Civil Magistrates Must Be Just — Part 1
Exodus 18:21 “Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens:”
2 Samuel 23:3 “The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.”
The subject that we are going to discuss today is the importance of godly men and women that are put in positions of authority over the people in the United States. What we need to compare today’s men and women in authority to, are those that were in authority during our founding era. Then we can understand what type of person our Founding Fathers envisioned for our leaders. It goes without saying that we have very few today that ‘rule in the fear of God.
The first point I want to make here is the word ‘fear’ is the Hebrew word yare (yaw-ray) and it means reverential fear. This is not a terrified fear. Webster’s 1828 dictionary states that reverential means: to regard with fear mingled with respect and affection. The second point I want to make here is both of these verses are talking about any and all who rule over us. From the President on down to a member of the city council.
God has ALWAYS required those that rule over men to be just and God-fearing. They haven’t always been that way, but that is what God has required.
Abraham became a godly man. He was a worshiper of the moon. But God taught him to rely solely on Him. He promised Abraham something and then it manifested. God told Abraham that He would make his name great (Gen. 12:2). This includes wealth, good reputation and prominence. In Chapter 13:2 we see that God had done just that. Abraham was VERY rich in silver, cattle, and gold. One translation, the Chumash, states that Abraham was ‘very laden’ with these things. Laden carries a connotation of oppressed burden. This means that Abraham had a tremendous amount of wealth. But it also means that Abraham obeyed God. There are great benefits to obeying God. Hebrews 10:35 “Cast not away, therefore, your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.” But there was a reason why God chose Abraham. He knew that Abraham would teach his children the ways of the Lord (Gen. 18:19).
Abraham was a just man. We can see that in the story of when the angels visited him on their way to Sodom (Gen. 18:20-33). He defended a whole city for the sake of 10 righteous people if they could be found. We do not have men like Abraham in places of authority today. None that I know of. God requires that men do not deal under the table, pervert justice, ignore private interest and or be more concerned about personal gain or loss in the decisions that they make. Today we have politicians that have exploded over the fact that company execs in a company that lost billions of dollars and had to be bailed out by the taxpayers, received bonuses when they themselves received campaign funds from these same people and tried to let the bonuses slip through without the public knowing about it. These same politicians, when the economy began to tank, voted themselves a raise even though hundreds of thousands of people were losing their jobs and investments because of their, the politicians, poor decisions. I can remember a story about Ted Williams, a very famous baseball player, that had had a bad year in the last year of his contract. The team offered him a new contract for more than the last contract and he wouldn’t take it. He said they were fools to offer him that kind of money after the bad year he had. We don’t have people like that today.
Our leaders are to do what is right, no matter the consequence to them.
Too many exert more power than they are given under our Constitution. Our judges are sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States. They are to decide if the laws passed in this country are allowable under the constraints of the Constitution. We now have judges that use international law in deciding some cases because they have an ideology that they are promoting and our Constitution does not allow the laws to go in that direction, so they went to international law to achieve the results THEY wanted, totally ignoring their oath to the Constitution. Proverbs 29:27 “An unjust man is an abomination to the just: and he that is upright in the way is an abomination to the wicked.”
The impact of an unjust ruler on the population is documented all throughout history. Hitler is a prime example. Idi Amin in Africa is another. Saddam Hussein is very fresh in our memory. Stalin, who had millions put to death in Russia is another. Unjust rulers don’t have to be murderers to qualify as unjust. When a ruler does things that put his people in danger physically, financially and in any other way, this is an unjust ruler.
