Of Cabbages and Kings
1 Samuel 8
1st and 2nd Samuel Lesson #033
November 17, 2015
“Father, we are so grateful we can come together this evening to feast upon Your Word, to be reminded of Your grace, Your goodness, and Your plan for history, how You through Your Word address every issue of life. You help us to understand how to think about the issues today, that what we have in the Scripture is not some stained, old, dusty, ancient book. But it has significance, meaning, and relevance for every single day today. It teaches us how we should live in the midst of this world that is ruled and operated by Satan.
Father, as we study tonight, we pray that it might begin to shape our thinking to reflect upon, especially, the political issues of our day from a biblical framework. We pray this in Christ’s name. Amen.”
We are indeed, as everybody knows, ever since the middle of last spring, already deeply within the midst of political season. We are getting ready for the presidential election, which will be a little bit less than a year away. Things are really going to get intense. After the horrific things that occurred in Paris last Friday with that attack, we see that any little thing can happen here in the United States or internationally that will have an impact on this election and will change how voters perceive the issues and what is going on around the world. We need to be very much aware of what is happening, and how it can impact us.
As we enter this political season as Christians, we need to think about the question: what does the Bible say about politics?
It is controversial enough that we teach the Bible, that we believe the Bible, and that we believe the Bible is the inerrant infallible Word of God. Many people say that you can talk about anything, but do not talk about religion and politics.
What a boring life they must lead. The only thing worth talking about is the Word of God, and how we are to govern ourselves as His creatures. We have to understand that from the framework of His Word.
I have been waiting for the time when we would get to this chapter, 1 Samuel 8, because this is a significant chapter in Scripture addressing issues related to human government. Let us review.
The title of tonight’s message is Of Cabbages and Kings. Thinking about: what does the Word of God say about rulers and about human government?
We look at Samuel, at the structure of 1 Samuel.
- 1 Samuel 1–7 focuses on that one person Samuel as God is preparing to bring about a dramatic change in Israel.
Part of that dramatic change is that there is going to be a shift that occurs in terms of how Israel is governed. Israel has been governed one particular way up to this point, and now the people are going to want to have a king like all of the other nations.
- There is going to be a shift. And as a result of this shift, we are going to be introduced in 1 Samuel 9 to the first king that God anoints over Israel.
Can anybody tell me who the first king of Israel, the first man crowned king of Israel was? Abimelech, Gideon’s son.
Most people always say Saul. That is because people do not listen. They always think I said who was the first man God anointed to be king of Israel? I did not say that. I said who was the first man crowned king?
In Judges 9, the son of Gideon, Abimelech, is crowned king by the men of Shechem. Judges 9:22 says he reigned over Israel three years.
Saul is the first one that God has anointed as king. The rise of Saul is covered in 1 Samuel 8–15, and 1 Samuel 8 is our transitional chapter because it sets the stage for what happens in the coming of the king I have put in the next division with Saul.
We see the decline of Saul and the rise of David in 1 Samuel 16–31.
In 1 Samuel 7:15–17, we get a summary of Samuel’s life:
He judged Israel. He is the first judge that indicates that they judge over all of Israel. Most of the other judges, whether it was Othniel, Deborah and Barak, Gideon, Jephthah, or Samson, were more regional, whereas Samuel judges Israel. He is the first national judge.
He has a very narrow area where he travels: Bethel, Gilgal, and Mizpah. These are areas in the hill country of Shomron or Samaria, north of Jerusalem. He does not go down to Judah.
We looked at this last time:
- God prepares to deliver the nation Israel from her enemies by grace in 1 Samuel 1–7.
- God establishes the office of the king in 1 Samuel 8–15.
As we look at this, I am going to introduce and talk about how we know the Bible talks about politics—what it means and how it is significant.
I want to take us back to the founding fathers of this country and why this is significant. We live in a world today that has so secularized history and so secularized the founding of this country that they have ignored and removed the role of Christianity on the thinking of the founders.
Within the debates that go on among scholars, you have some who are all the way on one side, who make it sound as if every founding father is a committed disciple of Jesus Christ with biblically orthodox theology.
