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 Human Government 
 "...the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom He will, and sets over it the lowliest of men." 
: DEMOCRACY IS NO MORE A DIVINE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE – THAN RULERSHIP WAS A DIVINE RIGHT OF ROYALTY :
The example that God set us in the setting up of the covenant nation of Israel at Sinai (not the 'Israel' of today)
is that a 'head of state' of any kind is not needed as far as the welfare of its people is concerned!.
THE FORM OF GOVERNMENT DOES NOT CONFER AUTHORITY! — RESPONSIBILITY AND ONLY RESPONSIBILITY CONFERS AUTHORITY!



Daniel 4:17.


That is:
Democracy is
Not a Human Right!
The Scripture
quoted above does not imply God's general approval of any government or form of government, but neither is God passive concerning governmental forms that rule the nations. It has been said that 'people get the government they deserve'. This does not justify any form of government but it does point to a relevant moral social factor, for a community that does not actively care about one another, and tolerates abuse of power at any level from local to national, will often end up with some form of dictatorial government with its associated human rights abuses.
 
Evangelist Charles

That is –
ignorance is the basis for the
existence of human government.
Finney made the astute observation that the existence of government itself is made necessary by ignorance, arising from the fact that for any society to agree on communal issues this requires a common degree of knowledge.
“Human beings will not agree in opinion on any subject without similar degrees of knowledge.
No human community exists, or ever will exist, the members of which will agree in opinion on all subjects.
This creates a necessity for human legislation and adjudication, to apply the great principles of moral law to all human affairs.”
(emphasis mine)
CG Finney,
Systemic Theology, 20:3.1.
But this
need in itself does not even necessarily imply a central national government!
In
an ideal society the existence of a central national management structure of government is not essential, as was demonstrated in God's ordering of Israel's national life at Sinai where they received the law from Him for their life in Canaan after their covenant submission to Him as their sovereign. God's insistence that the tribal territories of Israel must not be allowed to merge into one through inter-tribal marriage (Numbers 36:7) prevented the natural development of a central national authority even if that was limited to a national council of elders.
Legislation/law derives its authority only from morality / the welfare-of-people.
When law clashes with morality, that legislation
has no authority.
 
So in its founding, Israel was never meant to have a central national government.
That simply came as the social behaviour of the nation/people deteriorated.
 
However,
in the years following the death of Joshua (who had led them into Canaan/Palestine) God gave them a king (Saul), not simply because the people wanted to be like other nations and have their own king, but because of the behavioural deterioration in that nation's covenanted faith relationship to Him.
 
 
From God's perspective therefore a central control only became necessary for their national benefit at that time because of the deteriorated state of Israeli society –
1 Samuel 8:7.
 
"When Samuel saw Saul, the LORD told him, "Here is the man of whom I spoke to you! He it is who shall restrain My people."
1 Samuel 9:17.
Further,
the valid existence of a government does not lie in its particular political form such as democracy, as is often implied today. The valid existence of a government, its essential purpose, is the welfare of its people, and in particular their protection. Every other issue is secondary to this primary purpose.
 
 
Our world gives adequate examples of incompetent government; and weak government is as invalid as a corrupt government in this regard.
 
Africa
– one of the world's richest continents, has suffered more than others – sufferings for which foreign aid is no solution though it may wonderfully help a village, a family. Africa's primary problem is not its climate or its history. Africa's primary problem is government:
the lack of competent human government in many regions.
 
 
All too often politicians are quick to treat local insurgencies and rebellions as a military problem requiring an intervention force
when the real problem is the inequalities of incompetent government (such as in Mali, etc.).
 
 
Foreign assistance/intervention does not change this!
To the great ruler of ancient Babylon it was spoken –
"break off your sins by practicing righteousness/justice,
and your iniquities by showing mercy to the oppressed"
Daniel 4:27.
 
Knowledge of background-principles will help us understand government as a God-given facility for a healthy community.
 
For this
reason, the Bible instructs all Christians to pray –
"First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made
for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions,
that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.
This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior,
who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth."

1 Timothy 2:1-4.

ORIGIN: 
Beginning from the model of a family under the leadership and protection of a father, human government became the natural community extension in which the acknowledged leader was regarded as the father of his people. In its earliest form therefore, what we know as the legislative, executive and judicial aspects of government were all combined in the leader, chief, or king of the people, whatever term was used to describe that office.
   
