Rule or Be Ruled, Gen 4:7

Rule or be ruled.  You and I have been commanded to rule certain people and things in our lives.  If we don’t rule these people and things, they will rule us.

God rules over everything.  Ps 103:19, The Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.  And God put rulers over men.  2 Sam 23:3 says, “he that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.”  So, rulers are to rule according to what God said.  In Ex 18:25 we see rulers over thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens.  The centurion in Matt 8 was under authority, but he was over a hundred soldiers.  That’s the way God set it up.

But there are also “rulers of the darkness of this world,” [Eph 6:12].  And in Acts 4:26, we see the rulers gathered together against the Lord.  In Ezek 20:33, God will regain his rule from the rulers “with fury poured out.”  He will smite the nations and rule them with a rod of iron, Rev 19:15.  In 1 Cor 15:24, Jesus will put down all rule and all authority and power.  God rules.

God rules over us and he expects us to rule over certain things and people, as well, or else they will rule over us.

Rule over sin or sin will rule over you.  Gen 4:7.  In Rom 6:12-14, Paul said, “sin shall not have dominion over thee.”  But it’s hard to rule sin.  Sin is incorrigible.  Rule according to what God said.  You have to trust God.  You die to yourself on the cross, which you take up daily.  You mortify the deeds of the flesh [Rom 8:13; Col 3:5].  That’s a slow, agonizing death but it yields life, the peaceable fruit of righteousness and holiness.

Rule over your spirit or your spirit will rule over you.  Prov 16:32, 25:28.  The peace of God is to rule in your heart Col 3:15.  Rule according to what God said.  But it’s hard to rule your spirit. Today people are ruled by their emotions.  Your emotions are up and down.  They are reactionary; they should not be in charge.  Don’t let them rule you; you rule them.

Rule over your wives or your wives will rule over you.  Gen 3:16; Est 1:22, every man should bear rule in his own house.  Wives are to be subject to their own husbands, Eph 5:22-24.  You are to be in subjection even when your husband is being disobedient to God, 1 Pet 3:1-6.  In the same way that we are to be subject to the higher powers, Rom 13:1-3, wives are to be subject to their husbands.  Even though it’s hard to be subject to your husbands, and even though husbands may find it hard to rule their wives, you must rule.  Trust God and do what he said.  You don’t want your house to be like Is 3:12, where women rule over them, either because they have usurped the rule or because husbands refuse to rule.  This is why we tell young men not to marry until they can rule.

Rule over your children or your children will rule over you. 1 Tim 3:4; Eph 6:1-3.  Children start trying to rule the house before they can walk.  Children are to be subject to their parents; not the other way around.  Rule according to what God said.  It’s hard, for sure.  Today, unfortunately, we’re seeing Is 3:4 fulfilled, “babes shall rule over them.”

Conclusion: all rulers must give account to God for how they ruled, Heb 13:17.  You can’t excuse yourself at this judgment.  So, accept your responsibility and start ruling the people and things that you must rule.  Otherwise, they will rule you.  And God doesn’t want it that way.