The Psalmist is very clear. Governments must answer to God for their actions. With regards to Kings and rulers in this world, the writer of Psalm 2 concludes with the words in verses 11 and 12:
SERVE THE LORD WITH FEAR AND REJOICE WITH TREMBLING. KISS THE SON [ie JESUS CHRIST] LEST HE BE ANGRY AND YE PERISH FROM THE WAY, WHEN HIS WRATH IS KINDLED BUT A LITTLE.
BLESSED ARE ALL THEY THAT PUT THEIR TRUST IN HIM
It is generally assumed today in English speaking and western nations that God is irrelevant; no more than an old fashioned idea which no longer has relevance. In the Bible and in the Christian faith this could not be further from the truth. And that truth is demonstrable.
In the Gospel of Mark and chapter 6 we have the account of king Herod’s execution of John the Baptist on the most outrageous basis – in direct contravention of all and any moral norms. It is an example of a government which considers its only accountability is to itself and concerned only for its reputation in the eyes of the governed.
It’s what happens when men’s moral compass is dictated by their own desires, ambitions and interests.
In brief, the king is so pleased with the entertainment provided by his niece [now also his step-daughter] that he promises to reward her with whatever she desires. The young girl evidently does not know how to respond to such a momentous offer and so asks her mother, Herodias. The mother has a long standing grudge against John the Baptist because he publicly condemned her relationship with king Herod as adulterous and contrary to God’s law.
Herodias therefore instructs her daughter to ask for John’s execution and this she does. Despite this being an outrageous request, king Herod grants the request and John is executed.
All the sickening immorality of human politicking is in evidence here – and all its disgusting rebellion against God and his morals.
Herod’s offer is motivated by sensual gratification. His accession to the request is motivated by what it would look like to others if he refuses. His word would be seen as unreliable and untrustworthy; his reputation would suffer.
Politicians motivated by self interest and not by principle for the common welfare are always susceptible to making such evil decisions.
Then there is Herodias, the scheming manipulating, cruel ex wife of his brother. She will stop at nothing – including murder – to shut John’s mouth and so shut down any public discussion of her unlawful relationship. She is a woman who works by fear. By exacting John’s death, she reinforces her reputation and power as a dangerous woman who cannot be crossed or criticised by anyone.
Fear of retribution from a dangerous and vengeful woman becomes the culture prevailing in the court of the king. What chance is there for justice for anyone in such a climate ?
Such is the outcome when men and women are left to their own sinful selves and no longer accountable to God, either in their own hearts and minds or in the eyes of the leading counsellors of State.
That is why God’s Word demands obedience from kings and rulers. Because he knows and he cares. Because he knows the consequences of what fallen, sinful human beings do when they no longer have their Maker’s Guidelines as their reference point in all they say and do.
The Psalmist therefore warns rulers that they in turn have a Ruler – the King of kings, and the LORD of lords – who in turn requires their obedience to his Person and to His Rule and to His Laws.
Because Justice comes from the One Who is the Personification of Justice – not from the heart of a sinful human being.
And this is what the Church and her Ministers should remind Governments of today. Their accountability to God – the Governor of governments, the Ruler of all earthly rulers.
WHY DO THE HEATHEN RAGE AND THE PEOPLE IMAGINE A VAIN THING ?
THE KINGS OF THE EARTH SET THEMSELVES, AND THE RULERS TAKE COUNSEL TOGETHER, AGAINST THE LORD AND AGAINST HIS ANOINTED, SAYING:
LET US BREAK THEIR BANDS ASUNDER, AND CAST AWAY THEIR CORDS FROM US !
HE THAT SITTETH IN THE HEAVENS SHALL LAUGH: THE LORD SHALL HAVE THEM IN DERISION.
THEN SHALL HE SPEAK UNTO THEM IN HIS WRATH, AND VEX THEM IN HIS SORE DISPLEASURE.
YET HAVE I SET MY KING UPON MY HOLY HILL OF ZION.
I WILL DECLARE MY DECREE: THE LORD HATH SAID UNTO ME, THOU ART MY SON – THIS DAY HAVE I BEGOTTEN THEE
ASK OF ME AND I SHALL GIVE THEE THE HEATHEN FOR THINE INHERITANCE, AND THE UTTERMOST PARTS OF THE EARTH FOR THY POSSESSION
THOU SHALT BREAK THEM WITH A ROD OF IRON; THOU SHALT DASH THEM IN PIECES LIKE A POTTERS VESSEL
BE WISE NOW THEREFORE, O YE KINGS: BE INSTRUCTED YE JUDGES OF THE EARTH
SERVE THE LORD WITH FEAR AND REJOICE WITH TREMBLING
KISS THE SON LEST HE BE ANGRY AND YE PERISH FROM THE WAY WHEN HIS WRATH IS KINDLED BUT A LITTLE
BLESSED ARE ALL THEY THAT PUT THEIR TRUST IN HIM !