The Last Words of David

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The Preamble of the Constitution of the State of Idaho includes this:

“We, the people of the State of Idaho, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, to secure its blessings and promote our common welfare do establish this Constitution.”

Later, the same Constitution says:

“All political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for their equal protection and benefit, and they have the right to alter, reform or abolish the same whenever they may deem it necessary . . .”

These two citations placed together bring us to the issue of this post, a position in the tradition of our fathers in the Church who faithfully preached during our successful War for Independence, and then later during the unsuccessful War for Independence. Let me begin with a basic question — are these sentiments true? Or is any desire to change the government seditious by definition? The establishment honchos can answer the question for us, but they want to answer it in the past — yes, the people had the right to throw off oppressive tyrannies back in the day when we had them. But no, not today, not now. That’s because we run the show now, and we’re us!

The point here is that the people have the moral obligation to abolish (as in, radically transform) any government which pays lip service to such words, but banishes gratitude, outlaws the name of Almighty God, and hates the very idea of freedom. Under the circumstances, we should deem it necessary to think through this business — at the least.

“Now these be the last words of David. David the son of Jesse said, and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel, said, The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word was in my tongue. The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God” (2 Sam. 23:1-3).

Here are just a few brief exhortations, unfolded from these words. These are the words of God, spoken under inspiration. Some men rule. This is necessary. We as Christians must not be hostile to the idea of rule (Rom. 13). But those who rule must be just, as the Bible defines and establishes that term. Those who rule must fear God, that their rule be tempered. If you are not ruled by men who fear God, then you are ruled by men who think they are God. When God establishes a man over his brothers, to the extent he is lifted up, to that same extent, his duties before God proportionately increase.

This is why, as our fathers put it, resistance to tyrants is submission to God. We cannot praise and defend our founding fathers, without condemning ourselves. We cannot defend ourselves without condemning them. None of this is revolutionary or seditious — we do not begin by manning the barricades. We do not begin by refusing to pay taxes. We do not begin by becoming citizens of a republic headquartered in a trailer park somewhere. We must begin by manning the pulpit — but this reveals our problem. We cannot man anything without men.

We begin with what we confess. We say, first to ourselves, that our existing civil arrangement is offensive to God and ought to be offensive to all His people. David said that the one who rules ought to rule in the fear of God. Those contenders for the presidency who have a real shot at it do not fear God, and so they will not be able to rule in the fear of God. Then we say this aloud, confessing it to God. We do not believe that it is necessary for the one we support to fear God. We think that would be a nice add-on. We think that the time for such luxuries is not yet. And then last, we should pray that God raise up men who will declare this fundamental qualification for civil office from the pulpit.

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