All Authority from God, Part 1
As 9/11 begins to recede from memory ever so slowly with time, it is time to consider why God allowed this to happen because nothing happens without His knowledge and consent, if you will. His consent goes something like this, He gives us choice to obey Him and be blessed or to disobey and invite disasters. God seldom intercedes in the lives of mankind unless they are believers who prove their faith by obedience.
Time and chance happen to all people unless God intervenes on the behalf of the faithful for their good or His glory.
People blame God when innocent people get hurt or killed, as if He caused it to happen. But, God will not force His Way on people, who if He did would be nothing more than organic machines with no freedom to choose. So the choice to obey or disobey God comes with results, good and bad cause and effect. How many times the faithful are protected, even they will never know until after the resurrection because nothing happened, nothing bad, that is.
News is usually bad, so when bad things happen to innocent people, its news and people blame God, wonder if He cares, or exists at all. Why dont blame those who caused the tragedy? Think about it, what if God did intervene and saved the innocent, but unbelieving souls? Evil would have no consequence and faithfulness no reward. So, God will not intervene except for His faithful followers in most circumstances, because few people want His interference in their lives, except when things go wrong for them. But even then, they will not repent and become a faithful followers, even to be saved from disaster.
What does all this have to do with the terrorist attacks on September 11th?
Days of Terror
Some five thousand eight hundred years ago, the first father on earth was Adam. Now, the father is the patriarch, the head of the family, the governing authority, if you will. This Adam aligned himself with Satan after his disobedience to God, our Father and Creator. But, God wants people to come to him freely with constraint, and, thus, will not force Himself on anyone. That Adam wanted to be under the rule of Satan was his choice but too bad for him and the world as far as God was concerned. Yet, good would come of it, even the birth of His Son four thousand years later as Adams descendent.
But, in the meantime God refused to interfere in the activities of mankind. Therefore, all the evil that men did, all the crime, all the murder, all the terrorism, all the anarchy, all the violence, and all the wars went on without constraint. We cannot imagine what living then must have been like. Criminals and warlords ruled brutally and fought each other constantly. The few, the very few, who might have been loyal to God, hid themselves from the mobs of violence. For a thousand years, the Earth was in turmoil and the soil was stained red.
Gen 6:11 Now the earth was corrupt in God's sight and was full of violence.
Someone said that God only intervenes according to His wisdom. Well, God did intervene only when He found a man who was a faithful follower, Noah. You see, God intervenes and interrelates in the affairs of His People, not for hating antagonists. Then God tested Noah, build an ark, He said. And, you what, Noah built an ark in the middle of nowhere and nowhere near the water. Here was a faithful follower, who built this big ship without really understanding except from what God said. Noah passed the test and by doing so saved mankind, as well. Righteousness to God brings blessings to the righteous and to others also.
2Pe 2:5 if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others;
Noah trusted God and followed His command. How many people do you know who keep all Ten Commandments and follow Jesus as the Savior? Nonetheless, Noah was righteous in the sight of God.
Gen 6:8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.
Gen 6:9 This is the account of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God.
While Noah was straining and sweating building the ark, and listening to a lot of criticism for his "folly," he was really being blessed of God, for he would be a new Adam and all people would come from him and his wife.
2Pe 3:5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water.
2Pe 3:6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed.
Baptism of the Earth
The Bible does not exactly say how long it took Noah to build the ark, but it does say Noah preached to the people and warned them of impending disaster for their sins. He preached for a long time before God brought the waters down from the sky.
Gen 6:3 Then the LORD said, "My Spirit will not contend with [Or My spirit will not remain in] man forever, for he is mortal [Or corrupt]; his days will be a hundred and twenty years."
2Pe 2:5 if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others.
So the six hundred plus year old Noah built the ark to specifications.
Gen 6:15 This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high. [Hebrew 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide and 30 cubits high (about 140 meters long, 23 meters wide and 13.5 meters high) ]
Gen 6:16 Make a roof for it and finish [Or Make an opening for light by finishing] the ark to within 18 inches [Hebrew a cubit (about 0.5 meter)] of the top. Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks.
This is a nice sized yacht; there are bigger, but nice. Instead of gelcoat, they sealed the wood with tar. It would have been a bit cramped with all the animals and Noahs family, but they would make do. Then God told Noah to save some of the worlds animals, seven pairs of the clean animals and a pair each of the unclean ones.
Gen 7:2 Take with you seven pairs of all clean animals, the male and his mate; and a pair of the animals that are not clean, the male and his mate;
Gen 7:3 and seven pairs of the birds of the air also, male and female, to keep their kind alive upon the face of all the earth.
