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Page 340


 

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.

For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:

For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.

Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.

For this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.

Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.

- Romans 13:1-7

The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.

- II Samuel 23:3

And said to the judges, Take heed what ye do: for ye judge not for man, but for the LORD, who is with you in the judgment.

- II Chronicles 19:6

 

words, and actions in our homes, churches, institutions, and civil governments. In this manner, we are to live in an indirect theocracy - one in which God rules through His Word. Those to whom He has delegated authority to rule in each sphere of life are to rule according to the teachings of His Word. Civil legislation is to be adapted to the present-day circumstances and needs of our society, but all societal legislation and enforcement are not to contradict God's moral law. Our civil legislation should reflect the principles developed in God's civil law for Israel.

    In Exodus, we read of the following civil law for Israel:

    If an ox gore a man or a woman, that they die: then the ox shall be surely stoned, and his flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox shall be quit.

    But if the ox were wont to push with his horn in time past, and it hath been testified to his owner, and he hath not kept him in, but that he hath killed a man or a woman; the ox shall be stoned, and his owner also shall be put to death.

    If there be laid on him a sum of money, then he shall give for the ransom of his life whatsoever is laid upon him.

    Whether he have gored a son, or have gored a daughter, according to this judgment shall it be done unto him.

    - Exodus 21:28-31

    This Old Testament civil law would not literally apply to current civil laws in our society, but the principles taught in it do apply. How would you relate the principles of this Old Testament civil law to a person who causes a serious accident due to his car brakes suddenly and unexpectedly failing, or to one who was knowingly driving a car with brakes that frequently failed?


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