Sunday, November 9, 2008

Thesis 44: The State as the Answer to the Prayers of Rebels

The monarchy in Israel was a result of rebellion in families,[1] a desire to be like the demonic States around Israel,[2] a rejection of the Lord’s priestly calling to be a holy nation,[3] and a rejection of God’s Law as given to the Patriarchs.[4] When the people desire centralized political structures it is because they desire to flee personal patriarchal responsibility.[5] God judges their sin by granting their wish, and inflicting upon these covetous, irresponsible Families the curse of the State.[6] Empire is a substitute for Godly Families: The alternative is always Patriarchy (government by Godly Families) or the Paternalistic State (“the government” instead of Godly Families).[7] Political officers were therefore at all times to be called “father” and “mother”[8] to remind both citizen and officer of the Patriarchal ideal in God’s Law.

1. 1 Samuel 2:12ff.,29; 3:13; 8:2-5
2. 1 Samuel 8:5,20
3. Numbers 23:9; Exodus 33:16
4. 1 Samuel 8:7,18[LXX]-19; 10:19; 12:12, 17,19; Hosea 13:11; Ezekiel 20:24-25
5. 1 Samuel 8:20
6. 1 Samuel 8:11-18; Ezekiel 20:25.
7. Genesis 41:43
8. Cf. references in Westminster Larger Catechism, qq. 124-125, + Job 29:16; Judges 17:10; 1 Sam 24:11,21; Acts 7:2; Judges 5:7.

Of course, many Christians in our day support the existence of the State because they were trained to believe the State is good and necessary. The people in Samuel's day had not been brainwashed like this (though the "media" of that day were probably agitating for the State, comparing the "prosperity" of the other nations with the "crisis" that Israel was experiencing).

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