God’s politics, like human politics, are his way of governing us and enticing us to keep his laws.
The fundamental laws of God are the Ten Commandments.
And the First Commandment prohibits his people from being enslaved to earthly governments.
The reason for this is simple. God only relates to his people in the form of covenants, and all covenants are contracts binding on both parties. And the purpose of all contracts is to provide benefits to each of the parties. And contracts can only be made between people who are free to bestow benefits on the other party to the contract. Enslaved people are not free to contract.
God, like everyone else in politics, must make offers to entice the people to live under his law and governance. He sets people free in the First Commandment and therefore, he cannot coerce anyone into a covenant with him. Just as human politicians cannot force anyone to vote for their governance.
And God and human politicians compete and promise extravagant benefits to become the governor of the people.
They agreed that Joseph saved them from famine by confiscating their lands for pharaoh and allowing them the privilege of living as taxed tenants on the land they formerly owned…
You have saved our lives, they said to Joseph.
We are grateful to you that we can be pharaoh’s slaves.
And the industrious Israelites seemed to prosper until the pharaoh became jealous and fearful of their influence and sought to oppress them without mercy…
The Egyptians, then, dreaded the Israelites and reduced them to cruel slavery.
This is where God’s politics and human politics part ways.
Earthly governments offer privileges which can be revoked at the whim and discretion of the one granting the privilege.
In a contract, both parties have enforceable rights not revocable privileges promised by each party to the other.
And in every covenant from Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden down to your local banker on the corner, there is a penalty clause for defaulting on the promise.
You local banker must let you keep your house or your car as long as you make your monthly payments to the bank as you agreed to do in a contract.
But, if you stop making those payments, the penalty clause kicks in and the bank takes back your car or house and all the benefits those things provide. The banker, by contract may not take your property away on a mere whim.
God offers lavish benefits by contract and must provide them and let his people retain them unless they default on their promise to be faithful to his law; and they did promise…
We will do everything the Lord has told us.
It is only for default on their word that causes God to be true to his contract and act to apply the penalty clause.
Allegiance to the promised privileges of human politics does not guarantee that the human government will keep granting those privileges.
Politicians running for office offer sweeping and extravagant benefits without knowing much about exactly how they will “create jobs” or put “a chicken in every pot.”
And they find after assuming office with all of its previously unknown commitments and pressures that they cannot grant those privileges…at least not to the extent promised.
And so human politicians often must backtrack on their campaign promises because they need the help of others to fulfill their promises. And those other politicians may not be committed to the promises made.
God, as the creator, knows exactly what he can promise and deliver, and will deliver, if the people do not default on their allegiance to their promise to keep his Commandments.
He does not need anyone’s help or approval to provide the benefits of his own creation to his chosen people.
So, when God’s politics seek to govern his people with benefits he creates and bestows on them, he speaks the truth and offers to back it up with a contract that binds himself to deliver.
When human politicians make promises, no matter how sincerely, they have little control over the creation of the benefits they promise to bestow.
And that is how God’s politics differ from the politics of both ancient and modern-day pharaohs.
But, isn’t it ironic that many people have full faith in human politicians’ promised benefits but find freedom under God’s law and its benefits to be burdensome and untrustworthy…
Why did you bring us out of Egypt?
Did we not tell you this in Egypt when we said
“Leave us alone. Let us serve the Egyptians”?
Far better for us to be the slaves of the Egyptians
than to die in the desert.
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Thomas Drummond, Ph.D. is trained in clinical, developmental and ne