1 Peter 2:13-16
Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;…
What if the rulers themselves be wicked men, and the government itself a tyranny?
1. Let it be considered that there is probably no government, not even that of the worst slave plantation, that is not on the whole to be preferred to anarchy, or no government at all; and that, therefore, the argument from the uses of government never quite fails.
2. There is no question whatever that, when human government errs and transcends the limits prescribed by its very nature and the ends of its being, forbidding what God has commanded, or commanding what God has forbidden, our duty in every such case is to hearken unto God more than unto men. In the conflict of authorities the higher authority must rule.
3. The Christian law does not strip a man of whatever civil rights his country's law allows him, nor does it prohibit him from defending those rights in any lawful way (Acts 16:37; Acts 22:25; Acts 25:11).
4. These things being understood, the apostle's rule may safely be taken as absolute and universal in its application. Reverencing still the dark and distorted shadow of the Divine sovereignty, they will leave it to His all-controlling providence, and to outraged humanity, to redress the wrongs of nations.
(J. Lillie, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;