Some people aren’t very happy with where the government is going. But that has always been the case, no matter who was in power. In such situations, what should be done, if anything?
In Luke 3:19-20, John preached against King Herod for how he married his brother’s wife (She was also his niece). We can imagine John and his audience thinking (and maybe even saying among themselves) that if the Messiah was going to rule and reign from Jerusalem, then King Herod would have to be deposed.
John had been preaching about fire coming to destroy those who rebelled against God, and many probably looked at King Herod as the epitome of wickedness in Israel. Surely, if judgment was coming, it would begin with King Herod.
But shockingly, it is John himself who ends up in prison. This was not the way the promised Kingdom was supposed to begin! He is confused, as are his disciples. Later, from prison, John sends some of his disciples to ask Jesus to explain Himself (Luke 7:19). Why is Jesus partying while John sits in jail? Herod should be in jail, not John. We can almost hear John’s thoughts: “I preached about a coming judgment, but it wasn’t supposed to fall on me!”
Jesus basically replies that John needs a new paradigm for how the Kingdom will look (7:22). The Kingdom, says Jesus, is not about conquest and the destruction of our enemies, but about healing, grace, and forgiveness. It is about restoration and redemption. If we do overthrow our enemies, it will be through love and kindness. As Abraham Lincoln once said, “We destroy our enemies when we make them our friends.”
So, like John, are you experiencing a fiery trial (cf. 1 Pet 4:12)? Don’t be surprised at such things, for judgment begins with the house of God (cf. 1 Pet 4:17), and the promise of Jesus is that in this world we will have trouble (John 16:33). Realize that the trial you are experiencing is to refine and purify you for God’s purposes. And currently, His purpose is not to overthrow leaders and governments. Rather, His purposes are for you to bless the world and do for for the world what leaders and governments never can.
God’s justice is displayed, not in riches and royalty, but through service and sacrifice. Do you have criticisms of the way the world is going? Fine. But rather than look to leaders to change direction, start doing in your own community what needs to be done to restore justice and right all wrongs.