Prayer Targets: Rulers; Immigration; Saeed Abedini; Obamacare; Marriage; Liberty, Jerusalem Massacre
November 19, 2014
The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me; he that ruleth over Men must be just, ruling in the Fear of God. II Samuel 23:3
Second only to Jonathan Edwards, Charles Chauncy (1705–1787) was perhaps the most influential New England clergyman of his day. A Harvard graduate, he pastored the First Church in Boston for sixty years. On May 27, 1747, Chauncy preached a sermon before Governor William Shirley and the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Titled “Civil Magistrates Must be Just, Ruling in the Fear of God,” an exposition of 2 Samuel 23:3, Chauncy’s reflections are incisively pertinent to us:
There are no words in all the bible, applicable to civil rulers, in their public capacity, of more solemn importance to all in civil power than 2 Sam 23:3 … it is not only David that here speaks. The words are rather God’s than his. For they are thus prefaced, “The God of Israel said, the rock of Israel spake to me.”…
Were there no civil rule among men, every one might do that which was right in his own eyes, without restraint from humane laws, there would not be safety anywhere on the earth... We could not live, either comfortably or safely without it… “Those who rule over others must be just, ruling in the fear of God”… They ought to be so in their private capacity but’tis as magistrates, not private members of society, that they are required to be just… ’Tis not enough that rulers are not unjust; that they don’t betray the trusts reposed in them; that they don’t defraud the public; that they don’t oppress the subject… they must be positively righteous… possessed of an inward, steady, uniform principle of justice, setting them, in a good measure, above the influence of private interest, or party views, they must do that which is equal and right, in their various stations, from the king in supreme, to the lowest in authority under him. What follows is the first point in Chauncy’s sermon.
1. They must be just in the use of their power; confining it within the limits prescribed in the constitution they are under. Whatever power any are vested with, ’tis delegated to them according to some civil constitution. And this, so long as it remains the constitution, they are bound in justice to conform themselves to: To be sure, they ought not to act in violation of any of its main and essential rights. Especially, is this an important point of justice, where the constitution is branched into several parts, and the power originally lodged in it, is divided, in certain measures, to each part, in order to preserve a balance in the whole. Rulers… are bounded by the constitution, and obliged to keep within the proper limits assigned them; never clashing in the exercise of their power, never encroaching upon the rights of each other, in any shape, or under any pretense whatever. They have severally and equally a right to that power which is granted to them in the constitution, and to wrest it out of each other’s hands, or to obstruct one another in the regular legal exercise of it, is evidently unjust… Nor does the manner in which it is done make any essential difference… whether it be done openly, or by secret craft; by compulsion or corruption, the designed balance is no longer preserved; and which way soever the scale turns, whether on the side of sovereignty, or popularity, ’tis forced down by a false weight, which, by degrees, will overturn the government…(Rev. Charles Chauncy, "Civil Magistrates Must Be Just, Ruling in the Fear of God," 1747, Ellis Sandoz, Political Sermons of the American Founding Era. Vol. 1 (1730-1788) )
Many believe President Obama has pushed past the boundaries of rightful executive power again and again. Our Founding Fathers gave us a government with clear limits of powers for each branch based on their conviction that man is sinful (Jer. 17:9; Rom. 3:23). Therefore no one branch should be allowed to rule over the rest in our constitutional government. Such a power grab would be a great injustice. Remember the words of Scripture: “he that ruleth over Men must be just, ruling in the Fear of God.”
Immigration Reform by President Obama – Despite voters having given both Houses of Congress to Republican control, President Obama threatens to act unilaterally to overturn the immigration laws and “legalize” millions of illegal aliens. The President campaigned on the promise to “be a uniter and not a divider.” However, a Washington Post and ABC News-commissioned a poll shows that a a majority of Americans, 55% to 38%, see him as more a divider than a uniter. Many believe the President’ threat to bypass Congress to implement his version of immigration reform would create a firestorm, even a constitutional crisis.
A USA Today poll released Monday shows that more Americans want the new Congress to consider immigration reform rather than for President Obama to take matters into his own hands as he promises to do this week. The only thing certain is that the rancor in Congress and across America will not diminish as some hoped would happen after the election (see Red Flag and Bull; Poison Well; Thwarting Constitution; Sessions: No Authority; Illegal).
God, it is was You whom Abraham Lincoln quoted: a “House divided against itself cannot stand.” Intervene to preserve us; Give Congress and its God-fearing leaders wisdom and strategies to reverse our Nation’s direction. Prevent any illegal executive action from adding confusion to confusion and give the American people eyes to see. Cause your people to pray as never before! (2 Chr 7:14; 26:25-21;Ps 75:9-10; 127: all; 133; 144:1-3; ; Is 19:11-14; Mat 12:25)
Pastor Saeed Abedini – In September, FRC had the privilege of welcoming Mariam Ibrahim and her family and Naghmeh Abedini, the wife of American Pastor Saeed Abedini to the 2014 Values Voter Summit. Naghmeh’s husband has been imprisoned for over two years, sentenced to 8 years in an Iranian prison for sharing his Christian faith. Naghmeh and Mariam gave us a poignant reminder of the real impact of religious oppression. Up until the summit, President Obama and Secretary Kerry had refused to even meet with Naghmeh. Since then, we understand Secy. Kerry has sent a memo asking Iran to release three Americans, including Pastor Abedini. But where the administration continues to fail, the opportunities for American Christians to take up the struggle abound. Consider writing a short letter or calling the White House to ask President Obama NOT to negotiate with Iran further, without first securing Pastor Abedini’s release. It is simply wrong for our President to negotiate with Iran for anything while Pastor Saeed languishes in prison, where he has suffered beatings, been denied medical care, been disallowed even to speak by phone with his wife and family – all for sharing Christ with others in Iran. (see Tony on Mariam, Naghmeh; Write or Call the White House; State Department; ).
May God turn President Obama’s heart to take serious action to release Saeed! we must be able to negotiate for the release of this godly pastor. May God’s people keep vigil with prayer until Saeed’s release! (Est 4:14; Ps 18:1-17; 71:1-16; Is 58:6; Dan 3:16-17; Joel 2:32; Mt 25:31-45; Lk 18:1-8)
Please pray also for: the Church: that believers will awaken and stand up to every violation of their Religious Liberty in America (see Dr. Jim Tonkowich introduce his new book The Liberty Threat: The Assault on Religious Freedom in America at FRC yesterday (Click here). Pray that every lie used to sell Obamacare, including those still in use will be exposed (Eph 5:8-15). May the American people utterly reject this bill of goods dishonestly sold to them. Pray that the 6th Circuit Ruling upholding natural marriage will survive review by the U.S. Supreme Court. Please read “Welcome to Mai World” and pray for the Mai’s, the Latimer’s, and believers across America who are similarly being subjected to persecution because of the activist homosexual agenda. Finally, Please pray to for the families of the four rabbis and an Israeli policeman murdered in a Jerusalem synagogue (3 of the rabbis were Americans). The savage killers: two Palestinian Muslims, were shot, but Palestinians in East Jerusalem celebrated in streets, exchanging candy and pastries among themselves. Pray for PM Benjamin Netanyahu, who must decide what action to take, and for the U.S. that we will stand by Israel without projecting the kind of double-mindedness we have been projecting in recent years. Thank you for praying!