That is not true. That is one of the criticisms I have of David Barton. He has a lot of wonderful material, but he overstates his case a little bit, because a lot of the men he quotes like Charles Chancy and some others are Unitarians. They were the first Unitarians.
They were not strict Bible believers in the same since that we are. But they were theists. They do believe the Bible is generally the foundation of authority, especially the foundation of morality, and gives the revelation of that as significant in how man is to govern himself.
In a looser sense, these men were operating within a Judeo-Christian worldview, like Thomas Jefferson, who even though he was a deist and a skeptic, and took out his little razor blade and cut all of the supernatural passages out of the Bible (you can buy Jefferson’s Bible, and all of the miracles and anything supernatural have all been erased from that Bible), he was a rationalist.
But even as a rationalist, Jefferson grew up, was educated, and was taught within the milieu, the atmosphere of Judeo-Christian theism. He thought in terms of the absolutes and the framework of Judeo-Christian theism.
Many Christians today are truly regenerate, but they have been so trained by the relativism and the post-modernism of our modern culture, that even though they have been saved for 10–15 years and go to church every Sunday, they still think like a relativistic post-modern.
They have not let their mind be renewed or renovated by the Word. That is how worldview works. We can go back and study the worldview and the thinking of the founding fathers and answer the questions:
- Where did they get their ideas?
- What influenced them?
When the decision was made related to same-sex marriage back in July, people would come out and say, how can we know what the original intent of the founders was? We cannot get inside their minds.
No, but we can go back and read their letters. They did not have e-mail and Twitter. They did not post on Facebook. They did not have television. They did not have movies. They did not have the distraction of so much entertainment that we have today.
They wrote tons of letters. Many of them kept diaries. They not only wrote letters, but they gave many speeches and talks that were all written down. We have massive amounts of information that can be evaluated.
One of those who evaluated this is a man by the name of Dr. Donald Lutz, who is a professor of political science here at the University of Houston.
1. In 1983 Dr. Lutz published the results of an extensive 10-year research project, which analyzed over 15,000 political documents that included speeches, diaries, letters, and the private papers of the founding fathers during the period from 1760–1805, during a period of 45 years.
This information was put into computers and analyzed looking for phrases. They looked for citations:
- Who did they quote the most?
- Who was most influential in the thinking?
- Was it John Locke?
- Was it Montesquieu? Was it Russo?
- Who influenced them the most?
They analyzed 3,154 citations. They published the results in the American Political Science Review, Volume 78. The results were surprisingly in contradiction to what most people expected.
2. The most often quoted source for political ideas was the Bible. They got their ideas from the Bible. They got it directly from the Bible. They got it indirectly from the sermons of the pastors in that time period, many of whom published their sermons.
The most often quotes source for political ideas from the Bible was from the book of Deuteronomy. More than 1/3 of all direct quotes came from the Old Testament. They came from Deuteronomy, Joshua, Samuel, and some of the other Prophets.
Over half of them came from Deuteronomy, which is a restatement of the Mosaic Law. It was Moses’ summary—a reminder of all the stipulations in the Mosaic Law to the people just before he went up to Mount Nebo and went to be with the Lord.
Over 60% of all the references came from authors, as a secondary source, whose original source went back to the Bible. They may have quoted from John Locke, but the idea that was quoted from John Locke had its origin from the Bible.
John Locke was raised in a strong Christian Puritan home in England. His ideas and his thinking were deeply influenced by Scripture. He wrote a number of theological treatises, along with his philosophy, and this influenced them. When we look at these points we realize that they are quoting from the Bible directly and indirectly.
3. The second most quoted source is quoted ¼ as frequently. That was John Locke.
4. Another 60% of all the references came from authors whose original source goes back to the Bible.
They understood the Biblical principles of humanity, that people were corrupt. That is why they created the Constitution with checks and balances, because they knew that human beings were corrupt to the core.
There had to be a check, that if any one person or one persons got too much power, it would threaten the survival of the Constitution of the country. It would threaten the survival of liberty. They understood the important role of righteousness.
