How Do We Make This Nation Good Again?

1 Samuel 8.18 warns, in that day you will cry out because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the LORD won’t answer you in that day.

When God chose the people of Israel to live as His people in the land He designated for them to live in, He did not provide them a government structure per se. No central authority was assigned, the priests would handle legal disputes, and chosen leaders of each ‘state’ (they were called tribes in the Bible), would punish wrong doers often with the help of the community in which the transgression had occurred.

The system God originally designed for Israel gave them immense personal freedom. God expected everyone to obey His laws, traditionally summarized in the ten commandments, and to live on their land producing what they needed and providing for others who needed help due to some misfortune (not laziness). A great system if you love freedom and personal responsibility. A terrible system if you want someone else to decide for your life so you can blame them when things go awry.

The founding fathers of the United States of America instituted a similar system though with limited central or national control and a civil judicial system rather than a religious one. The similarity between the people of Israel then and we ourselves today is the desire for a king, a leader, to come along and make the world right.

Some thought we had such a leader in Barak Obama, but the nation only became more divided under his watch than at any time since the Martin Luther King era. Some thought electing Donald Trump as leader would mean the end of federal tyranny and the restoration of traditional American values. We seem a long way still from those ideals.

Both groups were wrong and are wrong because a leader cannot change a nation if the people are not willing to change. A leader cannot make a country better by his own virtue alone. No matter the intent of the leader or his decrees, if the people will not do what is right the nation will continue to deteriorate. This is what we see today.

We see people everywhere wanting change that will make for more equity, peace and justice yet the people making such demands use violence, intolerance and discrimination to force their will upon another. Recently google fired an employee of the company because of his divergent opinion (read here). University students protest to safe places those whose opinions differ from the instruction they received from their professors. Riots and civil unrest seems to happen every weekend somewhere in this country now.

We can blame our leaders for problems but the problems we are experiencing wont end until we ourselves do what is right. We must decide individually to do the right things. When enough of us choose what is right then the collective will be doing what is right.

In this way the nation will be doing what is right and when that happens, it really doesn’t matter who the leader is but most likely he will be such a person who supports what is good and right because he was elected from a good and upright people.

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