Understanding of Politics as a form of Righteous Governance with reference to Old Testament Prepared by-Paul Daniel Lakra
The oxford English Dictionary meaning of Politics is sensible and wise in the circumstances. That means analysing a particular environment or situation and deciding the course of action to the extent it is relevant and appropriate. In my study here I have used politics as a form of governance, governance of people, God’s people and as we will proceed I will try to explain the different form of governance in Old Testament Books and later try to put its relevance in Today’s World. The mere relationship of God and his people can be understood by the whole politics of governance so that it can reflect nothing but Obedience of people towards God. God created heaven and earth and the seas and all that is in them and as such has authority over all people and nations and power and principalities and institution which are to be brought into conformity, with his moral will and goodness and grace. “The fall” of man is interpreted in so many terms; however I have used its interpretation as God’s politics. When man was created he was given charge of everything but what was also instructed to man was “you may eat the fruits of any tree in the garden, except the tree that gives knowledge of what is good and bad. You must not eat the fruit of that tree (the tree of knowledge); if you do, you will die that same day”- (Gen 2:16, 17). However we see that he did eat the fruits of that tree and disobey God’s command which results in God’s Judgement and both man and women are sent out of the Garden of Eden. Now here it make me wonder why did this happened if one see God who created everything, who knows everything , then why did God made tree of knowledge and also why this tree’s fruit was prohibited to man plus was God not aware that man will fall under snake influence? While I was thinking about these questions few ideas which made sense to me in understanding the entire event of “The Fall” came in like this, God made man and women “free” to take care of this Earth and gave them the authority to name animals, etc however what was there for God in return since man and women were independent? Therefore to check there Obedience towards the Creator, God instructed them to not eat the fruit from the knowledge tree so that they can follow Gods command. What we see is the concept of politics in the form of governance taking its birth in the creation story governance in the form of following God’s command. Having this understanding of politics as a form of governance we will proceed and see the types of governance the people of Israel had throughout Old Testament. Types of Governance
If we look at the Patriarchal history and move on to the history of God’s people we can see how God makes covenants with his people like (a) not destroying earth by flood (Gen 9:11) and (b) God made covenant with Abraham that he will make him father of Nations (Gen 12:2,3) and the promised land for his chosen people. Therefore here what the understanding comes is that it was primarily God playing role in Nation building and human beings making sure to keep the covenant sacred. Next as we move on in history we see that people of Israel are in slavery in Egypt. God hears the cries of his people and sends Moses to rescue them from Egypt oppression. Now Moses initially is not a confident man however what is interesting to note is how God chose his people to do mighty acts, God’s spirit works in him and we can see in the book of Exodus he and Aaron negotiating Israel release from Egypt and the how God plays his part in the miracles. Second we see Moses guiding thousand of Israelites out of Egypt to the Promised Land. Later we see God sending the Ten Commandments through Moses to dictate people. To put a check on his people so that they realize that they are the chosen people and God is the One there Ruler and...
References: • The Holy Bible, NIV
• Richard Banchkam, The bible in Politics
• Roy B. Zuch, Vital Old testament Issues
• Bangalore Theological Forum Vol. 39/1, June 2007.
• James limburg, The Prophets and the powerless
• John Edmiston, A theology of Politics
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