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Some time ago men who envisioned a land in which people could feel free wrote some powerful sounding words that have rung loudly through the last couple of hundred years. In the constitution of the United States of America it was stated that the government was to be of the people, for the people and by the people. That vision has been carried on into the nations of the Commonwealth and all nations that deem to be democratic in structure. Others had tried forms of democracy but it was an elusive dream for many. Abraham Lincoln made a statement at the Gettysburg address that captured the meaning and words of the hope of the common man. In his Nov.19th 1864 speech at Gettysburg, Abraham Lincoln said: "Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal." He went on to summarize the hope by saying: "that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." It was to be a land governed by the will of the majority of the people, run by those select from among the people and designed to benefit all people. It was to take many years before women could take part in this new idea and slavery had to be ended.
The words are often repeated but citizens of democratic nations have found out that it is a constant struggle to live up to those words. Politics is dominated by wealthy, powerful and influential people. Abraham Lincoln was one of the greatest presidents of the United States and was loved by many and hated by many. He was assassinated not long after giving the speech. We try to make light of the attempts to gain influence and dominance when we say: "Politics makes strange bedfellows." What we mean is that people engaged in the powerful positions of running our nations will make strange and seemingly unlikely alliances just to remain in power and maintain control. Democracy is not a wonderfully nice clean and morally upright state of affairs and never has been. What was envisioned was lofty and had the potential of making the nation great for all - large and small - of different races and of different cultures. It was expected that the different races and cultures would blend together into a single minded nation where equality would be the rule and respect would be given to everyone. This is still the hope and dream of the "little" man in our lands. It is a lofty ideal and one well worth working toward, but the reality that is in our lands almost 175 years later shows the need for more work. We cannot say all are involved, all benefit and all serve.
Politics in our democratic society is an ugly necessity, many feel. Jawaharial Nehru of India stated: "Democracy is good. I say this because other systems are worse." Some have been exceedingly generous and open minded, some have acted like the good Samaritan of Luke 10. Some have sacrificed and curbed their own desires so as to allow others to have a voice. But always there has to be decisions made and those decisions often favour some but are difficult for others. In a democracy there is an attempt to satisfy the majority. It is to be a government based on the wishes of the people by leaders chosen by the people and with plans for the benefit of all the people. On a few occasions and for what seems like a short period of time, some of our nations have developed an environment that is as pleasant as it can be for any nation run by humans. But humans change. Often people who are seeking power say the right things and have a roster of charitable deeds that seems to reflect a genuine care, while in truth they are only one of the rungs of the ladder of success.
There are some that God appointed and blessed with every gift possible but who changed as time passed. Three notables would be King Saul, King David and King Solomon. King Saul did good things as long as he remained humble and "little" in his own sight. But that changed as his successes grew (I Sam. 15:17). King David did great things and was specially anointed by God, but he too came to the point where the laws of God which were vital for everyone else could be excused for him (2 Sam. 11:26,27). King Solomon was offered the ability to be the greatest and most beloved King, but his choices led to religious confusion in Israel, high taxes and a failure to maintain the level of government that the Queen of Sheba admired (I Kings 10:6,7). These and other leaders ended up forcing their own will on the people and the land suffered. We sometimes hear of a "benevolent" dictator and those words sound hopeful, but usually as the person changes or dies and others take over, things change. Powerful men also seem to want to put a dynasty in place so succeeding rulers are of the same family. This leads to intrigue and sometimes murder as rival brothers seem to feel murder is not a heinous crime if it means they may rule. In democratic nations, corruption, power and control are still present in the minds of the leaders.
Citizens of democratic nations know that government is still the rule of the powerful and contains corruption and intrigue. It is not as beautiful as it was hoped to be. But in human terms, it is still the best as at least there is some involvement by the people. Of, by and for are words our leaders use, but in practice are often set aside. Political leaders are convinced they know what is best for our nation.
The concept of "of, by and for" is a concept that can be found in the Bible when it pertains to the One who truly is going to rule forever in a manner that is perfect and flawless. It will be a government that is for the people and He Himself was of the people. God gave His only begotten Son for the people. He is developing godly spiritual children in His likeness (I John 3:2). All will be kings and priests (Rev. 5:10) and all will make decisions together for the incredible future growth of a Kingdom that will never end (Luke 1:33). It is hard to imagine a government in which everybody will totally agree with every decision as though it was his own. Citizens will have ownership in that Kingdom and will therefore be dedicated to its continual growth and improvement for every being in that realm. Paul noted it was a joint inheritance which means everyone has a say in decisions made (Rom. 8:17). His ruler will be through partners who will never disagree on what is right because all will know there is only one right. In the final phase of God's plan, the government will be on the shoulders of Christ (Isa. 9:6).
There will always be God the Father to whom Jesus Christ is subject (I Cor. 15:28) All others will be subject to them. Yet submission with the meaning of doing something because it is the will of the majority as democracy directs will not exist because nobody will be in disagreement with any plan that is put forth. When agreement is always total and each member knows and agrees with the one single truth and right way, decisions will never conflict with one another. There will be no dissenters in the Kingdom because nobody will object. All will agree and be part of each future project. Spirit beings have a different form of communication than we humans. In God's Kingdom, all will be spirit beings. That is hard to grasp for us, but under those circumstances, government will be planned by everyone (of) enacted and supported by everyone (by) and a benefit to everyone (for). We humans can dream of the best form of government but cannot achieve it. God will make dreams come true. His dreams will become our dreams.