Returning to Monarchy?

 

benIt was a great concern of Benjamin Franklin’s that, eventually, America would return to monarchical rule. When I first learned of that fact, I was confused. I could not understand why Franklin entertained such a fear, in light of the monumental struggle against a monarchy, only recently survived by the thirteen American colonies in the Revolutionary War. The pieces of such an ominous puzzle eluded me.

Today, I understand. I see how it could conceivably happen.

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Life can be dangerous, and freedom brings with it responsibilities & obligations, perhaps burdens. Even so, who would desire imprisonment instead? Would any one of us choose slavery in its place? A Power timeless and eternal has undertaken to “…bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.” (Isaiah 42:7) A Servant has been sent forth, and a proclamation of liberty has been made. (Isaiah 61:1) While you were held captive, that which was precious to you fell into a state of desolation, and seemed wasted…but a Promise has been sent, to raise up and repair (Isaiah 61:4), even the very years that seemed lost. (Joel 2:25)

Provisions have been made, and are at work today, to set men free, and to keep them free.

I believe that that the United States of America was raised up so that such Provisions could be displayed to humankind, and learned, and lived.

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Monarchy was NOT in the heart of the Lord for His creation. You need to get that fact straight, right from the start. The Lord was looking for willing relationship, for fellowship, with man. Genesis shows us communication between the Creator and the first man & woman (Genesis 3:8-13) Granted, that particular conversation was not a casual social exchange – but it would seem as though perhaps it was part of an accepted, expected routine. Adam and Eve recognized the Lord’s voice; they’d heard it before.

In a previous conversation, the LORD had instructed the man Adam not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. This command was given to Adam because, if he ate of this fruit, he would surely die. He would die. Got that? No shades of gray here. A certain kind of knowledge kills. This is as true today as it was then. God was not trying to rain on Adam’s parade: He was trying to preserve the paradise of their existence from corruption.

Sadly, or so it seems today, such was not to be the case.

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Even if you are not a Bible believing follower of Christ, you probably know this account of what is termed ‘the fall of man’. She ate the forbidden fruit, he ate the forbidden fruit, the LORD confronted them, the LORD cast them out.

At first reading, these actions of what we probably perceive as a displeased God may seem heartless & cruel. But one needs to discern the motive behind them. Because the mans27-th (2) now had the knowledge of good and evil, he, and therefore his progeny & the world they would fashion were in dire trouble. Trouble such as would take millenia to come to pass. Adam could not have imagined it…but the LORD could. Already knowing the atrocities and horrors that mankind would eventually perpetrate upon the earth because of this first error in human judgement, He had to act. He would not allow this catastrophe to run rampant into infinity. A redemptive Plan was begun.

“…and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat , and live forever…the Lord GOD sent him forth from the garden of Eden…” (Genesis 3:22, 23)

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In this account of the Creation, we learn that the crafty serpent lured God’s first couple into partaking of deadly knowledge by introducing doubt – a doubting of the nature of God’s intentions towards man. By skillfully inserting one question, “Yea, hath God said…?”, this diabolical being set in motion a process which still goes on today. and which, when engaged in, brings with it destruction on every scale. He questioned God’s statement, then flat out denied it. Lastly, he lied about God’s intentions with a devious implication. The implication was that their Creator did not want this first couple to know what He knew – not because it might harm them but because He wanted all the attention, all the power. He didn’t want to share. Without actually coming right out & saying so, the serpent painted a picture of God as being petty, jealous & selfish.

In a very short conversation, this beast of the field dismantled Paradise.

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I have always believed that motive is paramount. Often, more so than what you say to me, I want to know your motive. More so than what you do, I want to know why you are doing it. It is way too easy to get caught up in the spider’s web! Where people are concerned, look before you leap…we are needy, selfish, prone to change on the turn of a dime…God, however, is not and does not. It behooves us to learn of Him, so that we may stop doubting. Faith builds up on itself, and results can endure.