Proverbs 20:28, “Loyalty and truth preserve the king, and he upholds his throne by righteousness.”
Proverbs 29:4, “The king gives stability to the land by justice, but a man who takes bribes overthrows it.”
If we do not have a king or rulers that have integrity, then it threatens the whole system.
Sad to say, we do not live in a time when people have integrity. It is amazing how political parties and political leaders threaten significantly politicians.
I know pretty much for a fact in this last issue with the Iran nuclear treaty that there were a number of democrats that wanted to vote against it, but they were personally threatened with “if you vote against this the President controls the purse strings of the party, you will not get one dime from the party for your next election.” “You have five million dollars designated for a project in your congressional district, that money is going to go away, and you will not get that done if you vote for this.”
Over and over it was political blackmail. This is how Washington works.
This is not how the Founding Fathers designed this nation to work, but corruption reigns supreme across the board and in both parties, which is one reason why many people get frustrated because they vote in a lot of people from one party or another. They want to know why they cannot get anything done.
It is because of this codependence between a lot of big business and insurance. The insurance companies are making out like bandits with this Obamacare. Many people say it would seem like common sense that they would be threatened by it, but they are making more money.
It all comes down to those things. It is corruption when you do not have righteousness and truth. Then the country erodes and rots from the inside.
We are talking about these ideas. And the ideas that came into the United States Constitution (lower right) have their ultimate source in the Bible.
But in our heritage, as English-speaking peoples coming out of England and the colonies, we trace the ideas in the Constitution and Declaration of Independence back through several intermediate sources.
- We come to understand that the ideas that are embedded in the Declaration of Independence, as well as in the Constitution, are biblical ideas whether or not people were Christians. They had their origin in the Bible.
- We go back to the AD 9th century and Alfred the Great, who was a Saxon king, and wrote the Book of Dooms. Doom was the Old English word for law. Those laws came out of the Bible. The laws were based on the Bible.
The laws were not based on a lot of previous laws of the Danes or the Saxons, but primarily from the Bible as it had its impact on English culture. He was responsible for translating the Psalms from Hebrew into English. He translated some other parts of the Bible into Old English at that time. He was a very committed believer.
- Then there is another thread from Rabbi Moses ben Maimon, known in history as Maimonides, who codified Jewish commercial law, which of course is based on Torah, in AD 12th century.
- Then within the Roman Catholic Church—remember at this time there is no Protestant Church, all there was was the Roman Catholic Church—you had the development of Church Canon Law.
- Lanfranc was the Archbishop of Canterbury in the 11th century. Thomas à Becket was the Archbishop of Canterbury in the 12th century, as was John of Salisbury, who was the Bishop of Chartres, outside of Paris in the 12th century.
- Then you have the Magna Carta that comes along. There are really several Magna Cartas, by the way, not just one. It was revised two or three times after King John was forced to sign it.
- The basic thrust of it was that the king received his power from the barons. This comes to play later on in the 1600s when the Stewart kings were in power: James I from Scotland, who was James the VI of Scotland, and Charles I who started the divine right of monarchy.
Over against that there were the English who said no, no, no, no. We have this tradition in English Common Law that the king is also under the law. He serves at the behest of the barons.
- Then all of this came to influence Sir William Blackstone, who was a judge and Oxford law professor. He wrote the extensive work called The Commentaries on the Laws of England that came out between 1765–1769.
That was how everybody learned to interpret law for the next 100 years. What Blackstone said was the standard. He went through the history of law. He explained all these things of the law.
- All of that was brought to bear on the Constitution. All of those things, from the Magna Carta to the Church Canon Law, to Maimonides, to Alfred the Great had their source. Where did they go for the authority for law? They went back to the Bible.
As Americans, with our Constitution and Declaration of Independence, we are structured on a system of laws that has its source in the Bible.
When we come to chapters like 1 Samuel 8 that has a lot to say about politics and the problems with the authority of a king and what we might call federal government, then we need to pay attention to these things and take time to understand what the Scripture is saying.
