Just before Joshua died, he gathered the leaders of the children of Israel together at Shechem. There he recounted to them their ancestry and heritage from the days of Terah, Abraham’s father, until the present time. He made it quite plain that the LORD had brought Abraham out of pagan darkness and given him the land of Canaan. Abraham was merely the recipient of the LORD’s grace and gained nothing except that which was given to him through the goodness and mercy of the LORD.
He continued this history lesson bringing them up to the present time, making sure that they understood that the LORD alone was responsible for delivering them to the place of blessing which they now occupied, even to the sending of hornets to drive the heathen tribes out of their presence.
Then he exhorted them to fear the LORD and walk in HIS statutes in sincerity and truth and to put out of their presence the idols and false gods which they were prone to embrace. Having done so, he then set before them a choice. “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” (Jos 24:15)
Usually when this passage is read, the choice which Joshua set before the leaders of Israel, is misrepresented and the lesson is misapplied in order to promote the free will of men. Most modern day “bible teachers” present what Joshua said as though he is asking them to choose between the LORD and all of these other gods. Yet he made no such proposition. Rather he said to them that if they could take no delight in the ONE GOD who had delivered them from their enemies, then they should choose between the pagan deities of Abraham’s past or the gods of Amorites in whose land they currently dwelt.
The GOD of heaven, earth, and hell is not on the auction block, nor is it possible to choose HIM out of some lineup of supposed deities. All of the pagan deities existed only because it pleased HIM to cause men to blindly follow their own penchant to worship gods of their own choosing which are in keeping with their corrupt minds and hearts. It does not matter which of these “gods” that men “choose”, for they are all the same. “Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands. They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them.” (Psa 115:4-8)
David prefaced this description of these false gods with a declaration of the true GOD with these words, “But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.” (Psa 115:3) This one true and LIVING GOD, cannot be approached or chosen by men, and anyone who thinks that they can “choose GOD” is in darkness even now. HE is the high and lofty ONE who inhabits eternity. HE dwells in the LIGHT to which no man can approach. Except and unless the LORD is pleased to choose to open a man’s eyes, he will remain in the blindness of his nature, without GOD and without HOPE in this world or that to come.
The LIVING GOD is quite in contrast to these idols that the natural man is so fond of and must give voice to, even as David described. HE needs nothing from men, nor does HE in any wise wait upon men for confirmation or approval. This is the exact contrast that we see between the governments of this world and the Government of the Kingdom of GOD.
Too many of those who profess to be the followers of CHRIST grow too enamored of this world’s political systems. There are multitudes who claim to be preachers of the gospel who get involved in trying to influence political outcomes in this world. A man who is called of GOD to preach the everlasting Kingdom of the glory of JESUS CHRIST has no business becoming involved in carnal politics and forms of government which in their best state are altogether vanity. We have ONE GOVERNOR and ONE GOVERNMENT, and HE has destroyed HIS enemies and eviscerated their ability to overturn HIS will and purpose; just like HE told HIS disciples, “I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Mat 16:18)
This is the only GOVERNMENT that we are concerned with. Let the potsherds strive with the potsherds of the earth. The LORD JESUS CHRIST walked among men under one of the most repressive and unjust governments which the world has seen. Yet HE never spoke one word which would give HIS followers reason to fight for or against such a government. HE expressed no allegiance to that government nor did HE speak against its many wrongs.
This nation which we have been blessed to dwell in, in this time world, has enjoyed much peace and prosperity, in contrast to many other nations in the earth. The self-righteous, attribute this to our being a “constitutional republic” and being founded on Christian principles. Thus they tell us that the conditional blessings of GOD are upon us as a result. Yet the reality is that we enjoy these blessings simply because of the mercies of GOD according to HIS purpose.
Our system of government is ordained for us just like the government of Cuba is ordained for them, in order to fulfill the purpose of GOD in the earth. Neither of these governments are “godly” regardless of the views which many “conservatives” foist upon us with the bible in one hand and the constitution and bill of rights in the other. These are wonderful documents to be sure, but are carnal instruments in the hands of innately corrupt men and presided over by the basest of them.
The GOVERNMENT of CHRIST exists for one purpose which is to bring glory to the ONE GOVERNOR of it. HE has made a declaration of HIS kingdom and delineated HIS intention in the establishment of it. “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.” (Isa 61:1-3)
Attached to the U.S. Constitution is a “Bill of Rights” which sets forth the privileges of its citizens. That Kingdom over which CHRIST rules is not one which relies on the consent of the governed and only promises one “right” to the sons of GOD, “the right to the TREE OF LIFE”, which has been granted to them through the benevolence and grace of the KING. Their access thereto has been purchased with HIS blood; shed for their redemption. For it is the stated purpose of this glorious KING to give unto HIS children this Kingdom (see Luke 12:32) and HE alone who has procured it for them does ever live to insure their possession of it. “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” (Rom 14:17)mam