Our Duty to Guard the Flock
As Pastors we are to teach by word and deed that Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords (1 Tim 6:15). We are to pray “Thy kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven” Matt. 6:10) .We are to urge rulers to “Kiss the Son” (Ps. 2:12). We are to “seek the peace” (Jer. 29:7) of our cities. Peace is the right ordering of all things, and the blessings that flow from the presence of Jesus. To “seek” surely means to pray, but it also means to care for and work hard to accomplish this peace. Additionally, as good shepherds, we are to guard the flock (Acts 20:28) entrusted to us by the Great Shepherd.
Psalm 145:16 says that God feeds every living creature. To accomplish this, God uses farmers, seed companies, tractors, grocery store workers, computers, delivery trucks and much more. God uses men and women as His hands, so to speak, to feed the world. When we pray that God would give us our daily bread, we are, in essence, also praying for all the means He normally uses to provide food for us. This is a beautiful picture of God using His image-bearers to serve and love one another. God takes care of us, and at the same time, promotes our mutual love and reliance.
12Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem! Praise your God, O Zion!
13For He has strengthened the bars of your gates; He has blessed your children within you. Psalm 147:12–13
In like fashion, we are told in Psalm 147:12-13 that God strengthens the bars of our gates, which blesses our children, and results in us praising His name. By “bars” God means all the things that protect the city, including good laws, good lawmakers, good judges, good municipal rules, and good order in the city. Just like our daily bread, God normally uses our involvement in civic matters to accomplish our protection, which results in blessings to our children, fueling our praise of Him. Pastors are surely to seek God’s blessings on our children and increasing praise of God from their flocks. The clear implication is that pastors have a particular responsibility to interact with civil rulers, seeking the well-being of our polis (Greek for city). Political action (action to bless our polis or city by choosing good governors, and working for good laws and rulers) is one way God strengthens our bars, blessing our children.
Psalm 147:13 is always true. But our involvement in political action is even more important in these times, when so many of the attacks on our society and families come either from the state itself, or from criminals whom the state should be restraining but are not. Parents have a strong obligation to guard their families. This means an active concern for our money, the education of our children, our use of our private property, our physical safety, and a Christian perspective on our jobs and businesses. Newspapers give us multiple stories of forces trying to use government to enforce a strictly secular marketplace. We should always have some involvement in producing godly government, but this is particularly true when the very government intended to protect us is actually being used to attack us.
Pastors have an obligation to guard the flock that has been entrusted to them by the Great Shepherd. That means pastors are to be particularly active in fending off dangers to the Church and her members. Right now those dangers come in part from government. May God bless His pastors as they seek His blessings on our children and churches through their active involvement in seeking godly government!
Dennis Tuuri, Senior Pastor
Reformation Covenant Church