Thursday, March 08, 2007

Foundations of a great nation: Part 4 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)

A Moral Foundation for Government: One of the things that was to distinguish the nation of Israel from all the nations around them was the nature and quality of their laws and statutes. Upon entering the Promised Land, Israel was to establish a rule of law that was based upon righteousness; a law that was based upon a righteous and divine moral foundation.

A government, and the nation it governs, is judged not by the abundance of its laws and ordnances, but rather by the moral foundation upon which those laws stand. It is not the laws that determine the quality of a nation but rather the foundation which the nation has chosen upon which to establish is society that determines its greatness or its baseness. Consider what Ethan the Ezrahite spoke in psalm regarding God’s government and kingdom, “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; lovingkindness and truth go before You.” (Psalm 89:14) Notice that the psalmist speaks about the “foundation” of God’s thrown. God’s kingdom is a kingdom of lovingkindness and truth but it is built upon a foundation of righteousness and justice. I personally believe that the effects and workings of a government are dependent and subordinate to its foundation. The reason that God’s kingdom is able to freely bestow the lovingkindness and truth of God upon its citizens is because of the solid foundation upon which that kingdom is built. A foundation of righteousness and justice produces a government of grace, mercy, and truth.

Today, within the United States of America, there is a move to replace the traditional Judeo-Christian moral foundations upon which our nations was built with a foundation that denies moral absolutes. This move is largely fueled by the shift in our culture away from belief in special creation to a belief in the evolution of man and the material world. With an acceptance of evolutionary theory, there is no longer anything special or elevated about mankind; mankind is merely the result of random changes and mutations. There is neither a transcendent creator nor a universal purpose for mankind; he is merely an “accident” of nature. There are no absolute truths and no external moral code upon which it is incumbent for man to base his life upon. In the absent of a creator and any divine moral reference, government and its laws are at best arbitrary. What is right and wrong is at the full discretion of those who have the power to govern. Right and wrong, truth and falsehood, are arbitrary and are subject to change depending on the situation and the whims of those in power. Such sifting sand is no foundation upon which to build a great nation. A nation should be built upon that which is sure, that which is unchanging. Such a foundation is only found in a creator God, one who is eternal, unchanging, and separate from man. “For I am the Lord, I do not change.” (Mal 3:6 NKJV)

While this battle for the foundations of the nation rages on within the United States, there is another battle being waged on a global scale. There are those among the more radical elements of the Muslim faith that are seeking to establish a rule of law that is based upon a foundation of violence and oppression. Their stated goal is to establish Islamic law as a basis of government and society throughout the world. Yet, as is evidenced in the places where such governments have been established, the foundation of this law is a foundation that preaches violence to those who refuse to conform and submit to their laws. It is also a foundation that teaches the oppression of women and relegates them to a lesser status within their societies. Such a foundation is far from a foundation of righteousness and justice. Nations build upon such a foundation may flourish for a while but will never reach greatness as witnessed by either the elevation of its people or the beneficial influence it projects upon the rest of the world. Such a movement should be soundly rejected, just as in previous decades, communism, with its foundation of authoritative and dictatorial control, was and is being rejected by countries around the world.

More to come… David Robison

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