The animals came to Noah, and he didnt have to pursue them around countryside or chase after them.
Gen 7:15 Pairs of all creatures that have the breath of life in them came to Noah and entered the ark.
Then God shut them in and brought the rains for forty days.
Gen 7:16 The animals going in were male and female of every living thing, as God had commanded Noah. Then the LORD shut him in.
Just as baptism washes away a persons sins, so God, in effect, baptized the Earth filled with violence and sin. After a long submersion, the Earth was again clean, not unlike after the creation.
People and/or nations, who refuse to accept Gods authority, risk His wrath. Sometimes the wrath comes from Gods loyal servant, nature, or from people or nations, whatever the situation warrants.
Except for Noah and his family, no humans were left on planet Earth. Noah was the patriarch, the head of the family and, thus, the head of all people on Earth. In those days, the patriarch was the undisputed, unchallenged ruler of the family. From Noah all other rulers, kings, and pharaohs obviously descended. This is how: Noahs authority passed to each of his sons who became patriarchs of their families. Each son of Noahs sons Shem, Ham and Japheth became patriarch of their families. Yet, Noah was the patriarch of all the families and authority stemmed from him. It is as the general has authority of colonels, who have authority over majors, and so forth. After Noahs death, his eldest son became the patriarch and so forth.
In effect, by whatever term might be used, Noah was king; the Bible says patriarch, but that is the effect. Each of the sons and grandsons, heads their respective families, received authority from Noah by birthright. So whatever laws or rules Noah authorized, passed to the sons through the generations. Importantly, Noah got his authority from God.
Since Noah agreed, choose to be a faithful follower of God, his authority stemmed from God, the Father and Creator, of the human race. It was unlike the authority Adam gave to Satan, for Noah gave his liege-loyalty and fealty to God. So, for the first time in history, a patriarch subjugated himself to Gods authority, and all his descendents, thereafter received their authority from God. With the authority from God, comes responsibility to certain laws God gave to Noah, the faithful follower.
Thus, each head of government is a physical descendent of Noah many generations removed, but related nonetheless, and each government leader receives his governing authority from Noah from birthright, being a descendent. Thanks to Noahs righteousness and faithfulness, God can, whenever He wants, intervene in governmental affairs in anyway He sees fit, to bless or curse.
Rom 13:1 Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. God has established the authorities that exist.
Rom 13:2 Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.
Romans 13 tells us what our obligations to the government are, and where it gets its authority, but what are governments responsibility to God?
God Gave Noah the Laws of Governance
God said Noah and thus all the descendent governments must do three things: use animals and plants for mans purposes food and so forth that is, rule nature; execute murderers (blood for blood); and, increase and multiply.
1. Rule Nature
God put people in charge of all plant and animal life to use them as man sees fit, except for ingesting the blood of animals. In the past, people worshipped nature, pantheism, instead of Him; so God put things into perspective. Man was the highest life form created on Earth and thus must not subject himself to the lower forms. Why should people worship the bull and make rituals, such as, bull fighting to foster some primeval instinct of a sexual nature?
While we ought to maintain a clean environment for ourselves and protect, perhaps, some species we favor for whatever reason, people and governments must never let "nature" control human activity. The lives, health, safety, and happiness of people take precedent over "nature," never the other way around. God charged government to rule over "nature."
Gen 9:2 The fear and dread of you will fall upon all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air, upon every creature that moves along the ground, and upon all the fish of the sea; they are given into your hands.
Gen 9:3 Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.
2. Execute Murderers
Unlike all else in creation, God formed people out of and with the help of the earth. He made people in His image, and breathed into them, us, the divine breath of life; He, thus, charged that no one should allow a proven murderer to live after taking a life. It is God alone who may take a life He gave, and He gave government the authority to execute murderers. Is that a contradiction? No, because a murderer takes a life for a motive, money, hatred, vengeance; whereas, a government takes a life of a proven, guilty murderer. The former kills for personal reasons, and the latter executes because God requires it.
The major problem with executing a murderer is that the proof must be beyond a reason to doubt. All witnesses and physical evidence must be irrefutable because taking an innocent life even by the government would be wrong. If the government made a mistake, it might be charged as accidental death, but, if the government was lax in its bringing of charges and prosecution of the case, it well might be manslaughter or murder. And, if the government deliberately prosecutes and causes to convict a known innocent individual, the crime is murder, from which even the government agents must not be immune. So, while execution of murderers is Gods command, the execution must be of the murderer, not an innocent.
As difficult as it might be to find and execute murderers, God commands governments must take the life of a person who criminally took the life of a person made in Gods image and having the divine breath of life in his being.
