Sunday, March 12, 2006

Genesis 41:14-45; Psalms 8, 84; Romans 6:3-14; John 5:19-24

May the Lord bless me with insight and understanding of his word.

How do you deal with authority? It is something I have struggled with my whole life. All of today’s readings address authority in some manner. The Old Testament starts with the wonderful story of Joseph interpreting Pharaoh’s dreams and being promoted to the number two man in all of Egypt. This story, presented as a London West End musical, established the careers of both Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice back in the 1970s. Joseph is given total authority over all the people of Egypt, which included authority over his own brothers who had sold him into slavery. Why was he given this authority? It was because God gave him a gift to interpret dreams. Joseph was quick to tell Pharaoh that he was just the messenger and that the prophecy came directly from God, who has the ultimate authority.

This supports an important reality of the workplace. The authority that a person has must be given to them by someone who is recognized as having the authority to give. Joseph’s authority came from God and Pharaoh. Psalm 8 speaks directly concerning God giving authority to man. He is given “dominion over the works of your hand.” This is about being chosen. Isn’t that what we all seek? To be chosen to be loved, recognized, and supported. We seek this in all our relationships – family, church, work. Some will not want the authority that is given because often it has responsibility attached to it. For many, being chosen and recognized are enough.

Psalm 84 is one of my favorites. “How lovely is your dwelling place” has been set to music many times and introduces us to the glories of heaven. In this dwelling place we will live secure in the total authority of God. While on earth we may rebel against authority, but Christ has guaranteed eternal security with the Father.

Both Paul and John confirm that the authority is given. John confirms that the total authority of God is given to his son, Jesus, and Jesus is free to use this authority in his name and as he wishes. Paul then tells the Romans that Jesus, through his sacrifice for us, has given this authority to each of us who die with him and are reborn.

What a wonderful thing this is. When we feel weak, unloved, unimportant, and insignificant, we can stop, pray, and realize that we have total authority over this world because we are guaranteed a place in heaven, where we will live for ever.


John Dickie

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