Friday, September 09, 2016

Standards for Rulers

People generally detest dishonesty, liars, cheaters, and immorality in their leaders, even in this Post-Modern day and age. The fact is, people generally want rulers with higher standards and God demands it. To say “we’re not voting for a pastor” is a cop-out for a high standard and is to accept a lower standard than what God demands. In fact, God will give a people the leader they demand and if that is a bad one, it merely reflects the heart of the people.

The case of Saul makes the point: the Israelites rejected God’s decision of having judges rule them because the judges became unrighteous and the people wanted to be like the rest of the world with a king. God therefore handed them a king who would be wicked, like them:

1Sa 8:4  Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah;
1Sa 8:5  and they said to him, "Behold, you have grown old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint a king for us to judge us like all the nations."
1Sa 8:6  But the thing was displeasing in the sight of Samuel when they said, "Give us a king to judge us." And Samuel prayed to the LORD.
1Sa 8:7  The LORD said to Samuel, "Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them.

The warning by God about the abuse and mistreatment Saul (who by the way would enact socialism--take from property owners and give to others; and a bit of Communism: determine the professions of the people) would enact over the people wasn’t enough to steer them back to God’s way:

1Sa 8:18  "Then you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the LORD will not answer you in that day."

Here is what God says regarding rulers:

False speech of a ruler is unfitting: Prov 17:7

All kings should fear God: Ps. 75:11-12

It is an abomination for rulers to do evil: Pro. 16:12

It is by righteousness that their throne is established: Prov 16:12

Kings and rulers of the world counsel and plan together against God and will be punished: Ps. 2:1-2 (see Rev. 11:18, Rev. 6:15-16)

Mouths of rulers shouldn’t give unfair judgments: Prov. 16:10

Loyalty and fairness: Prov. 20:28; 29:14

Youth is not desirable in a king: Eccl. 10:10

Being an old but foolish king that no longer takes warnings is not good: Ecc. 4:13

God hates the arrogant pride, evil conduct, and perverse speech of all (which includes rulers): Pro. 8:13

It is not for kings to drink wine or rulers to desire beer—otherwise they forget what was decreed and pervert justice for all the oppressed: Prov. 31:4-5

Rulers are to judge righteously and defend the cause of the oppressed and need, and speak up for those without a voice: Prov. 31:8-9

All rulers are to praise the name of Yahweh : Ps. 148:11

Rulers are not to be a terror for good conduct, but bad: Rom. 13:3

Rulers are God’s instrument to be avenger and bring wrath upon wrong doers: Rom. 13:4

It is by God’s wisdom that kings reign and rulers enact just laws: Prov 8:15-16

Women rulers are a curse: Is. 3:12

So, in a nutshell, honesty, fairness, righteousness, justice, loyalty, fearing God and His name, not a youth, not a woman, terror for bad conduct not good, no drinking wine or beer are required. When Evangelicals say "we're not voting for a pastor" when justifying electing a "lesser evil", they need to consider if these requirements are similar to those for being a pastor (minus the government ability to reward good behavior/punish bad behavior--and take in taxes).

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