Recently, it has been my privilege to lead a group of individuals at church in a Bible survey, focusing, at the moment, on the Old Testament.
We discuss the Fundamental Fact and Permanent Principles, seeking to follow the Apostle Paul’s admonition in 2 Tim. 2:15, recognizing the simple truth the Bible was not written TO us, but FOR us.
We completed our survey of the books denominated The Samuels, focusing on the transition from the era of the Judges to that of The Monarchy.
In that segment, God reveals to Samuel, the message of what a King (read: government) will require, i.e. impose on the people. Implicit in this divine disclosure is the basis of “human government”, that being the imposition of “force”.
In the revelation, the people are told that their “king” will TAKE.
Up to this juncture, those doing the TAKING have been the oppressors, against which the likes of my personal all-time hero, Shamgar, have resisted.
Subject to oppression, which resulted from the covenant nation’s rebellion and refusal to adhere to their covenanted commitments, the peoples cry out to God for deliverance which, He, in grace responds and delivers them via “judges” of various stripes.
It occurred to me, chapters 17-21 are really an appendix providing an overview of the era.
I noted 17:6 and 21:25 in my readings and, as a good evangelical, thought “see, this is the fruit of anarchy”, every man/woman doing his/her “own” thing. This is why we “need” government.
But, then, an errant thought intruded itself, which initially troubled me: is “anarchy” the problem, or might it be the standard against which “anarchy” is to be held?
17:6 & 21:25 indicates the standard at that juncture as “…that which was right in his own eyes…”
Wow! At that moment, it hit me! If every man …did that which was right in God’s eyes…anarchy would not be a “problem”, but an expression of responsible conduct in the kingdom of God!
A concomitant thought intruded itself: might not external “government” be the very instrument which keeps men and women in perpetual, personal governmental immaturity?
Was it the objective of my parents to raise me to be "dependent" upon an external force, or did they hope to raise a son "independent" and willingly "interdependent' in a societal context?