As we come to 1 Samuel 8, let’s review it in a flyover:
- In 1 Samuel 1–3, we get the setting. The people reject the sons of Samuel. Samuel is old by this time. He has appointed his sons as judges, but they are corrupt and they pervert the law. The people say that they do not want them to rule over them. (We want to have a king.)
- In 1 Samuel 8:4–5, the elders of Israel came together and had a meeting with Samuel at Ramah, which is where he lived. They requested from him a king to rule over them like all the nations. He is getting old. We need to have a king like all the other nations. The key there is the phrase “all the other nations.” What kind of king did they have?
- Then in 1 Samuel 8:6–9, Samuel takes it personally. He takes it as a rejection of his judgeship. He reacts, but how does he handle the reaction? He reacts and he goes to the Lord in prayer.
That is how we ought to react to things that we do not like. We need to initially and immediately take it to the Lord in prayer. He goes to the Lord in prayer and the Lord says, look, they have not rejected you. They have rejected Me. You need to tell them what the consequences are for rejecting Me.
- 1 Samuel 8:10–18, Samuel lists all of these horrific consequences that are going to come once you get a king, because he is going to raise the taxes. He is going to increase the bureaucracy. He is going to conscript your men into his army. All of these things are going to take place. This is going to put a financial burden on you. It will limit your liberty and your freedom.
- 1 Samuel 8:19–20, the people reject the warning and continue to demand a king like all the other nations.
The people are just set in their thinking. They are not going to listen. Remember, God said that the Jewish people were stiff-necked and rebellious. They have set their mind on it. God is going to give them what they deserve.
That is going to be Saul. All of this is foreshadowing that the first king is not going to be the best king.
- 1 Samuel 8:21–22, when Samuel comes back to the Lord to tell Him what the people said, the Lord tells Samuel to obey their voice.
I have a video that was sent to me today by Calvinist chance. It just fits this last part so perfectly, where Samuel tells the people this is what is going to happen. You are going to get a king like this.
- He is going to take your sons and appoint them for his own chariots, to be his horsemen.
- He is going to have a conscription plan.
- He will appoint captains over thousands.
- He will build a big military industrial complex.
- He will have some plow his ground and reap his harvest.
- He is going to take your daughters to be perfumers, cooks, and bakers.
- He is going to start building the bureaucracy.
- You have to pay the bureaucrats.
- That is going to put a burden on the federal government when you start having to pay all the bureaucrats.
- Eventually this means that they are going to have to raise your taxes.
- This is eventually going to get out of control.
This video is from a group called Government Gone Wild. It is interesting. It is like it was written just for this chapter.
Does that fit 1 Samuel 8 or what? That is the modern paraphrase of what Samuel is saying in 1 Samuel 8. That is where we are. Do you think the people in this country will listen any more to this kind of a warning than they did in 1 Samuel 8? I do not think so.
The only hope is the Word of God, because we live in a culture that is so imbued with post-modern relativism that we have lost integrity. I do not even want to get side tracked and talk about what has been going on at universities: Missouri, Yale, Dartmouth, and probably coming to a school near you soon. As you have students who are under educated, under informed, and are riled up by special interest groups whose goal is to create chaos on the college campus and to tear down what we have so that they can move on with their agenda, the only solution is to get the Word of God out for people to understand it.
Deuteronomy 32:34. I have already covered this.
A couple of things we ought to pay attention to from the Founding Fathers. The reason I am going into these quotes is because we have a culture today that says:
1. We never were a Christian nation.
2. We have a group of people today that say that Christianity should have no place to go except inside the door.
- You can have free speech, but only at the church.
- You cannot take it out into the marketplace.
- You certainly cannot mention it at work.
- You certainly cannot mention it if you are a judge, a county clerk, or if you are working for the government.
- You have to leave your religious beliefs at home.
The goal there is to remove all Christian influence from the bureaucracy. Listen to what the Founding Fathers said:
John Adams, “The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. Now I will avow that I then believed and now believe that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.”
Elias Boudinot, who was a President of the Continental Congress said, “If the moral character of a people once degenerates their political character must follow …”
In other words, you get the leaders you deserve because the leaders come out of the mass of that corrupt population.
