Over the past several months our country has been flooded with news reports about the upcoming Presidential elections. During this time the airwaves have been endlessly comparing the political parties’, and individual candidate’s, views on the roles and responsibilities of our government. This is one of the most significant issues at the center of the upcoming elections.
Democrats and Republicans differ on their views concerning how to help the poor, how to intervene in the affairs of foreign governments, defining the role of national governments versus state governments, and how to fund the government. The list goes on and on.
If we think about it, what lies at the core of the Republican candidates differences? It involves what they believe our government should, or should not, be doing. Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Herman Cain and Michelle Bachmann all had a slightly different view on what should be the government’s role in our lives. Should the government intervene in the affairs of foreign nations? If so, in what way? Should government help the poor? If so, how? Should government have a say in the personal lives of others? If so, in what areas?
Who can help us come to an understanding of the proper role of government? Our Lord. After all, we need to go to the One that originally created and authorized human governments to exist and function (Rom 13:1, Col 1:16, 1 Pet 3:22) to find out what role He had intended for governments.
Ps 72:1-14 (KJV)
1) [A Psalm] for Solomon. Give the king thy judgments, O God, and thy righteousness unto the king’s son.
2) He shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgment.
3) The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills, by righteousness.
4) He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor.
5) They shall fear thee as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout all generations.
6) He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers [that] water the earth.
7) In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth.
8) He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.
9) They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him; and his enemies shall lick the dust.
10) The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts.
11) Yea, all kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him.
12) For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and [him] that hath no helper.
13) He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy.
14) He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence: and precious shall their blood be in his sight.
Rom 13:1-7; 1Tim 2:1-3; 1Pet 2:13-17
In the Bible, we find many texts that help us to understand the God-given authority of human government. In our study today, we will be concentrating on Psa 72:1-14 which is one of the four major passages that stress the government’s God given role: Psa 72:1-14, Rom 13:1-7, 1 Tim 2:1-3, and 1 Pet 2:13-17.
In Psalm 72:1-14, we read of some of the responsibilities Solomon would fulfill as King…
Before we are given a list of the responsibilities of government, we are reminded of the need for the Lord’s intervention in our government and in the lives of our politicians…
“1) [A Psalm] for Solomon. Give the king thy judgments, O God, and thy righteousness unto the king’s son.”
Before Solomon could lead his nation in a way pleasing to the Lord, Solomon must be taught and graced by God. How true this is for the politicians of today… how can we expect our nation to be led in the paths laid by God, if our candidates have no knowledge of God’s will for government? How can we expect fallen, sinful men to properly lead our nation when the candidates are not relying on God’s wisdom and strength?
We now begin to look at the role of government as sanctioned by God:
1. a government is to make lawful, moral, decisions.
“2) He shall judge thy people with righteousness,”
2. a government is to uphold the rights of the poor, exercise compassion toward and help to meet the needs of those who cannot help themselves.
“3) He shall judge ….thy poor with judgment.”
“4) He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy,”
“12-13) For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and [him] that hath no helper. He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy.”
3. a government is to be a blessing to its people, working for their growth and advancement
“6 ) He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers [that] water the earth.”
(Roms 13:4 –“For he is the minister of God to thee for good.”)
4. a government is to support, and reward, the cause of those who align themselves with God’s laws
“7) In his days shall the righteous flourish;”
(Rom 13:3 – “do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:”)
5. a government is to work for peace among it’s people and other nations around them
“7) and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth.”
(1 Tim 2:1-3 – “…supplications, prayers, intercessions, [and] giving of thanks, be made…For kings, and [for] all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.”)
6. a government is to work to bring an end to the abuse of its people (especially the defenseless) through the punishment of evildoers.
“4) And shall break in pieces the oppressor.”
“14) He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence: and precious shall their blood be in his sight.”
(Roms 13:3-5 – “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power?… But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to [execute] wrath upon him that doeth evil…Wherefore [ye] must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.”)
(1Pet 2:13-14 – “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man… as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.)
For those who have trusted in Christ.
The need for us, as Christians, to let our voices be heard in the election process cannot be overemphasized. We should be voting for those who we believe best understand the role of government from God’s perspective. But also, we should be voting for those we believe will look to the Lord for guidance and strength as they attempt to lead our country in these troublesome days.
For those who have never trusted in Christ.
We are all confronted with the declining condition of our country. As our nation continues to turn from the Lord, and the principles found in His Word, our country’s condition will only get worse. For our country to turn around both the leaders and the common citizen must turn back to the Lord and seek to obey His commands. (2 Chron 7:14, Isa 55:6-7)
The most first thing you can do to please the Lord and fulfill His will for your life is to recognize your sinful condition and your need of salvation. Then turn from your sin, trust in Him as your Savior and seek to follow Him with your life.
If you have any questions concerning the way of salvation please feel free to visit or call a Bible teaching church in your area. They will be happy to speak to you about the Lord Jesus and the salvation He graciously gives.
Or, if you would rather, feel welcome to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll be more than happy to answer any question you may have.
Also, if you look at my blog page “How To Have A Relationship With God”. On this page you will find several blog entries explaining the way of salvation.
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