…do not curse the ruler of your people (Exodus 22:28)
If the ruler in question is faithful the Lord, it is obvious that to speak ill of him would be evil (as described in 75/613. Here we should speak about the much more frequent case of leaders who do absolutely not fear the Almighty. For it is in these cases that we believers have the pride of giving us the right to criticize them. We must know that this commandment protects impious rulers the same way as righteous ones.
The foundation of this law is that a ruler never gets to such a position of power without the consent of the Lord. He is the one who authorizes crisis, difficult times, the rise of tyrants and wars. For us, the question is much more to know the reasons why we must undergo such hardship. Most chiefs, princes, kings and other rulers are far from living and acting in humility before the Lord, with the exception of some kings of Judea in biblical times, few were pious and humble.
The answer to the above question is simple. Hard times and bad rulers are the direct consequence of the collective sins of the people. By breaking the law, we are opening the door to the spirit of rebellion that rises with the appearance of a hard-to-live leader. By hiding from the divine cover, we are automatically launched under the cover of the one who pushes us to commit these illegal acts. The Eternal does not punish, he lets us suffer the consequences of our actions as a signal of our disobedience.
So the question is not which words to use to curse the bad king, but to ask for the judgment of the Lord so that our faults are unveiled and can be repaired. In what way am I personally responsible for the collective judgment embodied by the appearance of a bad leader, whether he is a king, a prince, a governor, a director, an army general or a simple bus driver?
Restoring my own life and relationship with the Lord is the only key to solving the problem and being free from false authorities. This does not mean that a good prince will be appointed over me the next day, but the curses resulting from his reign will only reach me to the extent that the Almighty has defined for my own edification. The bad rule will not poison my life to the point of being spiritually wronged. I will enjoy a kind of divine veto that will protect me against the misdeeds of human decisions. However, I will have to suffer the physical consequences of the power in place, but the Almighty will make sure that it does not influence my spiritual life negatively. I must therefore continue to respect the laws established by the world, insofar as they are not in direct contradiction with the Eternal’s Commandments. Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to יהוה what is יהוהs. (Mt 22:21). Let us never forget that, unlike the false promises of the humanists, we have never been promised to live in a physical world where there will be peace and harmony. The peace and security that is being built globally is illegal and futile. It will fall right after reaching its peak, when everyone will say: While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. (1Thess 5: 3). My spiritual recovery brings with me the gift of the Holy Spirit who comes to rest on me. The consequence of this is that any other spirit goes away. My spiritual recovery is the testimony that can bring healing to others.
This law is all the more important since it is customary in most countries to organize a popular uprising or other civil war roughly every 40-50 years in order to overthrow the ruling system. This situation has lasted since the storming of the Bastille more than two centuries ago. As quoted, it was Yeshua himself who reminded us of the essence of this command when he spoke on the question of the tax to the Romans. The vast majority of believers are people who feel an insurmountable drive to defend the rights granted to them by the earthly powers and that they consider as a due.
It is shocking to see Christian troops campaigning against a government when it plans to pass a law to repeal church subsidies and to restrict their numbers in state registers. Could we have imagined that Yeshua and his disciples would ever come to Pilate with banners to claim a few dinars for buying bread and fish so that they could organize an evangelistic picnic on the hill’s side? This absurdity is today considered as the most natural thing on earth by the majority of Christian churches and their followers. In doing so, their true lord is unmasked. Your mind is where you put your trust.
Many believers are constantly cursing the government. The Prime Minister may be red, black, blue, green or orange, they will always find something to complain about. Their discontent is exactly the same as the one of their impious neighbors. In order to assert their rights, they also resort to the most vile and worldly legal methods based on the democratic ideals and currents of thought that are so fashionable today. In the meantime, the external witnesses do not even perceive the one that these believers are supposed to represent so politics is their main theme.
Then Paul said to him, “יהוה will strike you, you whitewashed wall! You sit there to judge me according to the law, yet you yourself violate the law by commanding that I be struck!” Those who were standing near Paul said, “How dare you insult יהוה’s high priest!” Paul replied, “Brothers, I did not realize that he was the high priest; for it is written: ‘Do not speak evil about the ruler of your people. (Acts 23:3-5)
Paul’s tongue has also slipped, but he did it unconsciously. As soon as he learned who was the man he had reprimanded, he immediately retracted. Although was absolutely right, it was not up to him to express the sentence, at least not yet. In spirit, Paul certainly had to be much more noble than the attacked high priest, yet he showed tremendous humility to belittle himself so deeply before someone much smaller than he is, so much observing this law is important.
So, instead of choosing between the rope and the rifle, between left and right, leave the axes of war to the gladiators of this world and choose Life instead!