Give a hearing ear, O people

Give a hearing ear, O people, to that which I, in truth, say unto you. The one true God, exalted be His glory, hath ever regarded, and will continue to regard, the hearts of men as His own, His exclusive possession. All else, whether pertaining to land or sea, whether riches or glory, He hath bequeathed unto the Kings and rulers of the earth. From the beginning that hath no beginning the ensign proclaiming the words “He doeth whatsoever He willeth” hath been unfurled in all its splendor before His  Manifestation. What mankind needeth in this day is obedience unto them that are in authority, and a faithful adherence to the cord of wisdom. The instruments which are essential to the immediate protection, the security and assurance of the human race have been entrusted to the hands, and lie in the grasp, of the governors of human society. This is the wish of God and His decree. . . . We cherish the hope that one of the kings of the earth will, for the sake of God, arise for the triumph of this wronged, this oppressed people. Such a king will be eternally extolled and glorified. . . .

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, ch. 102

Here we have a reminder of one of the central tenets of the Baha’i Faith, to obey the government of the country in which we live. I immediately think of Jesus’s similar teaching to “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” I also think of how hard this must have been and still continues to be for so many Baha’is. When Baha’u’llah recorded these words, His followers had been persecuted and many killed by the very “Kings and rulers” of what is now Iran and Iraq. Yet He called on them to obey, while reminding the Kings and rulers (and the Baha’is) that they hold the “instruments” for the protection of the people. In this verse and communications sent directly to several major rulers of the time, He also called out for ruler to make the choice–not compelled by Him–to exercise those instruments to protect the Baha’is. Today, more than a century later, the persecution continues and call to the rulers of today continues as well.

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Published in: on September 6, 2008 at 10:41 am  Leave a Comment  
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