Early in my teaching career on a public school campus, a seasoned co-worker leaned over my shoulder on the way to a staff meeting and whispered, “Did you notice that the school ran fine without the Principal present?” He was right. Fortunately, the principal at the time ( a former teacher for 30 years), did not interfere much with the teachers during his tenure. The younger, inexperienced Principals, however, repeatedly caused school wide disruptions and divisions. A quote from a wonderful family book made by an early American rancher has much wisdom.
“Always remember, Son, the best boss is the one who bosses least. Whether it is cattle, or horses, or men, the least government is the best government.” Charles Moody from Little Britches: Father and I Were Ranchers
The framers of our United States Constitution also had this in mind. The laws are straightforward to ensure liberty for all. The Constitution is not complicated and not many pages long. If the law is obeyed, liberty is secured. If the laws in the Constitution are not obeyed, it is like they don’t exist and liberty is lost.
While Paul the apostle was a prisoner in Rome, when Nero was emperor, he wrote an outline for government. The bottom line of this passage is that the government is to protect citizens from evil. His outline in Romans 13 is a description for a perfect government–one that loves its citizens because it honors the God of the Bible and creation above all else by obeying His word.
“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4 for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. 7 Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.” Romans 13:1-7 ESV