As Ronald Reagan once quipped, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.’” This was not an anti-government quip. It was an anti-big government quip. The Founding Fathers established the American experiment as a government “Of the people, by the people and for the people.” They could not have foreseen the bureaucratic behemoth their simple design would become.
On the last day of the Constitutional Convention, September 18, 1787, Benjamin Franklin was asked if we got a republic or a monarchy. He is quoted as saying, “A republic, if you can keep it.” Instead of a monarchy ruling over the people, the members of the Convention demonstrated respect for the new nation’s citizens by granting them responsibility for keeping the republic.
Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah’ and they said to him, “Behold, you have grown old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint a king for us to judge us like all the nations.” – 1Samuel 8:4-5. “Now appoint a king for us.” – This was a displeasing statement to Samuel. He tried to warn the people how a king would take property, tax the population and essentially enslave them to service for the kingdom. Instead of each man and family turning to God and accepting responsibility to live under God’s Law, they would become dependent on the king, not God. This would be inconsistent with God’s desire and displease Him. Regardless, the people insisted on having a king over them, and a king they got – King Saul. Then King David, followed by King Solomon, and so on. With each king the people became more dependent on the ‘state’ and less dependent on the one True God. It followed that the people started worshipping other gods that validated their feelings and desires. God’s Law was stored away in the Temple. Similarly, today in these United States we are becoming more dependent on the ‘state’ and not on God. Many look to gods of entertainment, media and government to validate feelings and relative truths. The Bible is stored away in churches. The charge for dads today is to step into the responsibility of keeping this republic, to lead under the absolute Truth that is God’s Word.
King Josiah is a good example to follow. When the Book of the Law was found in the Temple and read in the presence of the king, Josiah became aware of how far the nation had drifted from the one True God. He stepped into the responsibility of leading his people under the Law – read 2Kings 22 and 23 for the rest of the story. The United States has drifted from its founding and the people have abdicated much to the government. The call is for each dad to become a modern-day Josiah – to stop the drift and step into the responsibility of leading under the Word of God. Grounding in absolute truth will raise a generation able to deal with feelings and discern right from wrong.
Prayer guide: Father, thank You for Your word and the opportunity to represent You in family. I confess I have been passive as the nation has drifted to other gods that validate feelings and relative truths. Forgive me. I accept responsibility for where we are and ask for strength as a modern-day Josiah, to return to You with all my heart and all my soul and with all my might according to all of Your word. That is the dad You call me to be and that’s the dad kids across this nation need to see. Amen.
A faithful father embraces responsibility and leads as a modern-day Josiah.