A Biblical Mandate to Lead in Government

People desire good leaders in places of power, but will settle for terrible leaders in the absence of righteous ones. There is a Biblical mandate for good leadership in government.

In the book of Judges, there is a strong parable that displays the principle of good leadership in government. The current political structure was a simple one: a group of judges that handled judicial matters for the people. But, they all served one king: the Lord Almighty. They didn't need a bureaucratic government structure when their leader was the maker of Heaven and Earth.

Gideon, a prophet and judge for the Israelites, whom the people loved and respected, dies at a ripe, old age. Scripture tells us he was very fruitful, and had over 70 sons. He also had a son with one of his concubines, and he was named Abimelech. After the death of Gideon, the people go into chaos, unsure of what to do. Abimelech took advantage of this, and began to campaign for the people to make him king over them in the absence of Gideon. Abimelech was the embodiment of a reckless, evil man who desired power. He went on to kill all 70 of his brothers to consolidate power.

Jotham, the youngest brother, hid himself and was not killed. The following parable is him speaking to the Israelites for their decision to name Abimelech ruler over them.

Judges 9:8-15: 

One day the trees went out to anoint a king for themselves. They said to the olive tree, ‘Be our king.’ “But the olive tree answered, ‘Should I give up my oil, by which both gods and humans are honored, to hold sway over the trees?’ “Next, the trees said to the fig tree, ‘Come and be our king.’ “But the fig tree replied, ‘Should I give up my fruit, so good and sweet, to hold sway over the trees?’ “Then the trees said to the vine, ‘Come and be our king.’ “But the vine answered, ‘Should I give up my wine, which cheers both gods and humans, to hold sway over the trees?’ “Finally all the trees said to the thornbush, ‘Come and be our king.’ “The thornbush said to the trees, ‘If you really want to anoint me king over you, come and take refuge in my shade; but if not, then let fire come out of the thornbush and consume the cedars of Lebanon!’

The people (trees in the parable) started with an olive tree, but the olive tree had no desire to lead, so the moved to a fig tree, and then to a vine, and finally to a thornbursh.

Because the anointed did not step up into a place of leadership, a wicked, evil man took power, and thousands died as a result of the communities complacency.

How many times in an election season do you hear "Just choose the less of the two evils." That statement should not be common rhetoric in an election if godly, righteous men and women were running, but they're not.

other biblical mandates to run for office

  • Jeremiah 29:7 -- But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.
There is much debate in the Church from a theological perspective on if Scripture directly calls for Christians to run office. While there is debate, one thing is certain: we are suppose to bring heaven to earth. When Jesus said to go into all the world, he meant ALL the world, including government.