The King vs. the king, not to be confused with the King

Posted on August 24, 2011. Filed under: Culture, Government, In the News |

Elvis Presley meeting Richard Nixon. On Decemb...

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All the 2012 election coverage got me thinking – do we put too much faith in Washington? Right, left, or libertarian, everyone is looking for DC to do something (or in the later case, not do something) to fix the country. But poll after poll says Americans don’t think so highly of politicians. So why do we spend so much time and energy ‘hoping’ something will ‘change’ in 2012?

People have been looking to the State to solve problems for a long time. Most people remember the Jews had a monarchy for a few hundred years (David was so great he got a star with an extra point). But what some forget is that before the Israelites established their monarchy, the system of governance was pretty loose. Moses gave them the Law, which provided judges and priests to oversee the 12 tribes and settle disputes amongst the people – local government at it’s finest. The point here is the Jews had no mortal king. Unlike other nations who believed the king was a god, the Israelites believed God was their king. But God knew this wasn’t going to last forever. He knew that, the people would throw out His system for a new one.

After a series of ineffective and corrupt judges, Israel demanded that Samuel anoint a king over them. Samuel wasn’t so hot on the idea and asked the Lord what to do. God responded, “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king…warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will do” (1 Sam 8:7-9).  Samuel went on to list all the things the king would do: build an army, create a conscription, impress others for domestic services, create a military industrial complex, seize the best of their goods, and confiscate a tenth of their income while redistributing it to those loyal to the king (1 Sam 8:11-17). In short, enslave them (see “A Fair Look at Fair”). Remember, that tenth belonged God. God was telling the Jews the king was going to replace Him. The people didn’t believe Samuel and insisted that the king would “go out before us and fight our battles” (1 Sam 8:20). Surprise, surprise, God was right (more than 300 years earlier no less).

Sound familiar? Hand over our burdens to the ‘king’ so that he can deal with them and then we can go on about our happy life filled with milk and honey. Like the Israel thousands of years before us, we are still hoping the king will fight our battles for us. Why? Because also like Israel, we have rejected God as our king and have replaced Him… with government.

Government is involved in a lot: business, science, education, marriage, divorce, how to ‘care’ for each other, the poor, the elderly, orphans, how much water a toilet bowl flushes and the list expands daily. Interestingly enough, God gave us plan for each of the areas (ok maybe not the last one), but each of them placed the responsibility squarely on us.

Now, I’m not saying lets toss out the Constitution and install a bunch of tribal judges and Levite priests in 2012. It might make for some good commercials though…But I do wonder if as Christians if we really bought into the plans the Lord laid out for us, how different would our country look today? What if we really put our hope in the real King (and I don’t mean Elvis)?

So what do I think about November 2012? I think it is still fifteen months away. That’s a long time to be waiting on a politician who will probably not live up to expectations (or promises). I recommend we stop putting hope in Washington and put hope in something that doesn’t become corrupt, take a vacation, or spray tan. Look to a platform that yes, places a lot of responsibility on us as Christians, but it also reminds us the biggest debt has already been paid.  Unlike the Jews,we shouldn’t put faith in the wrong king.


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Preach it my brother.

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