Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.Ecclesiastes 12:13 (King Solomon)
The goal of both Judaism and Christianity is to be obedient not to man or princes or kings or a government, but only to God.
Most have forgotten this fact, but our tradition has a stubborn way of reminding us. Often Christians will say in defense of government: “Jesus said ‘render unto Caesar.'” But this is preposterous. Jesus didn’t want to support Roman oppression. Did Caesar feed the poor? Did he judge the people fairly? And of course, the Romans crucified Jesus. And a few of Jesus’ disciples were once despised tax collectors for Rome. Surely Jesus didn’t support this. Government was an evil to be tolerated and appeased.
Of course, I don’t think government should be abolished overnight. If it takes 20 years that’s fine by me. But ultimately the goal is to be free of it so that we can enjoy both freedom from oppression and freedom from work. This can’t happen under socialism because they believe that work should be spread evenly among the masses and only the bureaucrats should live in luxury and ease as the people toil and massacre beneath them. Whereas under capitalism, the people can amass wealth and use the money not for charity but to retire (and use less carbon and plant trees to reverse global warming). And let others pick up the slack until robots are doing all the work and all men are free.
Jews are generally taught that Judgment Day is a Christian concept. But in fact both King David and King Solomon anticipated its arrival when all people would be judged. This will happen when God’s law and man’s law converge, a process which is rapidly progressing in the USA. When man is obedient only to God’s law, and fears only Him, then we can throw off the yoke of government and return to the Garden of Eden.
King David composed a psalm to celebrate the return of the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem:
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice,1 Chronicles 16:31 (Cf. Psalm 96:11)
and let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!”
Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
let the field exult, and everything in it!
Then shall the trees of the forest sing for joy
before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth.
King David knew that his rule was temporary and only God could judge the people. Similarly his predecessor King Samuel was skeptical of government. The people wanted a king, but Samuel felt they should obey only God’s law:
Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah and said to him, “Behold, you are old and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint for us a king to judge us like all the nations.” But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the Lord. And the Lord said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. According to all the deeds that they have done, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are also doing to you. Now then, obey their voice; only you shall solemnly warn them and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them.”1 Samuel 8:4
Samuel dutifully warned the people of the excesses and abuses of a king, but they persisted in their folly and so we have done unto this day.
The original system of government created by Moses was kitarchy – a Greek word meaning ‘rule by judges’. However this idea didn’t come from God – it came form his father-in-law Jethro. Moses was judging all the people by himself and teaching them the law as he did so. And Jethro saw this was too much work, and suggested a system of government by judges.
So Moses listened to the voice of his father-in-law and did all that he had said. Moses chose able men out of all Israel and made them heads over the people.Exodus 18:24
Thus government is not a divine law, but a convenience that was embraced by the people, as Moses recounted on the eve of the return to the Promised Land:
‘How can I bear by myself the weight and burden of you and your strife? Choose for your tribes wise, understanding, and experienced men, and I will appoint them as your heads.’ And you answered me, ‘The thing that you have spoken is good for us to do.’ So I took the heads of your tribes, wise and experienced men, and set them as heads over you.Deuteronomy 1:12
Thus government isn’t God’s law, but simply a good idea. Another similar ‘good idea’ was when Moses sent scouts into Israel to spy the land, despite God’s instructions:
The thing seemed good to me, and I took twelve men from you, one man from each tribe.Deuteronomy 1:23
The result of this disobedience, of course, was that we were doomed to wander in the desert for 40 years. And let’s not forget the worst ‘good idea’ of them all: the reason we got kicked out of the Garden in the first place.
Just as the sinful scouts kept us out of the Promised Land, so too the kitarchy will block us from the Garden of Eden. We cannot return until we are free of government and are obedient only to God. Moses never made it, but I certainly hope to.
“Know, therefore, that the Lord your God is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness, for you are a stubborn people.”Deuteronomy 9:7