Apr 2015

Why is the Government Upon HIS Shoulders?

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The Government Shall Be Upon HIS Shoulders. . .

Isaiah 9:6 prophesied the birth of Jesus calling Him a son upon whose shoulders the government will be placed. So is that government like Brittan or China? Is it like before the Reformation – where the government was meant to be a Theocracy? Or does it mean something different? I’ve been pondering this thought and want to tell you a story.

In 1993 Communism had pretty much ended in Russia, but there were many uncertainties. I went to Moscow in October 1993 to teach entrepreneurship with a group of 12 Mennonite men. I was the only woman.

Our Russian host, let me just call him Alexander, had been part of the old Soviet government. In fact, he was an economist who headed the economic think tank that advised Gorbachev on the viability of the Soviet economic system vs. the US economic system. When he found the Soviet system failing, he went to Gorbachev with the news, which sped up the fall of Communism.

Alexander wasn’t a member of the Party, nor was he a Christian at the time. However, his mother was a Christian who prayed for him, and he came to faith in Jesus at about the same time as the USSR was disintegrating. Because of his high position, the church was afraid he was a spy. It took time for him to convince them he was really a Christian.

It was a dangerous time in Moscow. The first Sunday we were in Moscow, we went to a Baptist church. As we drove along the streets to the church, we saw the streets were lined with soldiers holding shields and guns. In church that morning Alexander stood up and said, “Brothers and sisters, we must pray, this may be our last chance to pray, our country is disintegrating into chaos.” And, indeed it was. They prayed mightily.

Later that day we were hustled back to the Ismailova Hotel as Yeltsin had his tanks in front of the Parliament shelling the building. It looked as though civil war was breaking out between those who wanted communism back and those who wanted to move to democracy. I called the US Embassy to tell them where we were. Their response? Watch CNN and if we need to get you out we will announce it.” Of course, that was silly because CNN was quickly shut down and the media was taken over by the KGB.

Our hotel was flooded with KGB soldiers – hundreds of them –all with Kalashnikovs, many also with vodka. We went ahead and taught our course. Our students were very serious to say the least. When it came time to leave Russia, I was happy to get out. Of course, there was not civil war and Russia moved away from communism allowing people the freedom to worship as well as to do business.

So back to my original question, what does it mean that the Government is on Jesus’ shoulders? I’m sure there are many nuances to this, but one thing I have learned is that Jesus has His people where they should be. Alexander was used by God to inform Gorbachev of the truth of his economic position. He was used again to pray for peace in his country.

We represent Jesus on this earth. He is sovereign over all the earth and its governments. They are on His shoulders. He means for us to stand up and speak truth to power – like Joseph, Stephen, Peter and Paul, among others, in the Bible. If we could peek behind the curtain we would probably find many more Alexanders placed by God to do His will in the tough times of government decisions. Perhaps that is why we are told to pray.

As we think about the impact of Government on Business 4 Blessing, we also have to think about our impact on Government. May we be a Blessing to the governments in which we interact.

Leave us your comments. Where have you seen God at work in Government?

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