Like the Is­raelites, Amer­i­cans wanted a king

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary -

“The only thing we learn from his­tory is that we learn noth­ing from his­tory.” Friedrich Hegel didn’t get much right in his life. But he was right about that.

It’s a story as old as the prophet Sa­muel, be­fore David slew Go­liath and be­fore Solomon was a twin­kle in Bathsheba’s eye. The peo­ple wanted change.

They wanted to be like all the other na­tions — presided over by a king. They re­jected self­gov­ern­ment with ac­count­abil­ity di­rectly to God. The Is­raelites pleaded with Sa­muel: “Make us a king to judge us like all the na­tions” (1 Sa­muel 8).

Sa­muel was greatly dis­tressed by this pop­u­lar up­ris­ing. So he asked God about it. Here’s what God ad­vised Sa­muel: “Hear­ken unto the voice of the peo­ple in all that they say unto thee: for they have not re­jected thee, but they have re­jected me, that I should not reign over them.”

God rec­og­nized that His spe­cial, beloved, dis­obe­di­ent, cho­sen peo­ple didn’t ap­pre­ci­ate what they had — prob­a­bly the freest, safest so­ci­ety on the face of the Earth. They were en­vi­ous of other na­tions that were ruled by a king.

So He was in­clined to grant them their wish. But, be­fore do­ing so, He is­sued a warn­ing to the peo­ple about what life would be like un­der the ruler­ship of an earthly king:

He would take their sons for his own pur­poses: mak­ing war, work­ing for his gov­ern­ment.

He would take their daugh­ters to do his bid­ding.

He would take their prop­erty and re­dis­tribute it as he saw fit.

But the peo­ple didn’t lis­ten. “Nay; but we will have a king over us; That we also may be like all the na­tions; and that our king may judge us, and go out be­fore us, and fight our bat­tles,” they said in­stead of heed­ing the warn­ing.

Do you get the pic­ture? Not only did the peo­ple not un­der­stand that the king was go­ing to rip them off and op­press them, they ac­tu­ally thought the king was go­ing to fight their bat­tles for them.

Does this sound fa­mil­iar to us to­day liv­ing un­der the junta of King Obama?

Just like the chil­dren of Is­rael, who didn’t know how good they had it, Amer­i­cans de­cided they wanted to be like all the other na­tions — all those with na­tion­al­ized health care pro­grams, com­mand-and-con­trol economies, the rule of men rather than the rule of law.

We fell for one of the old­est temp­ta­tions in the book. That’s how we be­came the Obama na­tion. God never wanted us to be ruled by kings — not His peo­ple. He wants us to gov­ern our­selves with ac­count­abil­ity to Him and His laws.

And here we are in the Obama na­tion sub­ject­ing our­selves to the whims of an earthly ruler who doesn’t even obey the es­tab­lished laws of the land that give him au­thor­ity, while he scoffs at God’s eter­nal laws as outdated, anachro­nis­tic, ho­mo­pho­bic, racist ves­tiges of a pa­ter­nal­is­tic, chau­vin­is­tic, false de­ity.

Just like the chil­dren of Is­rael, we got our col­lec­tive wish. It was a costly les­son for the chil­dren of Is­rael, and it will be a costly les­son for us as well. But if we want to learn a les­son from his­tory, we ought to make sure it’s the right les­son.

It’s not just about good eco­nomic poli­cies. It’s not just about fol­low­ing the law of the land. It’s not just about the will of the peo­ple.

It’s about be­ing set apart, not about be­ing like the rest of the world. It’s about re­mem­ber­ing there is one true God in heaven to whom we are all ac­count­able. It’s about hav­ing no other false gods be­fore us — in­clud­ing the false god of gov­ern­ment, gen­er­ally, and the false gods of men, specif­i­cally.

You can or­ga­nize. You can protest. You can sign pe­ti­tions. You can rally. You can vote — all good things to do.

But ul­ti­mately, there is one real so­lu­tion found in 2 Chron­i­cles 7:14: “If my peo­ple, which are called by my name, shall hum­ble them­selves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will for­give their sin, and will heal their land.”

Joseph Farah is a na­tion­ally syndicated colum­nist.

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