God Bless and Keep the Tsar
1 Timothy 2:1-15
I. Pray for All Categories of People and Needs
A. God has the entire world in His hands and He directs His people to have all categories of people and all those people’s needs in their hearts. “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;” (1 Timothy 2:1)
B. Exhortations—all categories of people must be summoned to new and eternal life in Christ. “And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:” (Hebrews 6:11)
C. Supplications—humbly ask God for what is necessary; powerful people can be blind to their own inabilities and inadequacies. “But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.” (Deuteronomy 4:29)
D. Prayers—appeal to the Savior and publicly draw the connection to prayer so that everyone will know and understand. “Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people.” (1 Chronicles 16:8)
E. Intercessions—seek the welfare of fellow sinners. “If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.” (1 John 5:16)
F. Thanksgiving—praise God for His kind Providence. “And in that day shall ye say, Praise the LORD, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted.” (Isaiah 12:4)
II. No One Is Too Powerful To Need Prayer
A. Even people who seem to have all of life’s advantages still need prayer—especially to ensure the freedom Christians need to practice their heavenly calling. “For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” (1 Timothy 2:2)
B. God providentially directs all affairs; the civil situation is subject to God and therefore appropriate content for Christian prayer. “And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the LORD for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace.” (Jeremiah 29:7)
C. No earthly force is beyond God’s power to rule or overrule. “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.” (Romans 13:1)
D. Paul’s suggested large scope for prayer is inherently good and acceptable to God Who hears prayer. “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;” (1 Timothy 2:3)
III. The Incarnation Illustrates God’s Perspective
A. God saves all categories of people; no one should be excluded peremptorily from evangelism or intercession. “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:4) “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” (Isaiah 45:22) “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.” (Isaiah 55:1)
B. God intimately understands all features of both the human and the divine because He sees from the perspective of the incarnation: Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man. “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;” (1 Timothy 2:5) “Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.” (Isaiah 44:6)
C. Anyone saved will be saved by the atonement of the God-man. “Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” (1 Timothy 2:6) “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6)
D. Paul understood and pursed the full doctrine of prayer because it was his calling to do so. “Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.” (1 Timothy 2:7)
From Fiddler On The Roof
(Mendel) "Rabbi, may I ask you a question?"
(Rabbi) "Certainly, my son."
(Mendel) "Is there a proper blessing for the Tsar?"
(Rabbi) "A blessing for the Tsar? Of course. May God bless and keep the Tsar ... far away from us!"