1 Samuel 8:7, 10-18
And Samuel prayed to the Lord. And the Lord said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them…So Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking for a king from him. He said, “These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen and to run before his chariots. And he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his servants. He will take the tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and to his servants. He will take your male servants and female servants and the best of your young men[a] and your donkeys, and put them to his work. He will take the tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves. And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.”
Governments are ultimately accountable to God (Romans 13:1). Christ-Followers are subject to governmental institutions per Peter’s letter to the Church (I Peter 2:13). When he wrote the letter, the emperor was a dictator ruling Rome. Yet Peter instructed the Church to enjoy their freedom to do good and put to shame the ignorance of foolish people. Christ-followers should be the most favorable citizens of a free world.
Yet governments are led by people. And people have the tendencies for corrupt behavior. As governments grow, corruption becomes more and more difficult to identify.
Back when Israel was a tiny nation being self-governed by the decree of one person (Samuel), the people enjoyed freedom and prosperity. However, when they complained that they wanted to be like the other nations around them with a King and his cohorts managing national affairs, God adhered to their request. But before then, HE instructed Samuel to outline the consequences of their decision.
Today’s Scripture shows what happens when one exchanges their personal responsibilities to a governmental body and how their individual freedom and prosperity dissipates. There is nothing new under the sun but technology and fashion. Governments have always existed in one form or another. But like Israel discovered, it was better for the people with less government and the acceptance of more personal responsibility rather than paying the price for a large overseeing body to manage national affairs.
The governmental trap is thinking the institution can do a better job than the collective individual who has personal investment in the outcome.
When the country’s workforce supports an incompetent and corrupt bureaucracy, it is only a matter of time for the nation to collapse.
Moral fiber is the glue that keeps relationships ongoing. When governmental distrust and bullying becomes the norm, than a revolution is waiting to occur. People will only tolerate mistreatment for a while. Then it gets ugly.
Personal freedom requires accepting personal responsibility for the outcome. Governments promise utopia and operate from a position of fear. Those who have found a leader in Jesus Christ as their King understand the difference between serving others or lording over others. Serving others is God’s way of leading. Lording over others is man’s inferior attempt to play god.
Allow God’s Kingdom to rule from your heart and set the boundaries of your actions and relationships and watch how your little world flourishes while those around you are burning with hatred and anger. God’s government is what we all need. But you first need to make the decision of accepting Jesus Christ as Lord in your life. When you do, and begin to imitate HIM and HIS ways, you will discover the difference between human governmental power and God’s gracious acts of justice, mercy, and forgiveness to engage people into a world that flourishes with freedom and fulfillment for all.
More God, less government is a better form of governance for all.
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- Stay Free…Avoid Worldly Traps
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- Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
- Great Business Emulates a Good God
- Be Radical…Follow Christ!
- Simply The Messenger
- Unequally Married
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