Israel Lived in a Theocracy Then
Throughout Israel’s history God chose to lead directly. He spoke forcefully and often, directing their course of action. This is called theocracy, i.e., rule directly by God. God spoke through Moses, through Joshua, through his prophets, and through the judges. Israel’s political, military, geographical, and economic high point was the time of King David and King Solomon.
The people of Israel would call the united monarchy their golden age. “King Solomon was greater in riches and wisdom than all the other kings of the earth. . . . The king made silver as common in Jerusalem as stones” (1 Kings 10:23,27).
You might think that getting instructions directly from God would have made decisions easy. Wrong. People could reject God’s direct words as easily as his indirect words. Leadership by theocracy made it clear what God wanted, but it did not guarantee either obedience or God’s blessings.
America’s secular government has turned out to provide a far better environment for the church. It is better for leaders in the church not to carry swords or guns.
Everyone longs to be connected with God. And if you ask most people today, they’ll tell you that however you want to connect with God is fine. All paths are valid. But the Bible paints a much different picture.
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