Rule by God—The Best Way
THE history of governments makes it evident that imperfect humans cannot properly exercise power over other people. As Lord Acton of England said: “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Thus, as the Bible says: “Man has dominated man to his injury.”—Ecclesiastes 8:9.
Originally, Jehovah God gave man dominion over the animals but not over other humans. God told his first created Son in the heavens: “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness, and let them have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and the domestic animals and all the earth and every moving animal that is moving upon the earth.” (Genesis 1:26) Man’s Creator was his Ruler. How, then, did that change?
When man rebelled in the garden of Eden, he rejected God as his Ruler and has continued to do so since then. (Genesis, chapter 3) This was evident in ancient Israel, a nation that God had chosen as his own. When the Israelites demanded a human king, Jehovah told his prophet Samuel: “It is not you whom they have rejected, but it is I whom they have rejected from being king over them.”—1 Samuel 8:7.
God’s rulership over the Israelites was benevolent. Through his representative Moses, Jehovah gave them a code of laws that showed loving consideration for their welfare. It protected them from many diseases and promoted consideration for the elderly, the widows, and the orphans. The Law required respect for the property of others and honesty in business dealings. It condemned partiality, false testimony, and bribery. God’s rule was truly just and righteous.
Jehovah promised to rule not just Israel but all mankind. He would take away from sinful men the power to rule over other humans and give it to his only-begotten Son. Foretelling this, God said in Ezekiel’s prophecy: “It will certainly become no one’s until he comes who has the legal right, and I must give it to him.”—Ezekiel 21:27.
It was to Jesus Christ that God gave the legal right to rule mankind as a representative of Jehovah’s sovereignty. Because God’s Kingdom through Christ is the best way to rule all mankind, Jesus taught his listeners to pray for it. “You must pray, then, this way,” said Christ: “Our Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified. Let your kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also upon earth.”—Matthew 6:9, 10.
By the way Jesus treated people, he showed what kind of ruler he would be. Christ certainly had compassion, for “on seeing the crowds he felt pity for them, because they were skinned and thrown about like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matthew 9:36) Jesus showed the depth of his love for his followers when he said: “I am giving you a new commandment, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” (John 13:34) He loved people enough to give his life as a ransom. That sacrifice makes it possible for those accepting it to be liberated from sin, sickness, and even death.—1 John 2:1, 2; Revelation 21:1-4.
Foretelling how God’s rule through Jesus Christ would be just, righteous, and peaceful, the prophet Isaiah was inspired to write: “There has been a child born to us, there has been a son given to us; and the princely rule will come to be upon his shoulder. And his name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. To the abundance of the princely rule and to peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and upon his kingdom in order to establish it firmly and to sustain it by means of justice and by means of righteousness, from now on and to time indefinite. The very zeal of Jehovah of armies will do this.”—Isaiah 9:6, 7.
Earthly representatives of God’s rule will be like men who now reflect Jesus’ loving qualities as overseers in the true Christian congregation. Unlike the tyrannical clergy, these men show loving concern for the flock, as did Jesus Christ. Regarding such godly men, the prophet Isaiah wrote: “Look! A king will reign for righteousness itself; and as respects princes, they will rule as princes for justice itself.” (Isaiah 32:1) Such representatives of God’s rulership will also serve divine interests in the new world.—Psalm 45:16.
A Great Change At Hand!
Before God’s Kingdom takes over uncontested rule of mankind, a great change must take place. This change will bring an end to national divisions. Instead of many conflicting human governments, there will be one righteous heavenly government uniting mankind as one people living in peace. Foretelling this, the prophet Daniel wrote: “In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be brought to ruin. And the kingdom itself will not be passed on to any other people. It will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms [human governments], and it itself will stand to times indefinite.”—Daniel 2:44.
God’s rule is the only answer to the governmental problems facing mankind today. The situation in which humans now find themselves threatens their very existence! And there is no human solution that can work. It would be wise, therefore, to pay attention to the Bible’s solution and look forward with confidence to the time not far off when righthearted humans will rejoice under the unchallenged and blessed rule by God.
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“A king will reign for righteousness itself”