Government God*s Way
The Old Testament gives practical advice and wonderful examples for Christians to follow in every area of life.
1 Corinthians 10:11: Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
Romans 15:4: For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
The Lord was very specific about the government He wanted His people to have.
Deuteronomy 16:18-20: Judges and officers shalt thou make thee in all thy gates, which the LORD thy God giveth thee, throughout thy tribes: and they shall judge the people with just judgment. Thou shalt not wrest judgment; thou shalt not respect persons, neither take a gift: for a gift doth blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous. That which is altogether just shalt thou follow, that thou mayest live, and inherit the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
First of all He gives the people the privilege of choosing their judges and officers. Those officials are to judge justly. They were not to discriminate nor accept bribes. The passage gives one of God*s purposes for government: That they might live and receive what God wanted to give them. There are the implications that government should protect the lives of the people and help to accomplish God*s will for them.
Government was to be an instrument of punishment, including capital punishment for very specific offenses determined by God.
Deuteronomy 17:2 . . . 5: If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the LORD thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the LORD thy God, in transgressing his covenant, . . . Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die.
Wickedness in the sight of the Lord was the offense.
Deuteronomy 17:6-7: At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death. The hands of the witnesses shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterward the hands of all the people. So thou shalt put the evil away from among you.
Two or three witnesses were necessary to establish guilt. The witnesses were to be the first enforcers of the penalty and then all of the people. God*s purpose for the punishment: So thou shalt put the evil away from among you.
Deuteronomy 17:12: And the man that will do presumptuously, and will not hearken unto the priest that standeth to minister there before the LORD thy God, or unto the judge, even that man shall die: and thou shalt put away the evil from Israel.
The offense here was simply to disobey God*s instructions given through His representatives. Again the purpose was to put away the evil from Israel.
Deuteronomy 17:13: And all the people shall hear, and fear, and do no more presumptuously.
The punishment was to be publicized to deter more evil.
When the leaders chosen by the people could not come up with the solution the spiritual leaders were to be consulted. Those leaders were appointed by God and they were given authority and wisdom (by God) that was superior to the leaders chosen by the people.
Deuteronomy 17:8-9: If there arise a matter too hard for thee in judgment, between blood and blood, between plea and plea, and between stroke and stroke, being matters of controversy within thy gates: then shalt thou arise, and get thee up into the place which the LORD thy God shall choose; And thou shalt come unto the priests the Levites, and unto the judge that shall be in those days, and enquire; and they shall shew thee the sentence of judgment:
God tells specifically what types of leaders to choose and how to choose them.
Deuteronomy 17:15-17: Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother. But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way. Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.
First of all they were to choose someone that God wanted them to choose. They implication is that they would consult God about it. The leader was to be someone they knew. He was not to be one who would govern for personal gain. He was not to lead people to sin. (Egypt was a type of the world, the place which God had led them out of.) He was to be morally upright.
God is very specific about what the leader should do.
Deuteronomy 17:18-20: And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them: That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.
A leader should read the Bible. The Bible is where he will able to learn right from wrong and he should act on that knowledge. He should have a right relationship with the Lord. He should not feel superior to the people he leads. He should be one of them, not above them.
Proverbs 1:7: The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Proverbs 9:10: The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
Voters, government leaders and spiritual leaders seeking God*s will. Have you got a better idea? I wonder how many millions pray: Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven and then vote for evil.