Human Government – Qualifications for Office (Part 3)

Human Government – Qualifications for Office (Part 3)

If humans are to enforce God’s Law it logically follows that God would give some sort of requirements as to who these people must be. Unfortunately most people are more concerned with position than character. The emphasis in the Bible is on who the person is to be more than on what position they hold or title they have. What are the biblical qualifications for office?

The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.2 Samuel 23:3

The one who is to be given the power to enforce God’s Laws must be just. He must follow God’s Law in his own personal life. Also, he must fear God. He must understand Who God is and what God requires of him. He must fear God in order that he might not seek to take power that belongs to God alone.

When thou art come unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me; Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother. But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way. Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold. And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them: That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.Deuteronomy 17:14-20

Deuteronomy 17 is perhaps the most detailed passage explaining who should be given the authority to enforce God’s Law. First, we see that God is the One who chooses leaders (Daniel 4:17, Romans 13:1-2). People must seek God’s mind not polling data, talking points, debates, etc. Secondly, the one chosen should be one of the people of God. We do not want a pagan to be tasked with enforcing God’s Laws. An unconverted man will not rule in the fear of God. Third, the man must not have any self interest. He must not be seeking personal profit from the job. He must serve for God’s glory and the common good. Fourth, he should not be someone who would lead the people away from God’s commands. Fifth, he should be sexually pure. A man that is swayed by sexual appetite will be swayed from the rest of God’s Law as well. Lastly, the man is to be a student of God’s Law. He must study continually what God has declared to be right and what God has declared to be wrong. He must follow God’s Law and not turn aside from what God has commanded.

Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens: And let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge: so shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee.Exodus 18:21-22

In Exodus 18 we read the rulers are to be able men. That is that they are to be qualified and capable of enforcing God’s law. They must fear God. They must be honest. They must not be greedy and hate the idea of using the position for financial gain.

As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.Isaiah 3:12

Also, only men are to be in positions of governmental authority. It is a shame to a nation when a woman rules.

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