“These considerations should lead to an attentive solicitude to be religiously careful in our choice of all public officers … and judge of the tree by its fruits.”
For those who say that the courts have said we are not a religious country, we are not a Christian country, the New York Supreme Court ruled in a case in the late 1800s that:
“The morality of the country is deeply engrafted upon Christianity. The people whose manners and morals have been elevated and inspired by means of the Christian religion.”
Without Christianity this country will not have freedom or liberty because they go together. Only the Judeo-Christian framework that values life and individual responsibility can give fruit to a nation of liberty and freedom.
The Florida Supreme Court said that:
“The Christian concept of right and wrong, or right and justice, motivates every rule of equity. It is the guide by which we dissolve domestic frictions and the rule by which all legal controversies are settled.”
In the Florida Supreme Court the Bible is the foundation for our whole legal system.
This is a three slide quote from Noah Webster from his book on the History of the United States. He says:
“When you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public officers, let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers, ‘Just men who will rule in the fear of God.’ The preservation of a republican government depends on the faithful discharge of this duty. If the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office the government will soon be corrupted, laws will be made, not for the public good so much as for selfish or local purposes.”
“Corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the laws; the public revenues will be squandered on unworthy men; and the rights of the citizen will be violated or disregarded. If a republican government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness …”
… that is not republican in terms of the Republican Party; that is a republic as opposed to a democracy or monarchy.
“If a republican government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness it must be because the citizens neglect the divine commands and elect bad men to make and administer the laws. Intriguing men can never safely be trusted.”
In summary, Noah Webster says:
- They will corrupt government.
- They will make laws, not for the general welfare, but for “selfish or local purposes.”
- They will appoint other corrupt men to execute their laws.
- They will squander the citizen’s taxes upon those who are unworthy.
- They will violate the citizen’s rights.
What we see here in 1 Samuel 8 is a warning of what happens when government goes out of control. It is not that government is inherently evil. There are some libertarians who I have heard say that. That government is evil.
It is not government that is evil. It is evil people in the government. If we are going to talk about what the Bible says about human government, we have to understand where human government derived.
In the first part of the Bible, up through the call of Abraham, Genesis 1–11, we have an age called the Age of the Gentiles.
God creates the planet in perfection, perfect environment, no sin, and this is during the period that Adam and Eve are in the Garden in Genesis 1–2 and the first section of Genesis 3.
It is called the Dispensation of Innocence. It ends with the Fall [of man].
Then God revises the covenant that He made with Adam at Creation. This is what is described as the curses in Genesis 3:13–19. This begins a dispensation called the Dispensation of Human Conscience.
In the Dispensation of Human Conscience, the highest form of authority that God has delegated is either the individual or the leader in the home, the father. It is patriarchal.
This of course was quite successful. Was it not? Wrong.
Man’s heart was so evil that God decided He needed to destroy everybody on the planet. The human race was so immersed in the demonic that the daughters of men were marrying these fallen angels who took on human flesh.
They were called the sons of God. That led to the need to eradicate the human race, so that a perfect gene pool could be restored through which the Messiah would come.
God established a new covenant with Noah after the flood, after he got off the ark. That began the Dispensation of Human Government. We say that human government is the fourth divine institution.
- The first is individual responsibility.
- The second is marriage.
- The third is family.
That all occurs before there is any sin. God initiated these institutions in the social structure of mankind in order to provide for the stability and the perpetuation of the human race when there was no sin.
If there is sin, there has to be some additional divine institutions in order to preserve man in a sinful environment.
- The first of those was human government.
- The second was the nations.
In the Noahic Covenant there are five basic stipulations:
- The first command is to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth, Genesis 9:1. They failed that at the Tower of Babel.
- Eat meat, not blood, Genesis 9:2–4. Eating any animal flesh was not allowed by God prior to the flood.
- Capital punishment for animals. If an animal kills a human being, they (the animals) are to lose their life.
If a human being murders another human being, they are to lose their life. Not killing in warfare or self-defense, but only murder. Genesis 9:5–7.