 
Government is an issue of management accountability concerning the welfare of its people. Therefore the Bible has a lot to say to us on this issue.
 
 
The biblical history of human government begins after the Flood of Noah. In contrast to the pre-Flood situation, in which administration of justice lay only with God (such as with the murder of Abel son of Adam), God now says –
"And for your lifeblood I will require a reckoning: from every beast I will require it and from man.
From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man.
Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed,
for God made man in His own image."
Genesis 9:5-6.
From
now on, humanity is responsible for the administration of justice (expressed representatively in its most serious form as capital punishment for a capital crime), and accountable to God for this delegated duty.
 
 
Human responsibility for justice and thereby human government of society is thus established. Accordingly, law and order, and the protection of life and property, are therefore the first duty of any human government.

 
AUTHORITY: 
This delegated human authority to govern this world is not abdication of God's rule. The words of Genesis Nine that God 'will require' remain true.
 
   
 
Administration of justice is a primary human responsibility – owed ultimately toward God.
 
 
By implication therefore, a government's failure to administer justice to the victims of injustice is its first step toward the invalidation of that government.
 
 
Government exists firstly to protect its people, individually, from everything that threatens the welfare of its people, without intruding into the personal lives and individual preferences of its people even if they are morally wrong.
 
This balance between respect for personal choice and effective protection of the individual welfare is the central ethic of valid government before God.
Babylon's great dictator, Nebuchadnezzar, needed to learn this accountability to God, as he would do after seven years of appointed mental breakdown –
"The sentence is by the decree of the Watchers*, the decision by the word of the Holy Ones*,
to the end that the living may know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men
and gives it to whom He will and sets over it the lowliest of men."
Daniel 4:17.
*The twenty-four Thrones shown in Revelation 4 and referred to in Daniel 7:9.
And
Justice
SYMBOL OF JUSTICE
• sword to punish evil
• blind-folded for impartiality
• scales for equitable decision
so it happened –
"He was driven from among the children of mankind,
and his mind was made like that of a beast, and his dwelling was with the wild donkeys.
He was fed grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven,
until he knew that the Most High God rules the kingdom of mankind
and sets over it whom He will."
 Daniel 5:21.
Therefore, we need to know that in general –
"rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority?
Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good.
But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain.
For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer."
Romans 13:3-4. 
See:  Separation of Church and State
"Give the ruler Your justice, O God, ...
May he defend the cause of the poor of the people,
give deliverance to the children of the needy, and crush the oppressor!"
Psalm 72:1-4.

 
FORM: 
What is the 'right' form of human government?
That which is best suited to the needs of the people, is the short answer, but this creates questions.
 
   
 
Ideally the three principal departments of a government are to be kept distinct and free from interference from each other to restrain their abuse, namely –
the Executive;   the Legislature; and,   the Judiciary;
      so as to help prevent the abuse of power by the state.
 
However,
this does not mean that democracy as we know it is therefore the 'right' form of government and all dictatorships are evil.
 
 
In 1846, American evangelist-theologian Charles Finney wrote significantly that no form of civil government is universally obligatory, but "that form of government is obligatory that is best suited to meet the necessities of the people." In other words, it is "ridiculous" (as Finney puts it) to set up any form of government as having a claim to divine right. That form of government which is best suited to the moral state of a given society is the best form of government for that society, no matter whether that be a dictatorship, a democracy, or anything in between.
CG Finney,
Systemic Theology, 21:5.2.
The Bible says:
When Abraham settled among the Philistines his observation on their society was "There is no fear of God at all in this place", and he therefore cautiously presents his wife (his half-sister through a different mother) as his sister because of her beauty and the consequent danger that he may be killed in order to take her from him (Gen.20:10). Abraham's statement is not a religious observation. It is a moral evaluation concerning risk!
 
When
a society fails in general to respect persons simply because they are human beings, then in that society the maintenance of stability inevitably requires coercive imposition of respect for social norms by authorities upon those who do not conform. This leads increasingly toward centralisation of control, until a society is eventually ruled by a dictatorship.
 
 
King David is his closing inspired contribution to our understand said –
"When one rules justly over men, ruling in the fear of God,
he dawns on them like the morning light, like the sun shining forth on a cloudless morning,
like rain that makes grass to sprout from the earth."
2 Samuel 23:3-4.
 
