Though Israel had many kings, they were not the ultimate authorities in the land. Rather, God’s covenant Word reigned supreme. To ensure that, God raised up the prophetic office to counterbalance the office of kingship. That is why for every king there was a prophet or group of prophets ready to hold the king accountable to God’s covenant Word. Both 1 and 2 Kings reveal to us that God’s prophetic word ultimately determined Israel’s history, not the arbitrary words of kings.
The same can be said about America today. Presidents and Supreme Court judges are not the ultimate authorities. The Constitution (which is based on God’s Word) is the supreme law of the land. It is the job of the modern church to hold presidents and judges accountable to the Constitution and God’s Word whenever they deviant from them. The church is the moral conscience of the nation just as the ancient prophets of old were in Israel.
However, the relationship between church and state is nonexistent today. There is a clear moral vacuum in government being filled by immoral ideologies rather than biblical morals. The disconnect between faith and policy is evident. The lie of separation of church and state has deceived many into accepting the removal of Christian influence from government. When in fact, the history of that phrase was to restrict government influence on Christianity. It is impossible to separate government from religion. The state either projects the laws and values of a certain god or the state itself becomes god. To paraphrase RJ Rushdoony, “show me a nation’s laws and I will show you their God.â€
The relationship the church and state need is one similar to the relationship the prophet Samuel had with King Saul three thousand years ago. Although their relationship ultimately soured because of Saul’s disobedience and pride, the model remains true. The church is to influence policy to reflect biblical values, confront government corruption, and rebuke politicians who violate God’s laws. Just as Samuel did with Saul.
Other than having different callings and positions of influence, Samuel and Saul were both Jews who worshiped the same God. Christians must be in both church and state. This kind of relationship will only work today in a Christian nation with a humble government and a bold church. If this relationship is to last, both church and state must worship the same God. The only way to have that is with Christians in government who fear God and respect the church, as well as Christian pastors who fear God and respect the state.
I believe God is going to raise up a breed of prophets to advise, influence, and confront the political powers of this world. These prophets will be known for their supernatural wisdom like Joseph, policymaking like Moses, prophetic accuracy like Samuel, power like Elijah, and moral courage like John the Baptist. Some will even be kings like David. The need has never been greater for bold prophets who will speak God’s word and strong, unwavering kings who will uphold it. It’s time for prophet and king, church and state, to work together to bring back godly laws in the nation.
As 2 Kings 12:2 says, “and Jehoash did what was right in the eyes of the Lord all his days, because Jehoiada the priest instructed him.â€ Let us pray our politicians will be seen as doing what is right in the eyes of the Lord because the Word of God, through the voice of His prophets, instructs them.