Whether you are a Superior by choice (Father/Mother/Politician) or by call (Minister/Elder/Deacon) there is a seriousness to the responsibility you take on by answering the bell. There are no accidents in God’s kingdom. Acting as one in charge means you are in charge. As Hebrews 13:17 reminds us our King of Kings will hold us to account to how we used our place of authority. The question for Superiors is straight-forward and laid out succinctly in our Catechism for today. Do you understand what it takes to be liable for those under your care?
Fathers, Husbands, Presidents, Leaders of all stripes should be holy men, who seek the spiritual and physical well-being of their people and those to whom God in His wisdom has granted them oversight. Failure to be men of valor, of truth, and of righteousness is sin, not only personally in that all human beings regardless of position or title are to be holy, but it is a transgression with malice in that those given the charge of headship are to be examples in how they walk in the fear and admonition of the Lord. Our Larger Catechism queries for today detail for us myriads of ways that the kings of old and the politicians (as well as ministers and patriarchs) of today are failing to keep their covenantal responsibilities to God and man.
Here are the Q/A’s:
Q. 129: What is required of superiors towards their inferiors?
A. It is required of superiors, according to that power they receive from God, and that relation wherein they stand, to love, pray for, and bless their inferiors; to instruct, counsel, and admonish them; countenancing, commending, and rewarding such as do well; and discountenancing, reproving, and chastising such as do ill; protecting, and providing for them all things necessary for soul and body: and by grave, wise, holy, and exemplary carriage, to procure glory to God, honour to themselves, and so to preserve that authority which God hath put upon them.
Q. 130: What are the sins of superiors?
A. The sins of superiors are, besides the neglect of the duties required of them, an inordinate seeking of themselves, their own glory, ease, profit, or pleasure; commanding things unlawful, or not in the power of inferiors to perform; counselling, encouraging, or favouring them in that which is evil; dissuading, discouraging, or discountenancing them in that which is good; correcting them unduly; careless exposing, or leaving them to wrong, temptation, and danger; provoking them to wrath; or any way dishonouring themselves, or lessening their authority, by an unjust, indiscreet, rigorous, or remiss behaviour.
In a subtle reminder of the nature of the wickedness to which we will be speaking today we hear at the introduction of every evil king of Israel this familiar phrase, “And he did evil in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the way of his father, and in his sin by which he had made Israel sin.” (1 Kings 15:26). There is a both/and that needs explained further. In this case, Nadab, is convicted by the writer of two crimes. His own individual sin and the sin he committed against God by making Israel to sin. This kind of sin by proxy is quite foreign to our libertarian ears.