A New Government…
Exactly 225 years ago today, as a result of the original Declaration of Independence demanding our freedom and the U.S. Constitution, George Washington was chosen as the first President of the United States. He amassed 69 electoral votes and served as the first Commander in Chief. John Adams, who had 36 electoral votes, came in second, making him the Vice-President under the rules of the day. Later, in 1804, the laws were changed and electors had to vote for the distinct offices, rather than awarding the two highest offices in the land to the candidates with the two greatest numbers of votes.
Since the U.S. declared its independence in 1776 and Washington didn’t get elected until 1789, the country spent its first 13 years without a president. During this time the country was run by the Confederation Congress which had several executive departments and a ceremonial presiding officer, but no official president.
It reminds me of the Scripture and how the Israelites wanted a different form of government than God wanted for them. In those days, most people groups had kings to rule the land. But God wanted something better for his chosen people. He wanted to use a system of judges. In fact, Moses was a judge and his father-in-law suggested a system of ancillary judges to help lighten the load for Moses. This system worked rather well, but the people virtually demanded a king and even though this was not what God had in mind, God granted the request and the rest, as they say, is history.
David, and many others, eventually became kings of the Israelites and when the kingdom was divided into two different areas, both the northern and southern kingdoms had their own kings. As is usually the case, there were good kings and bad kings, but this doesn’t really address the point that God was trying to make. God had his chosen people and He didn’t want them to settle for what the other countries had. He wanted something better for them, but the people couldn’t see that God was trying to set them apart. Of course, absolute power corrupts absolutely and that is the sad tale of what happens in most cases.
The verse for this evening highlights Moses and the warning that he gives his people. As I already mentioned, the Israelites had demanded a king and Moses wanted to make sure that they honored God’s choice as their leader. We are told, in Deut. 17:14-15, “When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you and have taken possession of it and settled in it, and you say, “Let us set a king over us like all the nations around us,” be sure to appoint over you the king the LORD your God chooses. He must be from among your own brothers. Do not place a foreigner over you, one who is not a brother Israelite.”
My encouragement this evening is that God wants our obedience and sometimes lets us have things that we ask for but that aren’t in our best interest. So we should be careful to make sure the things we petition God for are in accordance with His will for our life. My prayer is that by honoring God, we will all be blessed beyond our wildest imaginations and that that we will trust Him with what is best for us. After all, He devised the plan! Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…