“All the Israelites complained about Moses and Aaron, and the whole community told them, ‘If only we had died in the land of Egypt, or if only we had died in this wilderness! Why is the Lord bringing us into this land to die by the sword? Our wives and little children will become plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?’ So they said to one another, ‘Let’s appoint a leader and go back to Egypt.’” Numbers 14:2-4
It is a common misunderstanding that the United States is a democracy. It is not. The United States is a republic with a democratically elected government. The difference between a republic and a pure democracy is simple. A pure democracy is basically “mob rule.” Whatever the majority group members decide, with no governing principles to override the group, the majority wins.
A republic may hold democratic elections but is based on foundational creeds and principles, which may override the mob. Our republic is based on a constitution that outlines and protects fundamental human rights. These “rights” were written down by our country’s founding fathers…written as they saw fit, themselves being primarily Christians who were personally governed by the ten commandments. Throughout the generations, no matter how the public opinion sways, our country’s actions, and decisions must be governed by the constitution…and its course altered if found in contempt of it.
For instance, in the “Wild West,” if someone were accused of a crime, a lynch mob would form to hunt that person down and hang him without trial. Then came frontier justice and circuit-riding judges who stood between the accused and the mob. A fair trial is based on evidence, weighed against the law as upheld by the constitution.
As long as men are willing to abide by the foundational principles supporting our constitution, the United States should fare well…primarily because those foundational constitutional principles are the ten commandments!
For Israel, things were not much different. Theirs was a Theocracy (God-centered government), not a republic…but the basic standards were similar with two exceptions: 1) Only one religion was tolerated. 2) Leaders were chosen by God instead of by the people.
God’s commandments acted as their “constitution,” so to speak. If Israel chose to follow the Lord and live within His commands, following His lead, things would go well. But when Israel decided not to trust God and His leader, Moses, their natural inclination was to “…appoint a leader and go back to Egypt.”
No matter where we live or under what form of government we may find ourselves, it is always incumbent upon us to seek and follow the Lord and His Word, first and foremost.
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