"We don't talk about politics or the Bible" is an often used expression by Christians who want to avoid the real and serious side of life.  If we do not talk about politics and the Bible, we will pass tyranny and immorality to the next generation.  We cannot expect order and purpose in our present lives unless we reflect on the political history of Holy Scripture.  No, your eyes have not deceived you.  The Bible is the best source in creation for studying political theory and civil philosophy.  The Book of Judges is a good example of how much the Bible has to say about politics and civility.  I plan to write a brief commentary on Judges in the future, D.V.

The Book of Judges is a continuation of the history of Israel's conquest and settlement into the land God promised the Israelites.  God commanded the Israelites to occupy the land and exterminate the Cannanite culture and religion, but the Israelites disobeyed God's commandment.  The twelve Israelite tribes found themselves united by a common religious bond, but lacking the strong political and military bond necessary to maintain law and order.  The time of the Judges was fundamentally characterized by the confederation concept.  It was the breakdown of the principle of confederation that caused the people of Israel to desire monarchy.  As always, confusion over issues leads to truncated conclusions.  The Israelites wanted a king like the rest of the nations rather than a King to rule over them spiritually, doctrinally, and morally.

The suppression of God given principles is often the cause of anarchy.  The book of Judges is a masterful expression of just how much human suffering may be derived from the ignorance, abuse, or absence of principles.  Two principles found in the book of Judges should find their way to the top of the agenda of any organization and every person in it.

1.  The civil dimension of life is best ordered by the principle of confederation.

2.  The spiritual dimension is best ordered by the principle of monarchy.

The state and the church are profoundly guilty of either ignoring, abusing, or eliminating these two principles from its life and service.   The restoration of these principles are necessary for maintaining, civil, political, social, economic, cultural, and religious integrity in any society.

The principle of confederation is necessary for independent sovereign communities to remain strong and influential.   The organization of a permanent confederation was the fundamental failure during the time of the Judges.  The confederation principle was applied, but too often local and occasional.  The successful Judges were those who rightly applied the principle of confederation.  Gideon "sent messengers throughout all Manasseh, who also gathered behind him.  He also sent messengers to Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali; and they came up to meet them" (Judges 6:35).  The success of Gideon's campaign is a permanent record to remind us of the principle of confederation. 

The principle of monarchy is necessary for all religious thought and life.  Christians everywhere recognize the crown rights of Jesus Christ as the King of kings.  He has the ultimate sovereign power and authority to govern the affairs of all things.  Christ and Christ alone is the perfect King untainted by sin so that all His judgments are fair.  Yet Christ has appointed rulers for nations and they are all sinful and err to a lesser or greater degree in their judgments.  Such is the reason that in the civil sphere the principle of confederation provides the best in order and harmony.