January 16 – Today’s Readings – Genesis 46-48 and Psalms 16
I’m going to divert from my usual style this morning and talk about politics – well not really politics but forms of government. We pride ourselves on our style of government to the point of using it as an excuse to go to war to “help” others see the virtues of democracy. Please don’t misunderstand – democracy is about the best we’ve got, but I quote Sir Winston Churchill who held this view: “It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.” In other words it’s the best of the worst.
Where am I really going with this? Well – we are presented with a form of government under “Prime Minister Joseph of Egypt” that is revolutionary and based almost completely on integrity. Joseph actually facilitated a form of government I would call “a benevolent, sovereign, dictatorship”. First he collected 20% “flat tax” on all the grain (income) in Egypt during the seven good years. Then he sold the same grain back to the people during the seven bad years, taking as payment their money, then their livestock and finally all their land – till everything in Egypt belonged to one man – Pharaoh.
Joseph then said to the people – all you have belongs to Pharaoh – however I would like to give you grain to sow the fields with. Please look after the livestock for Pharaoh. At the end of the year you will pay Pharaoh a 20% flat tax on the production of land and beast – The rest will be yours to prosper with.
Wow wouldn’t it be interesting to live under this “Joseph” kind of government (provided that a righteous, loving, almost perfect ruler presided over everything)? Just imagine – no tax on anything except a 20% flat tax for all! I’m in!
As strange as all this may sound, I believe this model is given to us because it is rather like God’s kingdom reigning in us . All we have – all we are – all we shall ever be is surrendered to the Lord Jesus Christ when He takes His proper place in our lives. He then makes us stewards of “His stuff” till we die or till He returns. Either way, we give an account of our stewardship when we meet Him face to face.
What a great government exists in our hearts! He is the absolute monarch – and we are his loving servants and adopted children! This does make us quite a unique people – we don’t live under democracy after all. All hail King Jesus! – King of Kings – Lord of Lords and benevolent, holy dictator of my life.
1. Please comment on the “benevolent dictatorship” that we Christians live under.
2. It is considered treasonous to acknowledge that you actually belong to a different country when you are already a citizen of a nation. The reason Christians were killed under Caesar was because they boldly declared, “We have no king but Jesus!” Are you prepared to make the same kind of declaration? Please comment.