Saturday, March 03, 2007

Foundations of a great nation: Part 3 Dt 4:5-8

“See, I have taught you statutes and judgments just as the Lord my God commanded me, that you should do thus in the land where you are entering to possess it. So keep and do them, for that is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’ For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as is the Lord our God whenever we call on Him? Or what great nation is there that has statutes and judgments as righteous as this whole law which I am setting before you today?” (Deuteronomy 4:5-8)

The Submission of Government: When I was in High School in rural Indiana, my Spanish teacher was a native Cuban. She and her husband and small child escaped from Cuba shortly after Fidel Castro took over. When they left, they were allowed to leave with only the clothes on their backs. In class, she related a story of how Castro was trying to brain-wash children from a young age. In kindergarten, the teacher would tell the students to close their eyes and pray to God for ice cream. Of course, upon opening their eyes, there was no ice cream. Then the teacher would tell the students to close their eyes again, but this time, pray to Castro for ice cream. While the kindergartener’s eyes were closed, workers would enter the class room and provide the children with ice cream. In essences, Fidel Castro was trying to take the place of God in the lives of these children. Castro wanted his subjects to see him, and his government, as the one who would provide all their needs. He wanted his people to become dependent upon him; to ensure his continued reign over them and their acceptance of him as their dictator.

While governments expect those over whom the rule to submit to them, they must also remember that they themselves are to submit to the one who rules over them. Even if they are kings, there is one who rules over them as the King of kings. “He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords.” (1 Tim 6:15) Those who rule must themselves submit to the one who rules over them. Those who judge must remember that there is one who judges them. When governments forget that they are subject to a heavenly government, they lose perspective of their calling. Governments who disregard submission to God will tend to try and amass authority, power, and possessions unto themselves. They stop being the servants of the people and begin to expect their subject serve them. There are many examples of this in the world today. Governments where the ruling class seeks to assume total authority, often by eliminating all political opposition and every dissenting voice. They seek that their rule might be total and absolute, even at times nationalizing private enterprise under their control.

This form of government is not that which God has intended. The Biblical foundation that governments must learn is this: Submission leads to humility, and humility to restraint.

More to come… David Robison

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