Genesis 2:15-17 – “Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. 16 The LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” NASB
If you refuse to be ‘self-governed’ you virtually ask to become a slave. Robert C. Winthrop (1852) said, “Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled, either by a power within them or by a power without them; either by the Word of God or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible or by the bayonet.”
I believe God desires that we follow ‘Biblical Self-Government’ in all aspects of our lives. What is Biblical Self-Government you might ask? Simply it is the desire and ability to willingly submit to God-given authority without being forced, coerced, or constantly reminded to do so.
I believe this is evidenced in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. Their refusal to be ‘self-governed’ by what God said to them resulted in their being expelled from the Garden. Remember God placed no fence or guard at the ‘Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil’ but simply gave a prohibition to Adam not to eat from it. The temptation and deception of Eve and subsequently Adam resulted in their expulsion from the Garden and God placed a guard at the gate with a flaming sword to prevent them from entering again. Since Adam demonstrated he could not be trusted God set up a means to restrain him.
When Israel came into the Promised Land they had no king, no parliament, no president, and no emperor to rule them only the Law of God. They had been systematically taught the Law by Moses and those he trained and appointed to teach them. They understood the principles and rules of how to deal justly with others in personal, private, social, business, and religious dealings. Yet, later under the Judges they rejected God’s way and wanted the way of the world in seeking to have a king appointed over them. God gave them a stern warning and appealed to them to return to allowing Him to govern them, through ‘self-government’ but they refused, and we know the heartaches that transpired and the history.
If we fail to allow the Holy Spirit to instill in our hearts the “Law of Life” from God’s Word, we will never be able to live truly free and be governed by God in ‘self-government.’ We will find that the tug of the world will override the principles of the Bible and moral rightness. In that situation ‘you will be governed’ but not by God or internally, it will be by an external power and force that may or may not follow or recognize God. As for me and my house, we desire to be ruled by the Word and Law of God and thereby able to live peaceable in a Free Society.
God bless you as you go through your day!