Individuals and Nations are Transformed by Biblical Truths
It has been a long observation of mine that many Christians commonly believe that God transforms individuals (and He does). They believe this in relation to spiritual salvation and spiritual sanctification. Yet, many of these same Christians don’t believe that God transforms nations. So, let’s tackle whether or not Biblical Truths transform individuals and nations as we utilize a Biblical Principle philosophy and method for all of life and learning.
The Biblical Truth: The Definition of Nation
Many individuals tend to think of land and people when they hear the word nation. However, as you’ll read in the Biblical worldview definition of nation, you’ll see that it also involves governments.
A body of people inhabiting the same country, or united under the same sovereign or government; as the English nation; the French nation It often happens that many nations are subject to one government; in which case, the word nation usually denotes a body of people speaking the same language, or a body that has formerly been under a distinct government,
-Webster’s 1828 Dictionary
The Biblical Truth: What Is Meant by Governments
It’s quite common for individuals to think of the governing body of a state or nation when they hear the word government. However, the Biblical worldview definition of government means:
Direction; regulation. These precepts will serve for the government of our conduct. Control; restraint. Men are apt to neglect the government of their temper and passions.
The exercise of authority; direction and restraint exercised over the actions of men in communities, societies or states.
The exercise of authority by a parent or householder. Children are often ruined by a neglect of government in parents.
Let family government be like that of our heavenly Father, mild, gentle and affectionate.
-Webster’s 1828 Dictionary
This definition encompasses the individual (self-government), families (family government), and nations (communities, societies or states; public affairs).
Biblical Truth: God Blesses Nations
Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord. . .
-Psalm 33:12a (KJV)
Are you aware that Strong’s entry for “nation” is H1471 – gôy and that it means “nation, people”?
God blesses each sphere of government who chooses to follow His principles/authority:
- the individual (autonomy/self-government)
- families (nations as family government)
- civil governments (nations)
Does this mean that all individuals in civil government need to be Christians? Or, does this mean that we’re talking about re-instituting a theocracy? That’s hardly what it means.
America is considered a Christian nation, not because of how many Christians she has, but because her form of government is Biblical. This has to do entirely with America’s seven basic founding Biblical principles. Since we’re talking about Biblical principles here, they’re applicable to any family government or civil government.
Biblical Truth: The Need to Turn from Wicked Ways
The topic of what is considered wicked can be a tad touchy. But, let’s look to gain a Biblical understanding vs. what ideas we may have conjured up in our own minds about what is and isn’t considered wicked.
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
-2 Chronicles 7:14 (KJV)
What does wicked mean? In short it’s:
[t]he primary sense is to wind and turn, or to depart, to fall away.] Evil in principle or practice; deviating from the divine law; addicted to vice; sinful; immoral. This is a word of comprehensive signification, extending to every thing that is contrary to the moral law, and both to persons and actions. We say, a wicked man, a wicked deed, wicked ways, wicked lives, a wicked heart, wicked designs, wicked works.
Webster’s 1828 Dictionary
Sometimes . . . wickedness is disguised as an angel of light. Wickedness is a twisting of what is true and a falling away from God’s principles. For this reason, it’s imperative that we learn to reason from Biblical principles (truths). God’s principles help us to be discerning. School Choice: the Bottom Line gives an example of a subtle twisting of God’s principles (watch out for tax-funded school choice).
Biblical Truth: King Josiah Applied God’s Word to His Nation
It’s true that contextually 2 Kings is a historical account regarding the tribe of Judah. However, there are principles (general truths) that apply. This is also known as “general equity” (universally applicable principles).
When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his clothes. 12 Then the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam the son of Shaphan, Achbor the son of Micaiah, Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah the king’s servant, saying, 13 “Go, inquire of the Lord for me and for the people and all Judah concerning the words of this book that has been found, for the wrath of the Lord that burns against us is great, because our fathers did not listen to the words of this book, to act in accordance with everything that is written regarding us.”
2 Kings 22:11-13 (NASB)
In this particular, historical account we learn of individual and national reform:
- King Josiah (individual and civil government): Chose to “walk after the Lord, and to keep His commandments, His provisions, and His statutes with all his heart and all his soul, to carry out the words of this covenant that were written in this book.” 2 Kings 23:1-3 (NASB)
- Individuals (autonomy/self-governing bodies): Individuals chose to do so as well, “And all the people entered into the covenant.” 2 Kings 23:3 (NASB)
As a result, society sees a reform because of God’s principles and internal self-government.
Biblical Truth: What Happens When Nations Don’t Serve God
For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted.
-Isaiah 60:12 (KJV)
The further any nation turns away from them, the further its character degrades and goes to waste. Conversely, when God’s principles are honored and applied, individuals in society flourish in more peace and prosperity—this blesses society as a whole.
The Biblical truths covered in this article are:
- “Nations” means all three spheres of government (individual, family, civil).
- God transforms and blesses each of these spheres of government who follow His principles/authority.
- Each sphere of government needs to turn away from wicked ways (as God defines wicked).
- There are consequences when each sphere of government doesn’t serve God.
- Individuals and society as a whole are blessed when God’s principles are honored and applied.