Civil Government: Chapter 2 – Government’s History of Taking Man’s Rights (Excerpt)

Civil Government - cover“But they will become his slaves so that they may learn the difference between My service and the service of the kingdoms of the countries’” (2 Chronicles 12:7-8).

As king, it would be easy for Rehoboam to be unable to relate to the plight of his people under an oppressive ruler. Rehoboam’s oppression of the people was the reason why the kingdom was divided and many left from serving him (2 Chronicles 10). But now, under the oppression of Shishak, he would learn what it was like to live under an oppressive king.

“So Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, and took the treasures of the house of the Lord and the treasures of the king’s palace. He took everything; he even took the golden shields which Solomon had made. Then king Rehoboam made shields of bronze in their place and committed them to the care of the commanders of the guard who guarded the door of the king’s house. As often as the king entered the house of the Lord, the guards came and carried them and then brought them back into the guards’ room” (2 Chronicles 12:9-11).

Serving an oppressive ruler does not just include obeying the laws of the land. It also includes having your possessions confiscated, settling for inferior replacements, and living in constant fear of those possessions being taken away as well.

Serving the Lord is very different. It includes obedience to His laws (Deuteronomy 11:13-15; Matthew 28:19-20). But instead of the rulers of human kingdoms that pillage the fruits of the people’s labor, God provides us with “every good thing… and every perfect gift” (James 1:17).

This is the fundamental difference: God gives; government takes. This has been true throughout the history of civil government and will continue to be true until they are all finally destroyed when the Lord returns.

You can read more about civil government’s history of taking man’s rights in Civil Government: What the Bible Says About Its Origin, History, Nature, and Role. Follow the link to learn more about the book and purchase your copy today!