God save the King!: Does God matter in the governance of nations?

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance (Psalm 33:12 KJV)

The death of Queen Elizabeth II, and the proclamation of Charles III as the new monarch of the UK, has given Ghanaians a rare knowledge of the ceremonies that go into the installation of a King. When King Charles III had been proclaimed King, then I heard the famous declaration: “God save the King”! (1 Kings 1:39-40)

What is there about a King that the British should invoke God’s protection on him? Do the British believe God has any stake in the governance of their nation? If they do, in what ways do they acknowledge God in the daily affairs of their government? In fact, these questions apply to any nation that proclaims belief in God.

So, we shall attempt to answer the question posed above. Our reference material is the Holy Bible, the eminent text book on governance. The topic requires many pages, but I shall be brief, and expect readers to contribute.

Let’s start off with the sovereignty of God. God says at Jeremiah 27:5: “I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are upon the ground, by my great power and by my outstretched arm, and have given it unto whom it seemed meet unto me”. We learn that the “Most High divided to the nations their inheritance” (Deuteronomy 32:8), and “He increases the nations, and destroys them: he enlarges the nations, and straitens them again.” (Job 12:23). God also “removeth kings, and setteth up kings” (Daniel 2:21).

Narratives

Going through the historical narratives in the Bible, we have some major events that illustrate God’s sovereign power in determining the fortunes of nations.

• God founded ancient Israel after the exodus, after sojourning in Egypt for 430 years (Exodus 12:40)

• God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19)

• God deposed Saul and made David King of Israel (2 Samuel 5:1-3)

• God divided Israel into two kingdoms in or about 930 BC: Israel in the north, with Jeroboam as king, and Judah in the south, with Rehoboam as king (1 Kings 11:43-46)

• God established King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon (605-562 BC) and deployed him to punish and conquer Judah (2 Kings 25: 1-10)

• God used king Shalmaneser V of Assyria (726–722 B.C.), to punish and conquer Israel (2 Kings 17: 5-6, 23).

• God fulfilled prophecy by using the generations of Ephraim, son of Joseph, to establish Great Britain and its Commonwealth of Nations (Genesis 48:19)

• God established the United States of America from Manasseh, son of Joseph, in fulfilment of prophecy (Genesis 48:19)
These historical events unmistakably place God at the centre of affairs of humanity.

God chose ancient Israel as a model nation to represent what I shall describe as a relational paradigm between God and humanity. Put differently, from the nature of relations that God established with Israel, teaching them His laws and commands, the dos and don’ts of governance, along with the rights attending to those prescriptions, the rewards of obedience, and the sanctions of disobedience, we could infer what God would do in the life of any other nation that follows or departs from His laws and commands.

Basically, ALL earthly governments have been established as instruments for the governance of nations, and the authority springs from God.

Romans 13: 1-3 says: “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgement on themselves. 3. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong.”

Within the compass of a nation, therefore, the entire spectrum of laws required for the utmost protection, growth, prosperity, creativity and holiness of a nation, and harmonious relationship with God, is made available for deployment. We have laws and commands on the following: environmental consciousness (Deut 20: 19); commercial practices (Lev 19:35-36); political leadership (Pro 16:12)’; judicial functions (Zech 7:9-10); social mission (Is 58:6-8 ); inter-personal relations (Ephesians 4:25-32); personal morality (Ex 23:8); direct relationship with God (Ex 34:14); personal empowerment (Phil 4:8); personal health (Lev 7:23). There are many, many more.

When a nation follows the laws and commands, as illustrated, benefits flow (Deut 28:1-14); when they disregard or spurn the laws and commands, sanctions follow (Deut 28:15-67).

However, advances made in space exploration, telecommunications, nano-technology, nuclear science, medicine and growth in material wealth and higher standards of living, have given humanity a conceited notion of their abilities and seeming independence to act out their will.

Climate

I dare say that whereas to many scientists and climatologists, the recent climatic disasters are the results of man’s misuse of the environment, in deed, they reflect God’s wrath against humanity for the wanton and contemptuous disregard of His laws and commands. Godlessness is on the increase, and it is fashionable, and intellectually attractive; to wit: transgenderism, tattooing, pedophilism, homosexuality, religious fundamentalism, otherwise known as jihadism, repression of religious freedom, and suppression of human rights.

Consequently, the wild fires that devastated huge tracts of forests in Australia, California, Greece, France, Turkey and Brazil, were without precedent (Eze 20:47-48); and so the severe typhoons and floods that inundated nations such as Pakistan, Philippines, Florida, India, Somali, and Haiti. Covid-19 came and is still with us (Deut 28:59). Drought in Sudan has decimated much livestock and persons (Deut 28:23-24). Now, we have war between Russia and Ukraine.

God cannot be wished away in the affairs of nations; and, a wise statesman that recognised and acknowledged God, Abraham Lincoln, US President, said:

It is the duty of nations as well as of men, to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions, in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognise the sublime truth announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord. (“Call for a National Fast Day,” 30 March, 1863).

I shall conclude and say that man did not create himself; God created the universe and made man (Psalm 100:3). Man is therefore accountable to God. It is dutiful for the governments of the world to evaluate their performances in light of the laws and commands that God has made in the Bible, and in the holy scriptures of other religions. So long as we turn our back on Him, to such extent would He also remove His grace from our lives, and the global calamities that we see is proof that God rules in the affairs of man, and is keen on good governance.

Source:  Ahumah Ocansey

The writer is a lawyer. E-mail: akwesihu@yahoo.com

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