The Boeremag is a group of white South Africans who have been charged and found guilty of high treason against the government. It is not the intent of this article to comment on the right and wrong of that, but only to discuss what might be a baffling command of God. It has to do with obedience to the authorities. It is true that in South Africa it is often difficult to do that when one observes the government's incompetence, corruption, and obvious plundering of the country's wealth. Despite that, God says in Romans 13:1, 'Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.' To make sure we understand it, He repeats: 'Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every authority instituted among men' (1 Peter 2:13). Governments are not always blessed with holy actions. They have a tendency to serve themselves before all else. Why does God then expect us to submit ourselves to the government? Why should we not rebel?
God is the King of the universe, and eventually He will reign on earth as the eternal One with His throne in the great city of God, the new Jerusalem. Despite being a God of mercy, one aspect of God's kingdom constitution is not subject to discussion, and that is His Lordship. He is the eternal Ruler. The devil was rejected and expelled and will spend eternity in hell, because he did not submit himself to God's authority. He wanted to be above God: "You said in your heart, 'I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, in the utmost heights of the sacred mountain.... I will make myself like the Most High'" (Isaiah 14:13-15).
If we remember the Concrete Principle (the spiritual character we develop on earth will determine our place in God's kingdom), the logic becomes clear. What guarantee does God have that people who rebel against the authorities instituted by God will be willing to submit to His authority? Therefore He watches to see how we react towards the authorities in our country. If we can submit ourselves to them while they are far from fair or perfect, He knows that we will do the same to Him who is righteous, fair and holy. Obviously this excludes atheists or people who show no interest in God, but still live as law abiding citizens. There are millions of them.
NB! Please remember that God gives men what they want. King Saul was a failure, but the people wanted a king like the rest of the world around them (1 Samuel 8:1-7). God gave them one that was tall and impressive, but with the heart of a midget when it came to trusting God in difficulties. This often happens in a country that has rejected God as their Helper and Counsellor. For example, could God have given Robert Mugabe to Zimbabwe to mess it up? Scripture says that God gives us what we want, and obviously the devil also influences people to have bad desires and make poor choices. Regardless, God wants His people to submit to the laws of a country. He says that if we have to suffer, we should follow the example of Jesus, who suffered as an innocent Man, but did not retaliate (1 Peter 2:21-25). God is still using this life as a test for obedience. Passing it is important, because it has eternal consequences.