Benjamin Franklin once proposed the following picture for the Great Seal of the United States:
Pharaoh sitting in an open chariot, a crown on his head and a sword in his hand, passing through the divided waters of the Red Sea in pursuit of the Israelites. Rays from a pillar of fire in the cloud, expressive of the Divine presence and command, beaming on Moses, who stands on the shore and, extending his hand over the sea, causes it to overflow Pharaoh. Motto: “Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.” (Cited by Vernon Grounds, Revolution and the Christian Faith [Lippincott, 1971], p. 9.)
Did you catch that last phrase: “Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.” There certainly is a time for rebellion as was the case when Moses as directed by God rebelled against Pharaoh. But as we will see in today’s text, that is not the norm for a Christian. We are to honor the King, and one of the ways we honor THE King is to honor the king of the land in which we live. We are not to live as rebels, but as obedient servants who submit to the authorities God has placed us under.