Civil Magistrates Must Be Just — Part 2
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.”
Last week we began to look at why our political leaders must be just, God-fearing men and women. We saw what happened in the United States in the late ’70s when our president was not a man that was just. People claim to be upright but their actions prove otherwise. Carter touted that he was a good Baptist but his actions against Israel proved that he did not follow the teachings of God. Many people voted for him because of his so-called ‘religious’ position. Our political leaders are to keep the people on the ‘straight and narrow’. Without law and order, there is chaos. In the Old Testament we see that all the while that Israel had a judge, they would follow the commandments of God, but when that judge died, they began to follow other gods and would do evil in the site of the Lord. Without leaders, man will not naturally follow the will of God.
In Judges 2 we read that when Joshua and the generation that he led into the promise land died, the next generation did not have the conviction of their fathers and fell away from the Lord. Judges 2:10 “And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.
(11) And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim:
(12) And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger.” God would hand them over to their enemies for a time and then raise up a judge to bring them out of captivity. The judge would rule for a period of time and when he died, they would go back to following other gods and it would start all over again. The judges that God would raise up were men of integrity.
For the most part, the men that have been president in this nation have been men of integrity. We have tried to see to it that we had just me in power. Our Founding Fathers practiced it and wrote about it. John Adams stated: “Because power corrupts, society’s demands for moral authority and character increase as the importance of the position increases.” All presidents have probably strayed a little from the powers that office holds through our constitution. Jefferson made the Louisiana Purchase even though the Constitution didn’t really give him the authority to do so. Teddy Roosevelt negotiated to take control over the Panama Canal and its construction. He had no Constitutional authority to do that. Historian Thomas Bailey, who disagreed with Roosevelt’s policies, nevertheless concluded, “Roosevelt was a great personality, a great activist, a great preacher of the moralities,. .”
Our Founding Fathers intended for all our leaders, mayors, governors, Representatives, Senators, the vice-President and the President to be people of moral character. John Jay, the first Chief Justices of the Supreme Court stated: “Providence has given our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as privilege and interest, of a Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.” The values and the character of men and women that are Christians, true Christians, are invaluable. Jesus said that we would know His true followers by their fruit. In other words, we would be able to see that a person was a true Christian by the way that person lived. Jimmy Carter claimed to be a good Baptist, but he had no tolerance for the nation of Israel. A true Christian will stand up for Israel and defend Israel. Carter believes that all of the problems in the Middle East is because of Israel’s ‘occupation’ of Palestinian land. The real problem is the Palestinians occupation of Israel’s land.
Our Founding Fathers called for godly men to be in positions of authority. Some state constitutions even required that anyone that ran for office had to be a longstanding member of the church and not just any church either. Because of the Catholics support of the British during the Revolutionary War, they were not real fond of the Catholics. Today the ACLU, AU and other ungodly organizations would not allow those types of stipulations to be allowed. But our Founding Fathers strongly believed in the need of a man to be a believer. It has been reported that Patrick Henry stated: “It can not be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians, not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ!” He also stated: “Bad men cannot make good citizens. It is when a people forget God that tyrants forge their chains. A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience, is incompatible with freedom. No free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue; and by a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.”
For the last 50-75 years, we have gone a long way from where we were during the Founding Era. We have gone from leaders who have the best interests of the nation as a whole in mind to politicians that have their own interests in mind and the people of America are secondary at best.
The children of Israel had the Word of God and the prophets to lead them. They didn’t always follow. After Solomon died his son Rehoboam became king and he ignored the advice of his father’s advisors. This caused dissension and the nation of Israel split. Judah was separated from the rest. A man by the name of Jeroboam became king over Israel while Rehoboam was king over Judah. Jeroboam was instructed by God through the prophet Ahijah to govern Israel as David had, following the commandments of God but Jeroboam established two cities where the people would worship and he had two golden calves made and put one in each city. His actions caused all of Israel to sin. This is why God requires that a godly man or woman be in authority His people.
After Rehoboam reigned in Judah his son Abijam reigned and he walked in all the sins of his father. He only reigned three years, but his son, Asa, did walk in the light of the Lord. Scripture tells us that he did that which is right in the eyes of the Lord (1 Kings 15:11). During the reign of Rehoboam, there were sodomites in the land and neither he nor his son removed them from the land, but Asa did remove them as well as all the idols that his father and grandfather had established. He was not perfect, but he did bring back the people to worship God instead of the false gods of the people that were left in the lands.
In continuing to study the events of 1-2 Kings, we see over and over again how the nation of Israel suffered when there was an ungodly king and how the nation would prosper under a godly king. There were not many godly kings in Judah or Israel. Because of this constant thumbing their nose at God, He removed his hand of protection and allowed their enemies to conquer them and rule over them.
When the United States became a nation our Founding Fathers were strong in their faith. I believe that they understood the cost of ignoring the ways of God. They were very well taught in the area of Biblical history. They learned the alphabet using scripture. They used scripture to understand the meaning of words as well as the usage of words. Our Founding Fathers were raised on the Word of God. The principles of the Word of God were instilled in them at an early age and they fashioned their lives on these principles. They not only lived their private lives this way, but they also established their governments based on these values. Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” John Quincy Adams confirms that our government was designed around Biblical principles: The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity. (Original Intent)
Today we have a Congress that for the most part is the most ungodly body that has ever governed the United States. The majority party in Congress DEMANDS that US taxpayers pay for abortions, not just here in the US but all over the world. The majority party in Congress is trying to force homosexual marriage on all the states. Our universities will not allow counselors that do NOT edify homosexuality. The majority party in Congress does not feel that they have to uphold the Constitution and protect our borders. The majority in Congress wants to give all the illegal aliens in this nation free citizenship in the form of amnesty and they are doing that so that they will vote for them in the next election. The majority in the House of Representatives passed a resolution that does not allow the other party to amend any piece of legislation or debate any piece of legislation. Our courts have time after time overturned the will of the people concerning marriage, telling the people that their religious beliefs have no place in today’s modern society. Iowa courts just overturned the vote of the people concerning homosexual marriage telling the people that their Defense of Marriage amendment was unconstitutional. Our courts just recently have declared that on foreign battlefields we have to give those captured the same Constitutional rights as the citizens of the US have. Our president is the most ungodly man that has ever held that office. ALL of his appointees are pro-abortion, anti-Israel, pro-illegal immigration, pro-homosexual marriage. He supports everything that God is against. We will see this nation be taken down a path that it does not want to go. We will come back to being a nation where God is held up in high regard and godly men and women are in places of authority.
“The general principles upon which the Fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity…I will avow that I believed and now believe that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and the attributes of God.”
[June 28, 1813; Letter to Thomas Jefferson]