Christianity & Government

I'm sick of people saying they are Republican because they're Christian. So I decided to do a little study on what the Bible says about government and leaders. This episode is just the tip of the iceberg, but it's a start.
But the Lord told him, “Listen to the people and everything they say to you. They have not rejected you; they have rejected me as their king. 1 Samuel 8:7 CSB

I noticed that nations and governments aren't really meantioned until after the flood and the Tower of Babel
  • Abraham comes into contact with kings, but it doesn't seem like he is under the rule of any of these kings
  • Israel goes into Egypt and becomes subject to the Egyptian government, but God gives Moses information to create a new government for Israel

What kind of government did God create for Israel?
The books of law are essentially Israel's constitution
Exodus 18
  • Moses establishes judges to govern Israel
  • There were judges over 10s, 100s, and 1000s; culminating in Moses as the highest judge
  • This method is similar to the way our court systems work in the US
    • County/City courts
    • State courts
    • The Supreme Court
  • There are 3 explicit characterists given for these leaders + 1 implicit characteristic
    1. Fear God
    2. Honest/loves truth
    3. Hates covetousness
    4. Familiar with the ordinances (constitution/laws)
Chosing the lesser of two evils?
Israel doesn't stick with the government set up in the wilderness, eventually they get frustrated with corrupt judges and ask for a king (1 Samuel 8)
God warns the Israelites about the rights of the king they're requesting—these rights parallel some of our governemnt's rights
  • Use men for chariots
  • Use men for the army (like the draft[1])
  • Use women as cooks, bakers, or perfumers
  • Take land for himself or his servants (see Eminent Domain)
  • Take 1/10 of the harvest (like taxes)
  • Take 1/10 of the livestock (like taxes)
  • Make the people his servants
And you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, and the Lord will not hear you in that day.”1 Samuel 8:18 NKJV
In Israel's mind, this may have been a lesser of two evils situation
Saul was appointed king, but went crazy. (1 Samuel 16)
David was appointed king, and while generally he was a good king, he did send men off to war (use the men for his army), commit adultery (take someone's woman), and subsequently cause him to be killed in battle. (2 Samuel 11)
Solomon became king and used the people to build the Temple. After his reign, the people rebelled and the nation ended up splitting in half, marking the decline of Israel as a whole.

Verses of hope
  • 1 Timothy 2:1-2
  • Romans 13:1
  • Jeremiah 29:7
  • Proverbs 11:14
  • Job 12:23-25
  • Romans 8:28

References & Footnotes

  1. In the podcast I mistakenly said that women born after a certain date were required to register for the draft. I definitely remember that being in the news, however now I only find articles where the supreme court ruled only requiring men to register is unconstitutional. Apparently the Senate started to vote on this in 2016 and then it went into limbo.

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Author Image Author Image I love reading the Word of God. With prayer God's Word reveals so much: from comfort to temperance, from perspective to affirmation. Digging into the depths of the Word, cross-referencing history, language and time differences, is a passion of mine. In March of 2015 I decided to go back through the Bible doing an in depth study on each section I read. Eventually I decided to share my journal of notes as I partake in this journey. I hope you are blessed by God and inspired to pursue a deeper relationship with Him. I love reading and learning about God, nature, and science. I am interested in how it all connects. The Creator's fingerprints are all over his creation. We can learn so much about Him and how we came to be by exploring the world around us. Join me as I explore the world and draw closer to the One who created it all.
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