The Statesman and National Obedience to Our Creator
The foundational truth is that there is one God who created the universe, every person within it, and every nation, that He is moral and He intends to bestow His love on humanity. Since God revealed Himself to mankind, we as a human race have been asking “What would a nation that is obedient to God look like?” We have promises for national blessing in response to obedience to Him:
Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people He chose for His inheritance (Psalms 33:12).
Now if you faithfully obey the LORD your God and are careful to follow all His commands I am giving you today, the LORD your God … All these blessings will come and overtake you, because you obey the LORD your God … But if you do not obey the LORD your God by carefully following all His commands and statutes I am giving you today, all these curses will come and overtake you … (Deuteronomy 28:1-2,15).
These promises were initially made to a single nation. However, the character of God makes clear that He loves all peoples and intended for that original nation to be a visible model of His intended blessings for every nation that would obey Him. Thus, He has also promised:
Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people (Proverbs 14:34).
Righteous exalts any ꟷ and every ꟷ nation. Hence, we know that these promises for national blessing are available to any and every nation that would place their trust in Him.
Realistically, no nation has received the full blessings God has promised to the nation that would fully depend upon Him. While we strive to be that nation, what would that nation look like?
- 1. It would consist of every member striving to live in dependence upon Him from the lowliest to the greatest.
- It would serve as a visible model for all the other nations of the blessings a nation would experience that would depend upon Him.
I submit to you that the leader who desires the best for his/her people wrestles with how that nation can experience God’s blessings. That leader understands that the challenge is greater than his/her own ability to trust God. There is also the challenge of motivating the whole population to live in dependence upon, and obedience to, God. Even if that leader does the best to live in obedience to God and His instructions, there is still the remainder of the population.
What would that obedience look like as a nation? Although we must depend upon God’s complete instruction book, the Bible, there is one instruction that give us rich insight into what is necessary:
Mankind, He has told you what is good and what it is the LORD requires of you: to act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8).
In reflecting on what our Creator expects of us, we seem to have a good portion of our answer.
“To walk humbly with your God.” This means to submit to His will in every issue we face as human beings. In every decision we make, we must ask “How would God have us make this decision according to His will?” It would be reflected by every action taken within society, including every decision made within Government.
“To love faithfulness.” I suggest that this means to be faithful to God, not to betray Him or misrepresent Him by our actions.
“To act justly.” Every human interaction would manifest justice, fairness, kindness. It is as if this is an external measuring stick of how effectively we as a society are satisfying our Lord’s requirements. This defines the way every human interaction, including how we relate to each other within our families and within society, would manifest justice, fairness, kindness.
Fulfilling this condition “to act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly with your God” would impact every aspect of our society. This would impact every member of our society from the lowest to the highest.
The obvious question arises of how much of the society must make this commitment to our Lord God. I cannot be certain. The only safe approach is to attempt to gain 100% cooperation on the part of the members of our nation.
How does this awareness impact the leader? Those who are leaders must realize that if we attempt to lift our people while ignoring the need for our Creator’s desired blessing upon our nations, we are wasting much of our effort. Also, “to act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly with your God” cannot be accomplished by increasing the efforts of our police force. It must become internalized in the heart of each member of society. Realistically, the fulfillment of the condition for obedience is not primarily the responsibility for the Government leader. There are three institutions that our Creator has ordained in the building of a healthy society: Family, Religious Institution, and Government. Moving our society toward one that is in obedience to our Creator requires the agreement and participation of those within all three institutions. Clearly, the Religious Institution must be the driving force to achieve this goal. Furthermore, Family plays a critical role in passing to the next generation the underlying values essential for sustaining the blessing. Thus, it seems that the correct view is of the head of nation is as visionary and a cheerleader. The Government leader must encourage and support everyone in working to establish a nation in obedience to God. Such a leader must work harmoniously with the influencers of every segment of society ꟷ that is, not just the Government, but also the Family and the Religious Institution. In fact, the latter two must be considered the significant sources that feed individuals committed to obedience to our Lord into the service of Government.
Let us encourage every resource within our society to help each member grow in trust and obedience of our Creator and Master. Let us as a society learn to grow in knowledge, confidence and trust in our unseen Master. Let us cooperate in re-directing the hearts of our people to worship the God of the Universe who desires to bestow His love and fullest blessing upon them. And let us who are aspiring to serve our people as Statesmen grow in our knowledge of Him so that we can lead as He intended. As one wise head of nation taught us:
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding (Proverbs 9:10).
With so much at stake, why would the leader who cares about the well-being of the people not want the nation to operate in obedience to God and experience His promised blessings? Is this not the very essence of leadership?
Food for Thought: What steps would I be willing to take as God seeks to move my nation closer to being obedient to Him and experiencing His full blessings?