Gen 9:5 And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each man, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of his fellow man.
Gen 9:6 "Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man.
3. Increase and Multiply
God created us, male and female, He created us. He created the procreation of human kind by marriage.
Mat 19:4 "Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,' [Gen. 1:27]
Mat 19:5 and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'?
Mat 19:6 So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."
Putting aside for now the problems involving marriage, let us first examine how to protect those who are married and have families.
The second command of God protects the family because, obviously, a murderer kills a member of the family and may permanently injure the family if the father or mother is murdered. Even the death of a child in the family causes great harm. So executing murderers is the first line of defense the government must provide to protect marriage.
Government must see that violence against members of a family, which results in injury or incapacitation must be compensated for.
When thieves take the hard-earned money the family makes, it causes deprivation for the family. God decrees that the money taken should be repaid with something like interest. And if the thief cannot repay the stolen money or goods because it is already spent or used, he or she must enslave themselves to the person the money was stolen from. While we no longer have indentured slaves today, a person should repay over a period of time, if necessary, in some manner because it does the one stolen from no good to have the thief in jail without making restitution.
Finally, the government must see to it that all, who perjure themselves in a court of law, must be punished. Without justice, the verdicts of accused thieves and murderers would be wrongfully arrived at.
Now, while the government should not be snooping into the bedrooms of people, marriage and procreation must be the goal of government. Governments must see to it that divorce, except for adultery and abuse, must be almost impossible to get. Government must never encourage divorce by make divorce laws so lenient that marriage becomes a series of liaisons.
Mat 5:32 But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.
And, obviously, abortion ends the life of a person without due process. As soon as the sperm enters the egg, all the characteristics of the potential person are in place. In a matter of time, a child will be born made in the image of God and taking its first breath of life, a touch of the divine, from God. Except for the health and safety of the mother, abortion should not be a government sponsored or encouraged activity.
Gen 9:7 As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it."
Finally, those who prefer those of the same sex intrinsically prevent conception in marriage fail the standards for increasing and multiplying. Governments must never cater or promote homosexuality or sexual deviancy.
While people in society will always break the laws God gave Noah, governments must never pervert their responsibility. If governments refuse to obey Gods commands, people within the nation, who choose to follow Gods way, will be blessed and protected for their obedience.
The laws above are for all secular governments; none of the commands involve God, worshipping, or religion. While any people who believe in God and keep the other commandments gain greater blessings, ruling nature, executing murderers and promoting marriage are laws all governments are required to keep through Noah, the first ruler on Earth.
Only Israel had a theocracy followed by a kingdom based on all Ten Commandments. Gods great experiment with theocracy ended when Israel failed to obey Him and ended up being sent into exile.
When governments follow the laws God requires, He will promote and bless the nation. When they do not, God withdraws blessings and protection. They are not only on their own, but God may inflict punishment against the disobedient nation through other countries, and by having nature also turn against them with drought, floods, wind storms, earthquakes and volcanic action.
A few historic examples may serve. Babylon during Daniels time turned to Gods way and became the greatest empire of all. Alexanders empire somewhat followed Gods dictates in ruling nature, executing murderers and decently keeping family structure except for some Greek sexual perversions. His empire lasted awhile and was followed by Rome.
The Roman Empire had a very strong family, at first, certainly controlled nature and executed murderers. Their paganism eventually tore at their relation with nature and their once strong family. But, in the absence of any other strong challenge, Rome devastated Europe. However, when Rome fell, it left Europe in such a sorry state that it took centuries to recover.
Even during the height of conquests, Rome suffered many severe problems from conspiracies to internal revolutions with many government officials assassinated violently. The army and other conspirators assassinated one Caesar after another. Many people in Rome ended on the dole, from which they never recovered.
In these times, we saw Russia, who decimated the family structure, and fall from its powerful position. We see China who has policies against increasing and multiplying; their days are numbered. In the United States, the family appears to be in trouble, and the government often accedes to nature over people. Hopefully, adherence to Gods laws will stand as strong as patriotism in peoples lives.
When God disciplines nations who refuse to keep the laws given to Noah, they have a choice to repent either as individuals within the nation or the governing authorities themselves. God gives many warnings and chances to nations to change and obey Him in the way they must. If they change, God will take away the punishments; if they adamantly refuse to accede to Gods way, God will not only increase the punishment, but if He feels the nation is beyond repentance, He may even destroy the country by making it a third rate nation or having it conquered.
Only when nations and people choose to be under Gods authority and prove their loyalty by faithful obedience, will God bring the blessings of peace and security to people. For, without Gods mighty hand and help, armies and weapons of war can provide only paltry protection.