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How God Defines His Theocracy

Discussion in 'Faith and Religion' started by Theocrat, Jul 16, 2012.

  1. Theocrat

    Theocrat Monkey

    I am a newbie to this forum and with a username like Theocrat, I would like to clear up some confusion on what I believe a true Theocrat is, or should be and not some stereotype that will more than likely cross people’s minds when they hear that term, so I will endeavor to define what I mean, or better yet, what I believe God defines as His Theocracy according to His word.

    According to God’s word, Israel was put under God’s Theocracy from the time period between Moses and the first king, king Saul. Of course there is a sense in which all of history is under God’s Theocratic rule but in the case of Israel, they were under His Theocracy in a special way. During this period in Israel’s history, judges were appointed to make godly judgments among the people based on God’s law. Starting with Moses, we find that God considered Himself their King and Moses was only His spokesman or mediator between God and the people. Now when it came to judging cases between people, Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, noticed that He was wearing himself out by allowing only him to judge when people had disputes:

    Exodus 18:17-26 Moses’ father-in-law replied, “What you are doing is not good. 18 You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone. 19 Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you. You must be the people’s representative before God and bring their disputes to him. 20 Teach them his decrees and instructions, and show them the way they are to live and how they are to behave. 21 But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain —and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. 22 Have them serve as judges for the people at all times, but have them bring every difficult case to you; the simple cases they can decide themselves. That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you. 23 If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied.”
    24 Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said. 25 He chose capable men from all Israel and made them leaders of the people, officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. 26 They served as judges for the people at all times. The difficult cases they brought to Moses, but the simple ones they decided themselves.

    They were given strict instruction of the kinds of people that these judges must be, godly men that everyone respected and that were not greedy for gain.

    Since I see nothing about them being compensated for their services, I see no passage that would indicate that this was some kind of full time job that required taxation.

    If you look at how these judges were organized, it becomes even more apparent that judges were not full time judges, they were to be organized over 10’s, 50’s, 100’s and 1000’s where matters were only to be appealed if it was too difficult for the lower “courts” or I might add if a matter crossed multiple jurisdictions. You couldn’t just appeal to get a “better” ruling. This is also the context in which “eye for and eye and tooth for a tooth” was given. Meaning that a judge was to judge impartially and not be influenced by family ties or loyalties and that the punishment should fit the crime.

    I am not sure whether the 10’s, 50’s etc. were over individual people or heads of households, I lean toward this being over heads of households so you would basically have one person among every ten families that everyone trusted to make righteous judgments. Regardless which it meant, it shouldn’t be very often when a judge would be called upon to make a judgment if you lived in a godly society where people strived to follow God’s laws. Disputes among family members should have been settled within that family and no third party sought.

    Now we come to the passage where God makes it clear that from Moses to Saul, they had been living under His Theocracy, albeit imperfectly.

    1 Samuel 8:6-18But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the Lord.
    7 And the Lord told him: “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.
    8 As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you.
    9 Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will claim as his rights.”
    10 Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking him for a king.
    11 He said, “This is what the king who will reign over you will do: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots.
    12 Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots.
    13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers.
    14 He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants.
    15 He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants.
    16 Your menservants and maidservants and the best of your cattle and donkeys he will take for his own use.
    17 He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves.
    18 When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, and the Lord will not answer you in that day."

    Notice the statement God makes to Samuel, “it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king.” Also notice that God tells them that they should expect their human king to abuse his rule and start taking advantage of his power by taking human and natural resources for himself and his servants. Granted there were a few “good” kings but for the most part, they proved that God was right in His prediction of what they can expect.

    You should also notice that this passage eludes to the creation of a standing army to which I will turn to next.

    If you look into it, before this time in Israel’s history, the fighting men were organized by their local community and tribe and would be the first line of defense against an invading aggressor.

    This is where I will turn to how our nations founders used this pattern for our nations defense.

    Neighbors could and usually would organize a local militia in order to fend off invaders and if need be, the nation could send representatives to make the case why these local militias should organize a larger national force to repel an invasion from another nation.

    Our founders certainly did the right thing when they opposed king George but instead of basically disbanding “government” after the revolutionary war, they only let it grow. This growth only worsened after the civil war.

    I would agree with a very limited concept of war powers, at times, you ought to submit your local militias to generals on the national level but only after a thorough and proper examination has been made to determine whether or not it is a just war, defensive.

    There should be NO standing armies, no drafts, another concept that our founders understood that has been ignored in history books.

    Leaders would be expected to fight with every other soldier and would not be allowed to hide behind a desk. Sure you could strive to give them added protection since they should have already proven themselves to be valuable strategists and it would be foolish to expose them to unnecessary risk.

    After a necessary war, the leaders at the national level would go back to their day job and earn his living just like everyone else. This practice has long sense been forgotten.

    Another aspect of God’s Theocracy is property rights, another thing that has been long forgotten.

    Here are some good passages concerning property rights.

    Ezekiel 46:18 The prince shall not take any of the inheritance of the people, thrusting them out of their property. He shall give his sons their inheritance out of his own property, so that none of my people shall be scattered from his property.”

    Ezekiel 45:8 of the land. It is to be his property in Israel. And my princes shall no more oppress my people, but they shall let the house of Israel have the land according to their tribes.

    1 Kings 21:3 But Naboth said to Ahab, “The LORD forbid that I should give you the inheritance of my fathers.”

    BTW, in case you don’t know, Ahab was the King at that time.

    Then there is the principle of Jubilee where land was to be restored to its original owner.

    Leviticus 25:23-28 The land must not be sold permanently, because the land is mine and you are but aliens and my tenants. Throughout the country that you hold as a possession, you must provide for the redemption of the land. If one of your countrymen becomes poor and sells some of his property, his nearest relative is to come and redeem what his countryman has sold. If, however, a man has no one to redeem it for him but he himself prospers and acquires sufficient means to redeem it, he is to determine the value for the years since he sold it and refund the balance to the man to whom he sold it; he can then go back to his own property. But if he does not acquire the means to repay him, what he sold will remain in the possession of the buyer until the Year of Jubilee. It will be returned in the Jubilee, and he can then go back to his property.

    There are a lot of other aspects to God’s Theocracy but these are a few of the big ones that if neglected, evil men will rise up and start tyrannizing the people. Anyway, I thought I would post this thread on this subject to clarify my personal beliefs on this subject.
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