- God promised to never judge the earth by water again, Genesis 9:9–11.
- The sign of the covenant is the rainbow, Genesis 9:12–13.
As I always say, when you think of the rainbow do not think of God’s promise that it will never rain again. Think:
- First, I have to go eat a steak.
- Second, you have to go execute the criminals, the murderers.
- Third, then you remember that God said He would never judge the earth by water again.
But do not forget those first two because they are very important. When we get into the Millennial Kingdom I do not think we are going to be eating steak anymore. Get it while you can!
Let us think about what the Scripture says about human government. As we look at government, God established government at the Noahic Flood. He designed it to restrain evil and to promote righteousness. That is the role of government:
- to restrain evil
- to promote righteousness.
When government is perverted by paganism, it does not recognize the ultimate authority is God. In paganism man is looking to something in the creation as the ultimate source of meaning. Then the function of government shifts. Government is viewed as something that will replace God and provide what only God can provide.
Security can only come from God. Only God can provide us with happiness and a meaning in life. But when we have a government that rejects God or ignores God, then that government seeks to be the source of security and happiness.
It is the government that is going to take care of everybody from the cradle to the grave. The state, rather than God, becomes the source of happiness and prosperity.
In the pagan counterfeit political theory the ultimate architect is Satan because Satan is the prince and the power of this world. Man becomes the source of ethics, the source of laws, and this is going to be relativistic. Man becomes a god unto himself. Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the Creator-God, is left out of the picture.
Man then becomes his own ultimate reference point and his own standard. His values focus on self-love, self-absorption, self-indulgence, self-justification, and self-deification.
We have a great example of what is going on right now in the debate over what to do with all these Syrian refugees. On one side you have people who say we need to exercise compassion. But this is a compassion that is based on self-love, the desire to feel good about helping people.
It is just like the arguments against harsh penalties for crimes. The focus is on the potential criminal or the needy person, rather than on the innocent person, whose life may be totally changed by opening the floodgates to let all these refugees come in.
Is it compassionate to let a flood of refugees come into a country, bringing with them who knows what disease? Is it compassionate to bring in a flood of refugees that may include, we do not know, maybe they do and maybe they do not, but could very likely include those who wish to do us harm, those who are terrorists, those who seek to come in under the disguise of a refugee. There was at least one that did that. We do not know.
I have heard people say that we do not know. There has never been a refugee that has done terrorist acts, but that does not mean that they are not out there. The past is not the key to the future. When you look at what has been happening in this country over the last 30 years since 1980, a huge number of people have come in illegally, and in some cases legally with student visas, who seek to do us harm.
I have a good friend I was in college with who instead of going into the military went to work for the Houston Police Department. He was with the Houston Police Department for about 25–28 years. During the last 15 years that he was with HPD, he was the liaison between HPD and the FDI counterterrorism task force. He retired from the job in 1999, two years before 9/11 (2001). The stories he tells me will scare you to death.
Part of his job was to track down students who had come over here to places you would never think. You are thinking Rice University, University of Houston, and A&M University.
No, they are places like San Jacinto Jr. College, Wharton Jr. College, and all these out of the way smaller schools. They would come and go to school for a semester. Then they would dropout. Then they would lose them.
He figures that there were probably close to several hundred thousand of these students that from 1985–1999 dropped off everybody’s radar. He said most of them were sleepers. But even if 95% of them got seduced by American Western culture, that is still going to leave 15,000–20,000 jihadists out there that are waiting to be called up. That is a lot of people who can do a lot of damage.
Not only that but I have had other people, former boarder patrol, former customs agents, former law enforcement people, who have told me that somewhere between 20,000–50,000 Hezbollah sleepers came across in the period from the 1980s and 1990s, even into the period since 9/11 (2001) because we have not shut the door.
Try this analogy on for size. If you are being compassionate because we have had a whole bunch of bad floods here and you live down by the Buffalo Bayou, and all of a sudden one of your neighbors gets flooded out of the house. They are soaked and everything they have is soaked. The bayou has risen up and soaked them. As you know, there are nasty critters in the bayou. There are cottonmouths and all kinds of stuff. These people come to your door. They just want to come in out of the cold and get dried off. Yet, you think you see something move in their stuff.