Without, however, that enduring trust in God & His motives, man will seek out other ways & means to make their way back to Paradise. We may not realize that is what we’re doing. The problem here is that any other Way will at some point fail you. It will disappoint, it will run out when you need it most. Worst case scenario, it will enslave and kill.

On man’s journeys back to Paradise, he mistakenly sought out monarchy as a means to get there.

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Going back to Biblical times, prior to and during the years of the prophet Samuel, we learn that judges & prophets ruled over the affairs of the people of Israel. They had no earthly king. That was the Plan.

Ushering Samuel in as one who judged over Israel were brutal onslaughts against Israel by the mighty Philistines. The children of Israel pleaded with Samuel to intercede for them to the LORD, for deliverance from this powerful enemy. Long story short, “…Samuel cried unto the LORD for Israel; and the LORD heard him…and they {the Philistines} were smitten before Israel…so the Philistines were subdued, and they came no more unto the coast of Israel…all the days of Samuel.” (1 Samuel 7:9,10,13) From that point on, Samuel was the man.  He judged Israel until his death.

It appears to me to be a case of ‘we, the people’ seeking out a leader, who was NOT a king. Rather, this leader acknowledged, worshipped & served Another, the King of all the earth. And it sounds like it worked out very well.

What changed?

As he grew old, Samuel appointed his two sons as judges, also. They, as it turned out, craved money. They “took bribes, and perverted jundgment.” (1 Samuel 8:3) (Does this sound at all familiar?) Distressed by this shift in leadership style, the elders of the tribe decided a regular king (more government?  Big government?) would be the answer. Despite Samuel’s resistance and the LORD’s detailed warnings, they persisted, and got their way.

According to these Scriptures in 1 Samuel, by desiring an earthly king, Israel was rejecting the kingship of the LORD. In doing so, though they thought that such a course of action would bring peace & prosperity, the Israelites were in fact setting themselves up for servitude (v.17). They were inviting many an evil king to sit on their throne, as Bible history shows us.

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At root, then, it appears that a love of money was the catalyst toward monarchy. Seems absurdly simple, doesn’t it? Well…“the love of money is the root of all evil…” (1 Timothy 6:10). And, if this was true in ancient Israel, it is just as likely to have been true in the days of America’s Founding. I take you back to my opening statement regarding Benjamin Franklin’s serious concerns about the new young nation returning to monarchy. Impressively, Franklin cites this very same cause. He “…foresaw the possibility of profit in public office becoming the means by which an American monarchy could arise.” He could envision “…an executive with monarchical powers.” (Skousen, Cleon W. The 5000 Year Leap: A MiracleThat Changed the World)  Franklin believed, as did George Washington & Alexander Hamilton, that men tend to progress towards either anarchy or tyranny/kingly government, and that a king – a single leader in charge – is thought by the people to somehow ensure equality. If the people think a king can ensure their safety & well-being, and choose him over the true King’s provisions of these things – and you have avaricious men seeking such offices because they offer ‘honor’ (power) and high salaries (power) – talk about hand-in-glove!

Or talk about history repeating itself.

Jefferson - Machinery of Govt. (2)

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How ‘full circle’ it becomes!  A destructive love of money lays the path & fosters the conditions towards monarchy, which office is fulfilled & perpetuated by such a one in whom that same passion dwells. Franklin, while knowing that his belief was unrealistic, nevertheless advocated that public office not be an office of profit. That way, the right men with the right motives would be the ones occupying governing positions.

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Optimistically, however, Franklin concluded that his opinion of his country and her citizens was such that there would always be “…a sufficient number of wise and good men…to execute well and faithfully…” such offices. (Smyth, Albert H., ed., Writings of Benjamin Franklin) Thank God for faithful men & women, and for those (though perhaps few) who yet remain with the heart of a patriot.  Faith only as small as a mustard seed can move mountains.

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