Types of Governments in the Bible

One of the most successful form of government in modern days is Democracy where people choose their own leaders. Abraham Lincoln famously quoted government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. But what form of government does the Bible say will not perish?

Isa 9:6-7 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

Dan 2:44 “And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.

The only government that will not have an end is God’s Kingdom ruled by Christ the King (John 18:36-37) which is theocracy. In this blog, we will look into some of the types of governments mentioned in the Bible.

Theocracy

holyholies

1Sam 12:12 “And when you saw that Nahash king of the Ammonites came against you, you said to me, ‘No, but a king shall reign over us,’ when the LORD your God was your king.

When God brought the children of Israel into the promised land, there was no king. God Himself was their King. Theocracy was the best form of Government which God always intended for His people as we see in Torah.

Judg 21:25 In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.

It is important to note that the time of theocracy in the history of Israel is also the period of Judges when people did what was right in their own eyes. This is because, while God was their King and He had already given rules to follow, there was no godly king who can rule them over to guide them like a human king would do.

Monarchy

1Sam 8:22 So the LORD said to Samuel, “Heed their voice, and make them a king.” And Samuel said to the men of Israel, “Every man go to his city.”

The people rebelled against God and He allowed Israelites to have a king reign over them rather than God.

1 Sam 8:11-17 And he said, “This will be the behavior of the king who will reign over you: He will take your sons and appoint them for his own chariots and to be his horsemen, and some will run before his chariots. He will appoint captains over his thousands and captains over his fifties, will set some to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and some to make his weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers, cooks, and bakers. And he will take the best of your fields, your vineyards, and your olive groves, and give them to his servants. He will take a tenth of your grain and your vintage, and give it to his officers and servants. And he will take your male servants, your female servants, your finest young men, and your donkeys, and put them to his work. He will take a tenth of your sheep. And you will be his servants.

God gives 7 reasons to Samuel for him to explain to the people why monarchy is not best for the children of Israel.

  1. He will take your sons and appoint them for his own chariots and to be his horsemen, and some will run before his chariots.
  2. He will appoint captains over his thousands and captains over his fifties, will set some to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and some to make his weapons of war and equipment for his chariots.
  3. He will take your daughters to be perfumers, cooks, and bakers.
  4. He will take the best of your fields, your vineyards, and your olive groves, and give them to his servants.
  5. He will take a tenth of your grain and your vintage, and give it to his officers and servants.
  6. He will take your male servants, your female servants, your finest young men, and your donkeys, and put them to his work.
  7. He will take a tenth of your sheep. And you will be his servants.

Monarchy by itself is not bad. If you look into the reasons why Monarchy is bad, it depends on the king. Monarchy is so good if ruled by a king like David of united Israel who walked according to God’s own heart, yet horrible if ruled by a king like Manasseh of Judah who even sacrificed his own sons to idols.

Isa 9:6-7 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

God was looking for a king who will take care of His people and guide them but not store up things for himself or make use of His people for the comfort of Himself. He found none. Hence, God came down in flesh to be that King. When Jews where expecting a King, a ruler who will defeat the Romans and the other oppressors of Israel, they got a suffering King who gave His own life for His people. While Israel was thinking and focusing of their own salvation, God’s plan is far bigger that by His death and rising again, He defeated death itself providing a plan of salvation for all people. Now, the King who is Jesus Christ promises us a new Kingdom that will have no end. But the King went to the Father teaching us how to live and will return at the end of days.

Communism

Communism is a theory or system of social organization in which all property is owned by the community and each person contributes and receives according to their ability and needs.

Acts 2:44-47 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

The early church actually followed Christian communism. It was taught by Jesus to share our wealth with the poor (Matt 19:21), care for each other’s needs (Matt 25:31-46) and live in harmony by loving one another (John 13:34) as one body of Christ. This is the form of government Christians are called to follow by having Christ as their King, yet obeying any form of government or rulers under which they are in this world.

Matt 13:38 “The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one.

Rom 13:1-2 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.

Christians belong to a kingdom that is not of this world. Until the kingdoms of this world becomes God’s kingdom, we are instructed by Jesus and Apostles to follow Christian Communism by sharing our wealth with poor, not by force but willingly and obey any government or authority of the land they live in.We are called to be ambassadors of God’s Kingdom whereever we live except without diplomatic immunity.

Democracy

A government that is ruled by the people where rulers are usually elected is called democracy. This sounds great for people because they can choose their own leaders now. What does the Bible say about democracy?

Gen 11:4 And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.”

The people said to themselves: Let us:

  1. Build ourselves a city
  2. Build a tower whose top is in heavens
  3. Make a name for ourselves

What exactly did God commanded Noah?

Gen 9:1 So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.

Instead of filling the earth, (Noah’s descendants) the people wanted to be gathered together for making a name for themselves, breaking the first commandment given to Noah and his sons after the flood.

Exod 32:1 Now when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, the people gathered together to Aaron, and said to him, “Come, make us gods that shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.”

When Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, the people made a golden calf as a god for themselves, rejecting the one true God of Israel.

Mark 15:11-13,15 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd, so that he should rather release Barabbas to them. Pilate answered and said to them again, “What then do you want me to do with Him whom you call the King of the Jews?” So they cried out again, “Crucify Him!” … So Pilate, wanting to gratify the crowd, released Barabbas to them; and he delivered Jesus, after he had scourged Him, to be crucified.

Pilate crucified Jesus Christ not because of the Jewish priests but to satisfy the crowd, a decision by the people.

  • Democracy is for the people just like the people in Babel who to build a city for themselves, a tower and create a name for themselves, being together ignoring God’s commands.
  • Democracy is by the people just like the ancient Israelites who created a golden calf as a god for themselves.
  • Democracy is of the people who are ready to even reject their own savior and Messiah.

Democracy is acceptable only when most of the nation is godly and following God’s commandments and they would elect a godly person. No one can expect a ruler like King David being elected from the land of Sodom.

Jude 1:4 For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.

There is no democracy anywhere within Christianity. These some men are actively using democracy in several denominations to introduce abominations, converting the grace of God to lewdness (or license to sin), calling themsevles as Christians while denying Him in their life.

Conclusion

The time of theocracy in the history of Israel is when God Himself was the King of Israel. It was also the period of Judges when people did what was right in their own eyes. This is because, while God was their King and had already given rules to follow, there was no godly king who can rule them over to guide them like a human king would do. Hence, God Himself came down in flesh to be that King to save His people. He promised a new Kingdom where we are called to be ambassadors of God while living in this world under the authority of the rulers of the land but without diplomatic immunity. While we live as ambassadors of Him in this word, we are called to be Christian communists, sharing our wealth with the poor and taking care of each other. Democracy is for the people, by the people and of the people, where people will take care of themselves which had never been good in the Bible. For by Jesus Christ all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.