September 25, 2021
Theocracy Not Democracy
1 Samuel 12:12-13 (KJV) And when ye saw that Nahash the king of the children of Ammon came against you, ye said unto me, Nay; but a king shall reign over us: when the LORD your God was your king. Now therefore behold the king whom ye have chosen, and whom ye have desired! and, behold, the LORD hath set a king over you.
Theocracy is when appointed priests rule in the name of God. This kind of leadership was common in ancient times and is used in areas of this world today. It collectively allows one person to rule over common people. Democracy is a rule by the people, most often carried through by elected officials who elected to carry out the wishes of the people who elected them to a leadership position.
These two positions rest at opposite ends of the meaning of authority. However, each kind of power can be misused and abused. Whether it be theocracy or democracy, twisting can lead to unruly behavior among the people and corruption among its leaders.
Here in this verse above from the book of 1st Samuel, the king was a chosen king. Often ancient kings were appointed by God and not elected by the people. Like today, ancient leadership had both good and evil authority. Some men were godly leaders, while others served the god of this world and led people astray with corrupt initiatives and desires.
God can work through any leadership, with either godly or evil intentions. Today, most places have elected officials elected to serve the people, but some areas still rule by kingship or lineage rather than election by the people’s choice.
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