It is risky business making comparisons between ancient Israel and the good old USA. As I noted in yesterday’s post the misuse of 2 Chronicles 7:14 is chronic among evangelicals among whom I count myself.
But on the other hand making comparisons between people groups such as ancient Israelites and modern Americans isn’t so risky and that’s because people from all epochs and nations share a trait from birth. This trait is not popular but it is scriptural. The trait is sin. The Bible teaches we are sinners by nature and by choice. In other words no one is born loving the God of the Bible much less honoring him as Creator God.
The Scriptural indictment is plain to see for those who have eyes to see:
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. (Romans 1:18-23 ESV)
In a nutshell the passage means there is a universal rejection of God as Creator and a rejection of the authority of God that God possesses as Creator. The apostle Paul writes God’s attributes are obvious and that no one really has an excuse for not acknowledging and honoring Him. People, all people, everywhere and throughout time, do not have a natural desire to submit to God’s authority nor be accountable to him. Some, perhaps many who are reading this do not like that but I’m just telling you what the Scripture says.
The rejection has consequences, thinking becomes futile, meaning pointless and self-serving and if you read on in Romans increasingly degrading. Claiming to be wise mankind as a whole is anything but wise, becoming more and more foolish to the point of creating substitute gods that we would rather serve than the Creator.
The ancient Israelites who had more special revelation of God than any other nation were guilty of this just as modern America is guilty because we have free and easy access to the special revelation contained in two Testaments. But access to truth does not mean the automatic acquiring of wisdom.
This might be best seen in our politics especially when it comes to the selection of a President. Voters on both sides of the aisle tend to look at presidential candidates as some sort of savior although I’d make the argument that one side of the aisle promotes this notion more forcefully than the other. The now re-elected President Obama was actually marketed as a messiah/savior in 2008 and apparently enough people still believe that to keep him in office despite a remarkably bad record.
I remember “messiah’s” first coronation with the Greek-like temple and all that and thinking, “oh-oh” this is going to be bad.
There is a fascinating story in 1 Samuel 8 that I think applies to people-all people, not just Americans who have re-elected a “messiah.” If you are still with me, consider this passage:
Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah and said to him, “Behold, you are old and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint for us a king to judge us like all the nations.” But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the LORD. And the LORD said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. According to all the deeds that they have done, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are also doing to you. Now then, obey their voice; only you shall solemnly warn them and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them.”
So Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people who were asking for a king from him. He said, “These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen and to run before his chariots. And he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his servants. He will take the tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and to his servants. He will take your male servants and female servants and the best of your young men and your donkeys, and put them to his work. He will take the tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves. And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the LORD will not answer you in that day.” (1 Samuel 8:4-18 ESV)
Samuel, for those of you unfamiliar with the history of ancient Israel, was last of the judges, an office that was related to speaking God’s truth and an office related to delivering Israel from its many enemies. The Book of Judges is a sad commentary on Israel rejecting the God that brought them out of Egypt, then suffering at the hands of their enemies, then crying out for a deliverer and God giving them a judge to deliver them. The cycle repeats itself many times throughout the book. Apparently, God is done with the cycle and Samuel is the last judge.
By Samuel’s time the people think they know what they need instead of a judge. They think they need a king rather than old and rickety Samuel who can be annoying by speaking truth to them. So, they are done with Sam and do not want a judge to judge them but want to be like other nations and have a king judge them. This is not a good plan as we’ll soon see.
Samuel does not like their preference and sees the situation as a personal rejection of himself. There seems to be truth in that but in answering Samuel’s prayer God gets to the real issue of whom is being rejected. God says the rejection is all about rejecting Him as the rightful king. God adds the rejection is nothing new since the Israelites delivery from slavery in Egypt and so tells Samuel to give them what they want, but only warn them their decision has serious consequences.
The warnings that follow equal slavery. Hmmmmm.
Investing in a human king and rejecting the real king brings with it certain consequences not the least being there will come a point in time when the real king will no longer listen to their cries for help and will allow them to suffer the consequences of their decision. It is not a pretty picture for any people group who prefers a human messiah over the real messiah.
History is peppered with false messiahs.
America has re-elected more of a king than a US President who has sworn to uphold the US Constitution. In our country the Constitution is supposed to govern the king, not the other way around! In fact, good old George Washington turned down the offer to be king because he realized that with kings you get that which goes along with kings-a kind of slavery, overt or covert, but slavery none the less.
(As a side note the fact that George was offered “kingship” after we just tossed King George III illustrates an American tendency toward idol worship. Hmmmm)
Our king is more king-like than any other president we’ve ever had. Rather than uphold the Constitution he circumvents it. He appoints unaccountable, unelected mini-kings called czars which means Caesars and if you know anything about ancient Rome you know about slavery under the various Caesars. King Obama, given the chance will appoint Supreme Court justices that will share his views on circumventing the Constitution with weird and alien interpretations of it. At that point, my fellow Americans kiss the last check and balance good-bye for good!
Our king’s attorney-general who is sworn to uphold the rule of law openly flaunts it and obstructs congress at every turn. The most “transparent” administration is actually the least transparent willfully covering up both fast and furious and the Benghazi debacle.
Those are the types of things presidents who would be kings do.
The President who marketed himself as the great uniter has proved to be anything but under his kingship. He knowingly and willingly promotes class warfare in order to create an ever-expanding dependent class who will continue to vote for him because of that dependency not realizing they are selling themselves into slavery. There is an old saying that if you take the king’s “dollar” then you are the king’s man. The dependent class seems fine with this.
The President of course cannot accomplish this all by himself (yet) so he has an accomplice party that openly mocks God in many ways and an accomplice media who treats him like the messiah who he thinks he is. The Benghazi story would have been front page news right up until the election had Obama been a Republican. The accomplice media are the flag bearers for King Obama. The uninformed masses go merrily along in their idol worship.
On one level it’s amazing that Obama, the man who would be king got re-elected. His dismal record flies in the face of common sense, yet 2.5 million more Americans would rather have him than Romney, the man who would be the better choice when it comes to upholding our Constitution which to me is even more important than the dismal economy. (I think Romney would have done better with the economy too if for no other reason than it would be hard to be worse than Obama’s handling of it!)
On another level, Obama’s re-election is not that amazing really. By a narrow majority Americans seem to prefer a king to a genuine President. It’s human nature. Give us want we want. We want to be like other nations. Give us a guy who will give us what we want, not what we really need. And that’s what we got last night-a man who would rather be a king than a President who is governed by Constitutional limits.
And the consequences?
We will be as other nations-greatly diminished. A diminished America will be the new normal as the slave class expands and outnumbers people who’d rather be free.
May God spare us from the worst consequences of slavery in spite of our national mistake King Obama.
And that’s the way I see it.
- I am tired of of 2 Chronicles 7:14 being trotted out for every election… (broeder10.wordpress.com)