Is it compassionate to the people in your house to let these refugees come into the house when they may be harboring a poisonous snake? That would not be kind to the people in the house. That does not mean you are going to shut the door on your neighbors and tell them to go somewhere else, but you want to make sure that you thoroughly search all of their possessions and everything that they have with them to make sure that it is safe, that they are not going to be bringing a little nasty into the house with them.
That is the idea. It is great to be compassionate, but compassion is not in one direction. Compassion does not just look at the needs of the refugees. It also looks at being compassionate to the citizens of the United States to protect them.
There is a mandate in the Constitution to provide for national security, but there is no mandate in the Constitution to show compassion. We have to understand the distinction. It is not that we should not, but there is a priority. The safety of the United States is superior to compassion to those who are somewhere else.
When we talk about the Bible defining government, the first assault on it came in Genesis 11. This is at the Tower of Babel. In Genesis 11 you have Nimrod who comes along. He establishes a counter-government and a counterculture, an autonomous government, at a place called Babel. They built a tower as a direct affront to God, called the Tower of Babel. It is still a symbol. It is a literal place, but it is still symbolizes everything that is evil in the earth that is counter to God.
That is the first attack with literal Babylon that also becomes the type and the model for the future kingdom of the antichrist. Nimrod becomes a type of the antichrist. It sets the stage for this conflict between autonomous human government versus human government that is submissive to God.
When God called His own people to establish His own nation, the Jewish people, He established a distinct form of government known as a theocracy.
Theocracy means God rules. This is an important thing to understand because when God rules, He is going to define the nature of the government. He defined the laws. He gave the Torah, the Ten Commandments, and the 603 other commandments that make up what we call the Mosaic Law.
The Mosaic Law was designed to be the government for the people, the law code for the people. That was like their constitution, but they did not have a president or a prime minister, or a king, because God was the ruler. That was based upon His character and His integrity.
Deuteronomy 32:3–4, Moses says, “For I proclaim the name of the Lord: Ascribe greatness to our God. He is the Rock; His work is perfect; for all His ways are justice.”You have a perfect Ruler who is perfectly right all the time. “All His ways are justice; a God of truth without injustice, righteous and upright is He.”
Often today what we hear, from people on the left and some libertarians, is that the Christian right wishes to impose a theocracy on the rest of us. This is an argument based upon:
- An ignorance of history.
- An ignorance of the Founding Fathers.
- An ignorance of biblical Christianity.
- An ignorance of the so-called Christian right.
There was a book that came out by Kevin Philips, who had a minor position in George W. Bush’s government. He wrote a book called American Theocracy. He made some outlandish claims. He made claims about economics. He made a lot of claims about the oil business. I do not have background in those. But the center section of the book had to do with the role of Christianity in this country.
Philips cited a whole lot of people, people, many of whom I personally knew. People like Tim LaHaye, Jerry Falwell, numerous other people who I knew well. He said that they all wanted to establish a theocracy in America.
No they did not. They just wanted to go back to the Constitution. They just wanted to establish the frame of government that was built into the Constitution. They did not want to establish a theocracy where God rules.
See, we have a segment of people in this country who are so licentious and so against any source of absolutes or moralities that if you even want to have a government that says this is right, this is wrong, these people are evil, these people are not, then you are immediately being a theocrat because you are trying to impose God’s morality on them.
But, the Founding Fathers, and that is the point of those quotes I put up earlier, our Founding Fathers understood that some morality has to govern some country. Every country in this world has a moral system. Some are terrible.
The United States has one that is built on the Scripture. That is why we have the freedoms and the liberty and the success that we have in this country.
We would not have it if it was based on the kind of ethical system that you have in India. That is what produced the Indian culture that only became successful as a result of the British Raj.
That is what happened in China, but what became good in China, before the Communists came along, was the result of the British missionaries that took the gospel there and began to impact that culture for Christianity back in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
What made a difference, in many of these nations and has brought them out of the dark ages, especially in Africa, had to do with the influence of biblical Christianity and biblical ethics.
