Saturday, May 03, 2003

Edifier du Jour:Judges 17:6-11 (NASB)
6: In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes. 7: Now there was a young man from Bethlehem in Judah, of the family of Judah, who was a Levite; and he was staying there. 8: Then the man departed from the city, from Bethlehem in Judah, to stay wherever he might find a place; and as he made his journey, he came to the hill country of Ephraim to the house of Micah. 9: Micah said to him, "Where do you come from?" And he said to him, "I am a Levite from Bethlehem in Judah, and I am going to stay wherever I may find a place." 10: Micah then said to him, "Dwell with me and be a father and a priest to me, and I will give you ten pieces of silver a year, a suit of clothes, and your maintenance." So the Levite went in. 11: The Levite agreed to live with the man, and the young man became to him like one of his sons.
Verse 6, a common refrain in Judges, points out the libertarian dystopia that was their era; everybody did their own thing, made up their own moral code. I read this piece from Jeffrey Collins a bit earlier this morning (3:55AM?-I'm praying for something in your life that's got you up then, Jeff), and he reminds us that democracy isn't the only thing that is needed for a good government, as pure democracy is mob rule. If we collectively ignore our responsibilities to God, the democracy that results will ignore our responsibilities to our fellow man. Micah's patch of Israel was so barren of godly instruction that he hired himself a house priest. Some days, the US feels almost as barren. However, we don't have to hire a personal priest out; we typically will have a good church to attach ourselves to and the Holy Spirit to guide us. I'm reminded of Chuck Colson's prologue to Steven Curtis Chapman's Heaven in the Real World
Where is the hope? I meet millions who tell me that they feel demoralized by the decay around us. Where is the hope? The hope that each of us have is not in who governs us, or what laws are passed, or what great things that we do as a nation. Our hope is in the power of God working through the hearts of people, and that’s where our hope is in this country; that’s where our hope is in life."
Not that having a good and godly government isn't important, but a good and godly government can only stem from good and godly people. Such people are those who know God, who understand Him and worship Jesus as Lord and Savior. Getting people there isn't the government's job, it's the Church's job. Laws can point people away from some sinful behavior, but they can't change the core of a person's heart. National Days of Prayer will tend to focus us too much on our governments and too little on basic evangelism and discipleship; the ecumenical nature of the day will tend to downplay the need for us to help transform ourselves and our fellow man. POTUS #2 John Adams said that "Our constitution was made for a moral and religious people; it is wholly inadequate for any other." I also remember the Ben Franklin line when he was asked what the constitution convention had created; "A republic, if you can keep it." If we keep evangelizing and discipling, we have a shot at keeping the republic.

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