Giving Up Our Moral Authority

This is a follow up to my previous post “For Comfort and Convenience”.  The post was about how the Israelites were willing to give up a piece of their freedom for a king.  They still wanted a king even after being  duly warned by Samuel. They wanted someone to fight their battles, someone to give them comfort and convenience and they were willing to give up a piece of their freedom.

After writing that post, I began to think more about a verse in 1 Samuel 8, verse 7.

And the Lord said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them.

God says, “but they have rejected me from being king over them”.

God had given the Israelites the Law, the Ten Commandments, and God has given man the means to live a life inside those basic rules.  God has given man the means for a spiritual life of well-being, but man still must face toil and hard work to achieve that well-being.

With God being in each of our hearts, and God being king over us, in essence we are each kings over ourselves.  We control our lives and our destiny.  The actions of others do not control us.  How we react to the actions of others is what controls us.  This isn’t always the easiest.  It isn’t always convenient and comfortable to do the right thing and follow the ten basic laws.

God gave the Israelites a series of Judges who were not the moral authority, God was the moral authority.  The Judges were intermediaries to aid in the settlement of disputes and provide leadership when necessary.

But as with all things with man, the Judges became corrupt.  So Israel asked for a king, because they saw that their neighboring lands had one, so why shouldn’t they.  I guess you could say they coveted the monarchs of their neighbors.  And let’s not forget what happens when we covet.

So when God is asked through Samuel to give Israel a king, God is displeased.

What the Israelites are wanting to do is take the moral authority away from God and give it to man, an imperfect and easily corrupted man.  Even the best kings of Israel had suffered from corruption, starting with the first king Saul and the two greatest kings, David and his son Solomon.

I thought about all of this and how it ties into what we still experience today.  Our desire is for leaders who we want to give us comfort and convenience, and we are willing to sacrifice a piece of our freedom for it.

What do we want from these leaders, these modern day want to be kings?

Just like the Israelites we want to give them moral authority.  We pass moral authority onto those who participate in one of the most immoral businesses on earth, politics.

And like many ancient kings and dictators these leaders take this moral authority and presume themselves a modern day god.

There is injustice in the world.  There always has been and always will be.  No one king, president, prime minister, dictator or ruling body will ever change that.  The only thing that changes injustice is the actions by each and every one of us on an individual basis.

How?  By following the basic laws, the Ten Commandments, bestowed upon us by the one true moral authority, God.

It doesn’t matter whether or not you believe in God or believe in the same God, if you and everyone follows those ten basic moral rules and realizes there are consequences (whether or not we understand those consequences) to our actions, then injustice would be defeated.

I had an atheist friend say to me, all religions are basically the same, be nice to one another.

Okay.  But why then will that same person be willing to turn around and tell me that granting our moral authority to a ruling class is what is required to solve injustice in the world, or the country, or the state, or the county, or even the town where you live?

Politics, the ruling class, prey upon covetousness.  They see that someone has more than you, they know you covet, so they tell you vote for me and I will right this injustice.  They tell you turn over moral authority to me and I (who have made countless payoffs, told countless lies and probably broken at least 8 or more of the 10 commandment) will right this injustice.

So, in order to gain perceived comfort and convenience we vote for them.  We say as the Israelites did in 1 Samuel 8:20 “….go out before us and fight our battles.”

Let the leaders make everyone be nice to everyone.  I’m too busy worrying about me and what I don’t have, something someone else must have and because they have it they took my share.

Individuals, each of us, are the only ones who can make a difference.  God gave us this life, the simple list of laws, and the ability to reason and think this through.

No leader, government or organization will ever eliminate injustice, poverty or corruption.  They are human and thus you are giving the moral authority to them.  No matter how benign or benevolent they may be, corruption will find its way in.

With God in our hearts, we are our own king, our good and righteous king.  That is where the true work begins.  That is where evil and corruption are defeated.

© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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