Section 2: Practical Wisdom, Article 10

Who Governs You?

“Who is as the wise man? . . .
I counsel thee to keep the king’s commandment,
and that in regard of the oath of
Be not hasty to go out of his sight:
stand not in an evil thing;
for he doeth whatsoever pleaseth him.
Where the word of a king is, there is power:
and who may say unto him, What doest thou?
Whoso keepeth the commandment shall feel no evil thing.”
Ecclesiastes 8:2-5

hat is to be our relationship to government? If we claim to be Yehuveh’s people, we are obviously under His government and “keep therefore His statutes, and His commandments.” But from Ecclesiastes 8:2-5 it appears that Yehuveh also requires us to submit to human
governments. [Evangelical Christians quote Romans 13:1-7 in support of this.] What are we to do if there is conflict between the two? Is the council of this text the whole perspective? Of course not! We must go deeper.
        Our present and future relationship to
governments—both Yehuveh’s and men’s—raise numerous questions. Does Yehuveh always require His children to submit to human governments? Are there limits? Are Yehuveh’s laws and statutes always to be placed above legislated human requirements? Are we under human authority only until a certain time, and then to be under His? When will this transition come? Are we under human government only for some aspects of our lives and under His for the rest? If so, where are these boundaries? For instance, has He given any human institution authority over worship? over our families?

Self-government Under Yehuveh
        From creation, Yehuveh has been
“the King of all the earth.” He gave Adam “dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth,” but Adam’s reign was ever subject to Yehuveh’s higher government. He purposed that within Adam’s dominion, all men be free to govern themselves by His laws, statutes, and instructions, each family living honorably under the leadership of their patriarchial father. Such a system of government offers the highest personal freedom and self-fulfillment. This ideal was shattered when Adam and Chavah’s (Eve’s) disregard Yehuveh’s first command: “of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat.” Their rebellion was followed shortly by Abel’s murder and Cain’s exile. Clearly self-government wasn’t working. Men unwilling to govern themselves by Yehuveh’s laws and statutes must be governed in some other way. Psalms 47:7 [also Psalms 2:6-8; 22:27-31; 47:2-9; 67:4; 72:8-11, 17; 86:9; Isaiah 2:2-4; 45:22-25; 54:5; 60:12-14; Daniel 2:44-45; 7:27; Micah 4:1-3; 5:4; Zephaniah 3:9; Revelation 11:15]; Genesis 1:28; 2:17.

Gael Bataman
Originally Written:     26 July 2007
Latest Update:             3 February 2010

Complete Study Guide to Article 10   

Human Governments        Returning to Yehuveh’s Government       

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