The administration of society by those in power. The form varies greatly from village assemblies, heads of familial and tribal associations, intertribal judges, and theocratic kings to worldly emperors with their representatives (procurators or subordinate kings) and local councils (e.g., the Sanhedrin). The purpose and dangers of government, however, receive attention particularly in relationship to the king. Government, uniquely representing God, the ultimate source of justice (Ps 72:1-4; Rom 13:1; Rom 13:4), is responsible for justice for the weak (1Kgs 10:9; Prov 31:8-9; Ezek 34:1-6; Ezek 34:23; even secular governments: Dan 4:27). Executing justice requires power (Ps 101:1; Ps 101:5; Ps 101:8; conversely, Isa 3:4-5). Government needs limits; rule is a function, not a status or class (Deut 17:14-20). The people are not mere subjects, but are also participants, even in the covenantal aspects of kingship (2Kgs 11:17; 2Kgs 23:1-3).
Prayer for Guidance and Support for the King
1Give the king your justice, O God,
and your righteousness to a king's son.2May he judge your people wi ... View more
Being Subject to Authorities
1Let every person be subject to the governing authorities; for there is no authority except from God, and those authorities that ex ... View more
4for it is God's servant for your good. But if you do what is wrong, you should be afraid, for the authority does not bear the sword in vain! It is the servant ... View more
9Blessed be the Lord your God, who has delighted in you and set you on the throne of Israel! Because the Lord loved Israel forever, he has made you king to exec ... View more
8Speak out for those who cannot speak,
for the rights of all the destitute.9Speak out, judge righteously,
defend the rights of the poor and needy.
Israel's False Shepherds
1The word of the Lord came to me:2Mortal, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel: prophesy, and say to them—to the shepherds: Thus sa ... View more
23I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd.
27Therefore, O king, may my counsel be acceptable to you: atone for your sins with righteousness, and your iniquities with mercy to the oppressed, so that your ... View more
A Sovereign's Pledge of Integrity and Justice
Of David. A Psalm.
1I will sing of loyalty and of justice;
to you, O Lord, I will sing.
5One who secretly slanders a neighbor
I will destroy.
A haughty look and an arrogant heart
I will not tolerate.
8Morning by morning I will destroy
all the wicked in the land,
cutting off all evildoers
from the city of the Lord.
4And I will make boys their princes,
and babes shall rule over them.5The people will be oppressed,
everyone by another
and everyone by a neighbor;
the youth wil ... View more
Limitations of Royal Authority
14When you have come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you, and have taken possession of it and settled in it, and y ... View more
17Jehoiada made a covenant between the Lord and the king and people, that they should be the Lord's people; also between the king and the people.
1Then the king directed that all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem should be gathered to him.2The king went up to the house of the Lord, an ... View more