Man Refused To Be Governed By God

Civil Government (David Lipscomb)

Man refused to be governed by God. First as an individual he violated the specific command of God. “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” This leaven of disobedience wrought the rejection of the Divine government, and was transmitted from the individual to the family, to the tribe, to the race. “While men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way.” When man was off his guard the enemy of God and man implanted the seeds of distrust and disaffection, and the heart, the mind and the life of man became disloyal to God.

The serpent said unto the woman, ye shall not surely die; for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods knowing good and evil” (Gen. 3:4-5).

The act of individual disobedience culminated in the effort of man to organize a government of his own, so that he himself might permanently conduct the affairs of earth, free from the control of God, and independent of God’s government. The first account we have of organized human government, is

And Cush begat Nimrod, he began to be a mighty one in the earth. … The beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar” (Gen. 10:8).

Nimrod was the grandson of Ham, and the founder of the first government organized outside of the family institution, ordained by God from the beginning. Nimrod made other families tributary to himself, and established a kingdom of which he was the head. The declaration, “Let us build us a city and a tower whose top may reach unto heaven, and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the earth” (Gen. 11:4), shows the animus and the spirit of the movement, and that it was intended to resist the purpose of God to govern them and to distribute them over the face of the earth, and to maintain themselves in a government of their own organizing. The effort to unite themselves more closely that God’s rule united them, resulted in the confusion of their language and their division and dispersion. The design and purpose of this beginning of human government on earth was to oppose, counteract, and displace the government of God on earth.

The institution of human government was an act of rebellion and began among those in rebellion against God, with the purpose of superseding the Divine rule with the rule of man. Its founder was Nimrod, the grandson of Ham, whose family was accursed. In accordance with a well-defined principle of God’s over-ruling providence, the family of this founder has been the greatest sufferer by the institution which he originated. Josephus, with whatever credit he may be entitled to in reference to matters so remote, says that “Nimrod, the founder and leader, appealed to them that it was too humiliating and degrading for wise human beings capable of forming governments of their own, to submit to the government of another.” Josephus B. 1 ch. iiii says,

When they flourished with a numerous youth, God admonished them to send out numerous colonies, but imagining that the prosperity they enjoyed was not derived from the favor of God, did not obey him. Now it was Nimrod who excited them to such affront and contempt of God … He also gradually changed the government into tyranny, seeing no other way of turning men from the fear of God, but to bring them into a constant dependence on his own power.

This is quoted to show the government existed before Nimrod, else he could not CHANGE it. Undoubtedly the government instituted by God – the family government – existed. He changed this by subjugating a number of families and tribes into one government under himself. The quotation so far as Josephus is authority in the matter, shows that the human government and dependence upon that government for good – was the means adopted to wean them away from fidelity to God and his government, and it was instituted for the purpose of supplanting God’s government.

The above post is an excerpt from the book, Civil Government by David Lipscomb. Follow the link to learn more about the book and purchase your copy today!

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