Thursday, April 12, 2007

No other God (part 4): Dt 5:7

So what does it mean for a government to have "no other gods before Me." (Deuteronomy 5:7)? It means fundamentally that the government submits itself to the will and purpose of God and choses to govern itself and its citizens in a way that is consistent with God's ordinances. So what is the will and purpose of God for civil government? Paul gives us a clue when he instructs us how to pray for our governments.
"First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity." (1 Timothy 2:1-2)
The role of government is to secure an environment of peace and tranquility for its citizens that they may live their lives in godliness and dignity. Government is not responsible for producing nor enforcing the godliness and dignity of its citizens, rather it is to establish domestic peace whereby people can freely live their lives giving expression to the godliness and dignity granted to them as gifts by God. Government's primary means for establishing peace is through the legislating of order and the punishment of evil.
"Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience' sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing." (Romans 13:1-6)
This is what Paul meant when he said that the law "was added because of transgressions." (Galatians 3:19) The natural tendency of mankind is towards evil. If left to itself, a society would naturally spiral downward into sin, debauchery, and anarchy. God established His law, in part, as a restraint on man's sinful nature; to force him, under the penalty of law, to live an orderly life that is in conformance with God's legislated morality. It is through the rule of law that government secures domestic tranquility which forms a foundation for prosperity, fraternity, and liberty within the nation.

Civil government's primary calling is to establish peace and order. It is not called upon to establish religion, education, health care, and financial welfare, but it is called to establish laws and ordnances that will foster godly lifestyles for the benefit of all its citizens. By doing this, such a government will be placing God first; placing God before all other gods.

David Robison

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Powered by ScribeFire.

No comments:

Post a Comment