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Do we have to be loyal to our leaders if they are bad?

The next day an evil spirit from God came forcefully on Saul. He was prophesying in his house, while David was playing the lyre, as he usually did. Saul had a spear in his hand and he hurled it, saying to himself, “I’ll pin David to the wall.” But David eluded him twice. 1 Samuel 18:10-11

I can’t think of any worse situation than to have your king throwing spears at you...twice. Remember that when your boss chews you out.  At least he's not trying to kill you!

David had a loyalty to Saul even though Saul tried to kill him numerous times, either by himself or with a posse. Saul was out of mind, yet David still stayed loyal.

Two times David had opportunities to kill Saul (while Saul was going to the bathroom and when he was sleeping) and David did not.  Why?  He respected and honored his king.

When news of Saul’s death came to the David. . .

They mourned and wept and fasted till evening for Saul and his son Jonathan, and for the army of the LORD and for the nation of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword. 2 Samuel 1:12

David understood that any leader that is in place is there because God put them there. God had Saul anointed. God chose him.

Paul understood that sentiment when he spoke about government in Romans 13.

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.

This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. Romans 7:1-7

Paul was saying that if you didn’t like the way government did things, too bad. You must be subject to them.  You must submit, pay your taxes and honor and respect them.

Thankfully we live in a different government than Paul did.  Paul did not have a voice to say who was in power.  We do.  So we can express our voice through a vote every 2-4 years, but between those votes, we must submit.

And you must respect that leader and honor him/her too.  God put them there.  The Bible even hints here that it's sinful to stir up dissension against that leader.

Paul said we must pray for our leaders.

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior… 1 Timothy 2:1-3

If the government is telling you to do something unbiblical (like Nazis killing Jews) then you have a reason to not be loyal. But just because they're ill-equipped or misguided or their views differ from yours, doesn’t give you a reason to reject them.