5 But other Jews were jealous; so they rounded up some bad characters from the marketplace, formed a mob and started a riot in the city. They rushed to Jason’s house in search of Paul and Silas in order to bring them out to the crowd. 6 But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some other believers before the city officials, shouting: “These men who have caused trouble all over the world have now come here, 7 and Jason has welcomed them into his house. They are all defying Caesar’s decrees, saying that there is another king, one called Jesus.” 8 When they heard this, the crowd and the city officials were thrown into turmoil. 9 Then they made Jason and the others post bond and let them go. Acts 17:5-9
Politicians, as a rule, are not the best decision-makers in the world. They do what’s best for themselves rather than what’s best for the majority of the people they represent. They fine-tune the art of “self preservation.” They are all about themselves.
This passage proves this point clearly. When confronted with a mob of people wanting them to do something about a man who merely housed someone they didn’t care for, they were thrown into turmoil. Rather than ask questions and get to the truth, the local politicians – in this case the city officials – appeased the mob.
And yet, Scriptures tell us we should pray for those in authority over us (1 Timothy 2:2). We certainly don’t have to agree with all the decisions they make, but by praying for them, we have a much greater chance of them doing the right thing. The great mystery then becomes, how many people must pray for this politician before he/she does the right thing? You or I could be the person who tips the scales, so to speak.
A good rule of thumb that I’m trying to adopt is to pray for the leader instead of complaining about them. Many complain about them but very few pray for them.