Growing Dissatisfaction With Government
Governments are in crisis around the world. What is needed to fix our world’s governmental problems? Will we ever have good governance?
A survey of the world shows growing unrest and dissatisfaction with governments. Consider just a few examples:
- The United States is deeply divided. During the 2016 presidential election, there was widespread dissatisfaction with both candidates. Polls show President Trump and Hillary Clinton are still very unpopular, as is the U.S. Congress.
- Venezuela is in the midst of a very severe crisis. As President Nicolás Maduro tries to seize extra powers, people have spilled out onto the streets in violent protests.
- Britain, a nation with an uncertain political future, is still divided over Brexit. How should it leave the EU? A hard exit? A soft exit? Or should there be a second referendum? A recent election saw the Tories, who were hoping to strengthen their coalition, lose seats to the Labour party.
- In Hong Kong democracy protesters clash with law enforcement as they protest Chinese encroachment into Hong Kong’s governance.
- A Syrian uprising in 2011 against the Assad government has led to a seemingly endless civil war.
- Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has no intention of giving up power even at the age of 93, as his health seems to be declining.
- Turkey extends emergency powers as President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan tightens his grip over the nation.
Bad governance is nothing new. No society or culture has been immune from it.
What does the Bible say about this trend? Is there a lesson mankind has yet to learn?
Lessons from ancient Israel
In the days of the prophet Samuel, Israel started to ask for a king. The people of Israel at that time were ruled by God through the priests and judges, but they desired governance like the nations around them (1 Samuel 8:5).
Before granting their request for a monarchy, God warned them of the inevitability of bad government. He warned them that a king would:
- Use their children to serve himself (verses 11-13).
- Draft their children to fight wars (verse 12).
- Take the best of what they had (verse 14).
- Levy heavy taxation (verses 15, 17).
Even with such a dire warning, the people still requested a king (verse 19). Though this prophecy was given to ancient Israel, God was really describing the behavior of governments everywhere at all times. No matter what form of government man has devised, corruption and abuse have found their way into it.
Man’s failure to govern goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden.Man’s failure to govern goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve rejected God’s just rule (Genesis 3:6), as Israel did years later. And God warned Adam and Eve that their choice would lead to suffering and death (Genesis 2:17; see also Proverbs 14:12), as Samuel warned Israel about having a king. Corrupt and abusive governance has been a result of mankind’s rejection of God.
If that were the end of the story, it would be quite depressing! But instead the Bible reveals a plan that God has set in motion to rescue us from this scourge.
The soon-coming Kingdom of God
The Bible’s central message is about government. That is, government ruled by God Himself—the Kingdom of God. Consider:
- Jesus began His ministry preaching about the good news of God’s soon-coming Kingdom (Mark 1:14-15). Even after His resurrection, He was teaching about it (Acts 1:3).
- This government will be established by God on earth and will continually grow and bring everlasting peace (Isaiah 9:6-7).
- This government will lead to worldwide peace (Micah 4:1-4).
- Eventually suffering will be a thing of the past (Revelation 21:4).
Life, Hope & Truth is committed to proclaiming the same message. You can be a part of God’s world-ruling Kingdom when it comes, but it begins by submitting to the laws of that government today.
To learn more about taking the first step toward God’s Kingdom, read “Messiah’s Message: Repent.”