A History of Government in the Bible (It’s More Interesting Than It Sounds)

I follow Politics pretty closely. Election time is kind of fun for me. It’s the closest thing to Reality TV that I can stand. I try to get a mix of conservative and liberal voices, and I like to hear directly from the candidates as much as possible. When such candidates speak to predominantly Christian audiences, they all make sure the Bible is Turnt-up. (Is that the correct usage for “Turnt-up”? I hear it and wanted to use it.) Each side has their go to Scripture passages, and once they are done taking it out of context, it’s now social media’s turn to use lots of exclamation points!!! They exclaim how if they really read the Bible they would know SuchandSuch, or wouldn’t be for WhatchaCallit, or actually do ThatOtherThing. I don’t want to burst my conservative or liberal friends bubbles, but the Bible wasn’t inspired in order to set-up a new governmental system, but rather to radically change people’s lives so that they will start building-up Christ’s Kingdom instead of their own. I personally prefer a government that doesn’t hinder me at all from serving Christ the way I know He wants me to. I vote (mostly because my mom yells at me when I don’t), but I honestly do not put any trust in politicians. I put my trust in Christ. One day, I might live in a country where I face real tyranny. As I look through Scripture, God’s people have been under all sorts of governments. Guess what? The faithful ones are obedient to God and the unfaithful ones find excuses not to be. Let’s look at a brief history of governments in the Bible and how the main characters handled it.


There’s one dude. God named him Dude (well technically “Adam” which means “man” in Hebrew.) God puts him in charge of everything. He can do whatever he wants except eat of this one tree (it was also filled with glutens so it was deadly both spiritually and physically.) And you know the story – with the near maximum amount of freedom, Adam sinned and condemned mankind. Thanks Dude.

Wild Wild Westopotamia

So there were the nice people who went to Seth High School, and then there was the out-of-control High School – P.S. Cain. The once good guys from Seth suddenly started dating those skanks over at Cain. So God punished Seth High School by giving Cain an entire sports roster filled with 9 footers to absolutely crush them every season. (The Nephilim were undefeated from 3,900BC-3,500BC. Quite a win streak.) This sort of tribalism should have worked. God clearly blessed the godly families of Seth and clearly cursed the ungodly families of Cain, yet people still sinned to the point where there was literally just one single family left worth saving. So God rescued Noah and his fam and flooded the earth killing everyone else for their disobedience.


So after the flood, all the people just hung-out in the same general vicinity. They then decide to build a Tower to God. Well I can’t say I completely understand what they were thinking, but I guess I’ve seen committees at church come up with some really crazy ideas too. This, in particular, was an especially terrible idea, and more importantly God was angry with these disobedient, prideful lunatics. So these once united, tribal people were then scattered throughout the earth, each speaking their own distinct language.


Well, humans are always the problem, right? So people will certainly shape-up once God takes charge. He starts a new nation. He gives His specific laws to them. He feeds them when they are hungry. He protects them all during war. He rewards those who are obedient. He punishes those who are disobedient. God never makes a mistake. Never needs a redo. God’s laws were impossible to follow, for His demand was perfection. However, in His Grace, Mercy, and Loving-Kindness, God allowed His people to make sacrifices to cover over their sins. So what do people do in this system where God truly made everything fair? Well, the faithful ones like Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, and Samuel obey (mostly) and were blessed (and we know their names even today.) Others were unfaithful like those that made a golden calf, those that complained about a lack of food diversity, and those that intermarried with the Philistines just plain-old disobeyed and were cursed (and their names are lost in obscurity.)


This is what humans do – replace God with themselves. There are some superstar Prophets and Kings who live during these monarchies – David, Solomon, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Josiah, Hezekiah, and Ezekial. And there are some of the most evil men and women ever in Israel – Saul, Jeroboam, Jezebel, Manasseh, and Zedekiah. In most places and most times, the people of God have had to endure the oppression of a monarchy. Those that put their faith in humans are doomed to fall when they fall. Those that put their faith in God will never perish.


The Assyrians wiped out the Northern Kingdom of Israel, then the Babylonians came in and conquered the Southern Kingdom of Judah, then the Persians conquered Babylon, but God always kept a remnant – people like Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, and Ezekiel. Was life easy under foreign rule led by pagan rulers? Of course not. Because the faithful few wouldn’t worship creatures in view of the Creator, they faced fiery furnaces and lion’s dens. But God always rescues His people. He even restored Israel back to their homeland.


Governments come and go. They can represent the people one minute and oppress them the next. Rome had times of greatness and times of decadence. They had moments where they burned Christians at the stake and other times where they wore the cross on their uniforms in hopes of gaining God’s favor. Whether the Government is for us or against us, or whether our politicians honor God or spit in His general direction; choosing to follow God and seeking His Kingdom first is what drastically affects your life. “Give to Caesar what is Caesars and give to God what is God’s” (Matthew 22:21.) “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” (Romans 13:1-2.)

Whether you want to make America great again or want to fundamentally transform it for the better, know this: Your Kingdom is not of this world. May God Bless America… or better yet, May America Bless God.

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