"The former governors who were before me laid heavy burdens on the people
and took from them for their daily ration forty shekels of silver. Even their servants lorded it over the people.
But I did not do so, because of the fear of God."
Nehemiah 5:15.
 
"Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor."
1 Peter 2:17.
God
The sequencing of these four empires in Daniel's dream is not their control of any common territory other than Israel's Promised Land, and nothing else. So the only dates that apply are those that apply to their control over Palestine. This factor is important in understanding the fulfillment of prophecy.
shows Daniel three different forms of human government, in the successive empires which ruled over Israel from its Exile until the first coming of the Christ, including the hybrid governmental form of ancient Rome, symbolically represented (in contrast to the human form representing God's kingdom) as:
 
 1.  'Lion' – Babylonian  Dictatorial form;
 2.  'Bear' – Medo-Persian  Legislative form;
 3.  'Leopard' – Grecian/Macedonian*  Democratic city-state form;
 4.  Hybrid 'Fourth Animal' – Roman empire  incorporating the above three forms
(dictatorial as in the Caesar; legislative as in the patrician Senate; democratic as in the plebian-elected Tribunes).
Daniel 7:2-15.
*sometimes referred
to as Hellenistic.
       these four being in radical contrast in Daniel Seven to the character-based Divine form – as 'Human', which is still to come in the completion of God's purpose in His people at the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
 
Please Note:
The period/split between the first and second coming of the Christ is completely hidden from all Old Covenant prophets, including the greatest of them, John the Baptist, who therefore could not understand why as Messiah Jesus did not take the government into His hands at that time (see: Mystery of the Kingdom).
Matthew 11:2-3.
The Fundamental Christian Perspective respects government of any form in any country as existing only by God's direct decision/permission:  
 
"Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel:
This is what you shall say to your masters:
'It is I who by My great power and My outstretched arm have made the earth, with the men and animals that are on the earth,
and I give it to whomever it seems right to Me."
Jeremiah 27:4-5
This short psalm of Daniel introduces this prophet's perspective on all human government before God:  
 
"Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might.
He changes times and seasons; He removes kings and sets up kings;
He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding;
He reveals deep and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him.
To you, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, for You have given me wisdom and might,
and have now made known to me what we asked of You, for You have made known to us the king's matter."
Daniel 2:20-23
 
 
       Further Biblical Principles  
Empathetic Rule:  "From among your fellow citizens you must appoint a king –
you may not designate a foreigner who is not one of your fellow Israelites."
Deuteronomy 17:15
Respect Required: 
"You must not blaspheme God nor curse the ruler of your people."
Exodus 22:28
    • Alcohol Prohibited to decision-makers:– "It is not for kings/rulers ...  
  it is not for kings to drink wine, or for rulers to crave strong drink,
lest they drink and forget what is decreed
[in God's law], and remove from all the poor their rights."
Proverbs 31:4-5 &
Ezekiel 44:21, 24.

       A little wisdom from humanity's past:
 
"The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced,
the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled
and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest we become bankrupt.
People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance."
Cicero
(106 BC – 43 BC)
Roman orator:
regarding Ancient Rome.
 
"The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws."
Tacitus
Ancient Roman historian
 
"Laws are like spider's webs: if some poor weak creature comes up against them, it is caught;
but a bigger one can break through and get away."
Solon
(c.638 BC–558 BC),
Ancient Athens.
 
"A nation can survive its fools and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within.
An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he carries his banner openly.
But the traitor moves among those within the gate freely,
his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself.
For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims,
he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men.
He rots the soul of a nation, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist.
A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is a plague."
Cicero
(as above)
Remember:
There will always be a tendency in those who rule to restrict public freedom of speech
unless it is constitutionally entrenched and thoroughly legally secured.
Freedom of Speech
needs protection
       A little wise humour from humanity's present:
 
  "A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have." Thomas Jefferson
American President
  "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." Winston Churchill
British Prime Minister
  "The government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end, and no responsibility at the other." Ronald Reagan
American President
  "Government exists to protect us from each other.
Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves."
Ronald Reagan
American President
   

Crime & Punishment The Magna Carta  Snake Wisdom?
WIKILEAKS
See: Wikileaks mirror (if the above is blocked by the US government), with the Wikileaks aim:
"...assistance to peoples of all countries who wish to reveal unethical behaviour in their governments and institutions. We aim for maximum political impact."
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