Do We Depend on God or The State?
Things which are provided for us from outside sources should always be blessings to us. In Jeremiah 7:13 God promises us, “He will love you and bless you and increase your numbers. He will bless the fruit of your womb, the crops of your land – your grain, new wine and oil – the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks in the land that he swore to your forefathers to give you.” These promises to provide only bring blessing. Scripture supports the opening words of the age-old hymn, ‘The Doxology’, “Praise God from Whom all blessings flow.” A hymn written in 1674 by Thomas Ken (inspired by Louis Bourgeois, 1551), What God provides is always a blessing to us and evokes us to praise Him (Psalm 47:6).
Is this concept also true regarding what government provides to us? The answer in your mind most likely will be “Yes and No.” Truly, our governments do provide needed things such as defense, roadways, and some regulations and laws that we have difficulty providing for ourselves. But, are they capable of meeting this standard of blessing every time? Absolutely not! Only God can meet that standard. Yet, government is obviously needed in certain areas to assist us (assist, not rule over).
Theresa May, then British Prime Minister, in her address to the Conservative Party Conference in 2016 said, “The state exists to provide what individual people, committees and markets cannot.” But, she went on to caution that, “The idea that the state can help us by doing what mere people are incapable of is a dangerous absurdity.”. The statement on its own is too open-ended with no real boundaries for where limits should be set. Boundaries such as, “Is it a blessing to all?”
Governments tend to detest limits and often get confused as to what provisions and policies are really blessings to all. When they are not, they result in chaos and confusion; bickering and fighting; anger and violence. “Who is being blessed?” and “Who is being cursed?”
When we follow God’s standards (Ten Commandments as example, Deuteronomy 5:1-22), we find ourselves as between Mt. Gerizim and Mt. Ebal (Joshua 8:28-29). On the one hand are blessings and on the other are curses. No confusion there. Agree with God – blessings; disagree – curses. Governments, all too often, attempt to stand on both sides at once, declaring that it is all the same. It does not work. For proof, just look at the current condition our nation is in. There is confusion and chaos at every level: gender identity, rights (including life itself), education, marriage, insurance…we can go on and on.
The point is that we, as Christians, depend on God for our provisions, not government. Seek to limit government to only that which assists toward blessings to all (following God’s directives). Limit government’s reach after that. When God is limited, government grows and entangles. When government is limited, God is allowed to increase His blessings to us.
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