No, we are not trying to have a theocracy, but we have to have the same kind of moral, ethical, righteous foundation for law so that we can:
- have stability.
- reduce criminality.
- have true liberty and freedom.
But there are many people who are so hostile to God that they are hostile to anything that reflects God.
The theocracy today that we have on the scene is Islam. The theocratic rules of Islam are codified. The laws are codified in what is called Sharia Law in the Koran. The result of a nation that implements Sharia Law is that they want to remove all women from public life.
I always want to ask people who are committed liberals and feminists, why are you so easy on the radical Muslims who want to take over the culture because they are going to put all you women who have these jobs, who are working for CNN, ABC, and NBC, they are just going to take you home and put a hijab over you and a burqa over you and you will not be seen or heard from again. They will probably rape you because that is what they do.
If you do not understand that, read some things, just Google “Rapes in Sweden”, “Rapes in Norway.” 100% of the rapes that are taking place in the Scandinavian countries because they have opened their arms. They have embraced the viper. It is in their culture.
Sweden is the #1 rape country in western civilization, #2 in the world. 100% of the rapes between adults that do not know each other are between immigrant Muslims and ethnic Swedish girls. The same is true in Norway. The same is true in Finland. This is what is produced by that culture, because if they rape a non-Muslim then it does not count. It is a freebie. It is okay.
That is Sharia Law. They will execute all homosexuals and adulterers. They will execute all transvestites and cross-dressers and other gender-confused individuals. They will cut off the appendages of thieves and robbers.
That is not in the Bible. That is Sharia Law. That is hostile to freedom. You have never seen a Muslim country produce liberty or freedom or emphasize the dignity of the individual. That is because it is counter to their whole religious system and their whole structure.
God as a Creator of men and women gives dignity to every human being, every man and woman, because they are created in the image and the likeness of God. Government is later designed by God, after the flood, in order to restrain evil.
There is a lot of hostility toward George Bush from the left. I figured out a long time ago it was because as soon as he called the terrorists evil doers, he was buying into an absolute category that they rejected. They knew that if America bought into an absolutist morality, where there was true evil and true good, the liberal progressive agenda was over with.
That is why they hated George Bush with such vitriol. It did not have to do with anything else. He was progressive. True conservatives really do not care for a lot of things George W. Bush did, because he was not an ideological conservative. He was not a committed constitutionalist. He did love this country. He did support the military. He has great personal integrity, but he was not a committed constitutionalist. This is a problem.
Earlier we were talking about the geography. I will show this slide and come back to it next week. Here is Jerusalem. Here is Ramah, about 8–10 miles north of Jerusalem, where Samuel lived. The cycle of his movement was here: Gilgal, Bethel, and Mizpah. This was where he went in the hill country of Samaria. Here is Beersheba down here. This is where he sat and where Samuel sent his sons to govern. That gives you a little bit of a framework.
Slide 22, 1 Samuel 8:1–3
I think one of the reasons they said that Samuel’s sons were out of control, and that they did not walk in his ways, turned after dishonest gain, took bribes, and perverted justice, was that they were a long way from daddy’s oversight. He probably did not get down there so much. They could get away with it.
We laid the foundation for what the Hebrew of the Old Testament Scripture says, laying the foundation for human government and the need for leaders with integrity. We will come back and look at passages in Deuteronomy to further set the stage before we get into 1 Samuel 8 next time. Let us bow our heads together and close in prayer.
“Our Father, we are thankful for the opportunity to go through the Scripture, to understand that as the Creator-God, who made the heavens and the earth and the sea, You address every issue in life. You address every issue related to individual personal life from marriage and family to government. You teach what is needed to have good government, what is a danger to a civilization and a people when that government goes out of control.
Father, we pray that as we continue this study that you will help us to think through these issues, especially in light of choosing leaders from the local level all the way to the highest office in the land in the coming year. Father, we pray that You might help us to focus on our spiritual life as well, as our walk with You. We pray this in Christ’s name. Amen.”