acts 4:19, 5:29).
God is the "blessed and unique sovereign, King of kings and Lord of lords" (1Timothy 6:15). The rulers of this world are subject to God and accountable to him just as we are. They serve God as we serve them. If they do wrong, we must still endeavour to do right.
4 ‘I Will Obey the Law’
1Timothy 1:8-11 NKJV
8But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully, 9knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine, 11according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust".
Paul says that the law is made for the lawless. This applies whether the law is the law of Moses, the law of Christ, or the law of the land. The law ideally defines what is good behaviour, what is bad, and the reward or punishment for such behaviour. And the law ideally is based on the word of God rather than human ideology and wisdom which the Bible describes as foolishness (1Corinthians 1:18-30).
Law is necessary. Some people think that the ideal society is completely free of law and relies on the good character of its citizens and their care for one another. But even the kingdom of God has commandments to keep. The King says, "If you love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15,