In the late 1970s the United States had a president by the name of Jimmy Carter. He was an extremely liberal democrat. He was and still is a friend to our enemies. He is a friend to Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, Castro of Cuba and most of the dictators in the Middle East. All of which murder anyone who opposes them. During his administration, he catered to communist nations and gave a cold shoulder to those nations that opposed communism, including Israel. During his term, Iran was an ally to the US. The leader of Iran, the Shah Reza Pahlavi, was an enemy to communism. Carter believed that he was holding 3000 communist political prisoners and torturing them. It was more than they were communist than they were being tortured that bothered Carter. He withdrew all support to Iran and that caused his government to fall. A radical Islamic cleric, Ayatollah Khomeini, took power and immediately the 3,000 communists Carter had been whimpering over were promptly shot, along with 20,000 pro-Western Iranians. Khomeini executed more people in his first year in power than the Shah had been alleged to have killed in the last quarter century. Then, for making it possible for Khomeini to take control of the country, he had all the employees at the US embassy take hostage. The actions of one unjust man, Jimmy Carter, allowed the actions of another unjust man, Ayatollah Khomeini, to cause great destruction of human life and set that nation on a course of misery that has lasted almost 40 years.
Also during the Carter administration, we experienced an oil embargo. His response was to not allow drilling or exploration for new oil on US soil. His actions are still being felt today as the areas that he set up as ‘reserves’ are still designated that today. We are the only free nation that does not allow its people to access its own natural resources.
Carter took 154 days to respond to the taking of US citizens hostage and that was to only break off relations with Iran. He, at first, refused to take any type of military action and even snubbed Israel’s offer to help get our hostages free. There was a botched attempt that failed miserably and made the US look very bad. Carter was referred to as a ‘humanitarian’, but his only concern was for the enemies of the US and the radical Islamics were prepared to walk all over the US. The hostage situation lasted for 444 days. They were released only because we elected a president who was willing to defend the sovereignty of the US, Ronald Reagan. They were literally put on a plane for the US as Reagan was taking his oath of office. Men of character are a must for our leaders.
When Israel didn’t have a ‘judge’, they would always fall away and do evil. God would hand them over to an enemy, then after a while, they would call out to God and He would raise up a judge and this judge was ALWAYS a man of integrity. We would do wisely if we did the same.
Through most of our history, we have chosen presidents that were regarded highly and that were honest and trustworthy for the most part. Some of our presidents have not been good political leaders but have been good leaders on the battlefields. The problem that we have seen over the last 50-75 years are people that are more interested in personal gain and men that have tried to set this nation on a course that our Founding Fathers did not envision. FDR was a liberal, socialist who had many programs that did not conform to the dictates of our Constitution and he could not get a lot of his spending programs through the Supreme Court. To counter that he appointed several judges that were liberal in their thinking and believed that the Constitution changed as society changed. With these judges, he was able to establish programs that would not have been allowed by our Founding Fathers. FDR believed in a strong socialist style government where the government controlled a large portion of a persons life. Our Founding Fathers believed that each person was responsible for his own life and that of his family and he was required to live according to how he was able to support his family. Today we have people that have been brought up as 3rd and 4th generation welfare recipients. They believe that the government is responsible for their welfare. Taxes were raised to support all of these welfare programs that FDR established. Thomas Jefferson stated “A democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not. I predict the happiness of the American people if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.”
Every Democrat president since FDR has attempted to promote the socialist form of government, except JFK. LBJ began the Great Society and went off on a spending spree to eradicate poverty. The government has wasted billions on ideology and we have more poverty today than when we started. What they have done is made three generations of people dependent on government instead of allowing them to earn for themselves and be a productive part of society. Instead, we have a large portion of society that is nothing but a drain on the resources of society. Ecclesiastes 2:24 “There is nothing better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labor. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.” Man is supposed to work, not depend on the government to support him.
Ecclesiastes 3:13 “And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labor, it is the gift of God.” A man is supposed to KEEP the fruits of his labor. The government has no right to take it away from him.
Ecclesiastes 5:19 “Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him the power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labor; this is the gift of God.”
A just man will stay within the confines of his governing guidelines. **** Our present president has voiced his opinion about how he is disappointed that in the area of ‘social justice’ (income redistribution) that the Supreme Court has stayed within the confines of the Constitution. It amazes me that he would make a statement like that. 1st, he’s the president of the US and has sworn to uphold the Constitution and 2nd he is supposedly a constitutional lawyer. By thinking that the Supreme Court should work OUTSIDE the boundaries of the Constitution is, in my way of thinking, a treasonous act. A just man would NOT even have thoughts about that. (Daniel Boone)
Proverbs 29:2 “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.”