1. God & Government in the Old Testament
Patriarchs – Abraham, Isaac, Jacob – 4,000 B.C. They were the oldest male in the family clan. All were recognized as authorities over their respective clans.
Judges – God used Judges after the Israelites became more and more of a nation. They were “the government” of God’s people until the time of the Kings.
Exodus 18:13–26 – Moses was called a judge.
Exodus 18:13–26 – God called for judges to be appointed through Israel.
Judges 2:16–19 – The book of Judges lists one after another, including Deborah (a woman judge over men!?). They were all God’s servants and responsible to God for the job they were to do.
Othniel became the first named judge and reigned for 40 years.
Ehud took over 18 years after Othneil’s death because Israel had fallen away from following God.
Deborah was a woman judge who even presided over men. She called for Barak to lead the army, but he would not go without her. For that reason, the victory was not his, but of another woman, Jael, who killed king Sisera as he slept in her tent.
Gideon considered himself weak, but God called him a “mighty man”. He took 300 men, each with a trumpet and a jar to cover their torch, and marched in the dark against Midian. When they blew the trumpets and broke the jars, exposing their torches, the Midianites fought and killed one another. (If we do not replace Trump with another Christian leader, this nation will “go to hell” faster than Obama did it.)
Samson was strong and a “lone wolf” fighter for Israel. He never led an army or ruled as a judge, but he did destroy many Philistines in his death.
Kings – God warned Israel that they would be sorry for having a king. Watch what history did. Even the best king was flawed win sin. The later kings forgot God entirely, went after idols and the people followed their leader.
Saul – 1 Samuel 8:1–22 – Saul was the first king, but he soon turned his back on God. 1 Samuel 13:7–14; 15:26 – That is a warning to all government leaders. 1 Samuel 31:1–13 – Saul committed suicide and he and his sons were cremated.
David – Was considered the greatest of the kings. When he sinned with Bathsheba, his family life and kingdom started a downturn that never left him. Amnon raped Tamar. Absalom killed Amnon. In II Samuel 15, Absalom starts to assume power and overthrow his father. Adonijah tried to assume the kingdom
Solomon – Was the wisest and richest of the kings (because of his reply to God’s offer). Yet, with 700 wives & 300 concubines, he failed to keep idols out of his house and life.
Rehoboam reigned after Solomon (but he was a progressive liberal). He held on to two tribes of Benjamin and Judah.
Jeroboam took the ten tribes of the north and established a kingdom in Samaria.
Other kings followed the divided kingdoms. The Israelites rather quickly turned their back on God and followed after the idols of their day.
Who or what are the idols that people in the United States follow today?
Prophets – All were called of God and spoke to and about the government of Israel. Most of their prophecies warned of gloom and doom if Israel did not repent and turn back to God.
Abraham was called a prophet – Genesis 20:7,
Miriam was a prophetess – Exodus 15:20 – God is not afraid to use women (especially when men hesitate to lead).
Isaiah – Isaiah 1:26
Elijah – during the reign of Ahab in Israel and Asa in Judah. Fled from the government because he knew that Jezebel wanted to kill him (because he had condemned what they were doing – corruption).
Elisha – during the reign of Joram in Israel Jehoshaphat in Judah.
Jeremiah – During reign of Zedekiah in Israel and Josiah in Judah.
Ezekiel – During Babylonian captivity
Daniel – During Persian captivity. Served in government and denied the king’s orders against praying to any other god. Prophesied against Nebuchadnezzar. Endured attempted murder by pagan governors who were trying to get him discredited and killed.
Hosea, Joel, Amos, Micah, Habakkuk, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi
As you can quickly conclude, God was extremely involved in the government of Israel and godly men were involved in government even when they were “captives” in exile.
Likewise, we need to be involved in influencing our government to follow God’s moral absolutes. It is in the best interest of our religious freedoms and our nation’s heritage and future.
Next Week – God & Government in the New Testament.