What Makes Nations Work
Government Gone Bad
How environment can make a break a wealth creator • August 16, 2018 • Benham Brothers
* This verse shows the importance of good government. * A hardworking productive person can have their stuff taken away by a bad government. * The role of government is to praise the good and punish the wicked. * They do this so that we can have an environment that allows us to flourish. * As Christians we need to concern ourselves with discipling nations, not just people. * This means we have to be involved in shaping our environment so people can flourish. * Example - if you started a business in America you can make a lot of money. * But if you started the same business in North Korea there’s no chance.
God the Governor
How God gives us authority to govern • January 7, 2016 • Benham Brothers
• God forms and fills everything for man to govern the world we live in. • The world needed order first - then we could have dominion. • LIGHT has to come first - this is God’s presence. • Light did two things: • 1) SEPARATION - Holy means “set apart” - like a chocolate chip. • 2) GOVERN - the sun, moon, and stars are used to govern. • vs 22 - The first blessing - taking part in creation. • vs 28 - The difference in this blessing is that we have the authority to govern.
Justice and Covenant
How abusing the covenant leads to injustice • January 18, 2018 • Benham Brothers
* Gross sin demands justice. * Jacob’s sons were justified in their anger - justice needed to be served. * But they went about it in the wrong way. * When injustice happens we can rely on God or man. * You can go through God’s channel of justice or take matters into your own hands. * Jacob’s sons did the latter and it ended up badly for everyone. * The same is happening today - young kids demand justice but they’re going about it the wrong way. * They aren’t interested in justice according to God, but their own idea of what’s right. * So they’re looting cities and tearing down monuments. * vs 15-17 - ** when you are bent on your own form of justice it leads to the greatest injustice ** * Jacob’s sons used the sign of God’s covenant to kill innocent people. * Circumcision was God’s sign of peace with the Israelites, but it was now used selfishly to bully others. * Think about today - what’s the rainbow? * A sign of God’s covenant (peace with mankind). * How is it being used? To bully people. * God’s special covenant is being used wrongfully because of a cry for justice. * A cry for justice can only be quenched by a God who is just.
The Foundation for Civil Government
What God's command to Noah shows us about government • January 10, 2019 • Benham Brothers
* God had just given Noah instructions that he could eat animals, but he gave rules regarding it (don’t eat with the blood - vs 3-6). * God gave him rules on personal government before civil government. * One of the first blessings God gave to man was to involve him in the process of bringing life into the world. * After God reset the world by the Flood, God involved man in the process of removing life from the world. * Why? * So that people would honor life (murder was rampant before the flood). * Killing a human was a denial of the image of God and did violence to God Himself. * How would they remove life? * Through civil government. * Government is made for the orderly conduct of man in a fallen world. * It’s role is to punish those who do evil and praise those who do good (1 Peter 2:14). * Why government? To protect life. * God initiated government with a man who had a righteous heart (Proverbs 29:2). * It was Noah’s responsibility to pass government down so everyone would know it’s role. * Personal government is the foundation for civil government. * Moses simply codified civil government.
Sheep and Goat Nations
What is the difference between the two? • January 26, 2017 • Benham Brothers
* Here in this verse Jacob blesses the king of Egypt. * Hundreds of years later in the book of Exodus we see Moses essentially cursing Pharaoh. * What was the difference? * Matthew 25:32-33 - “All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.” * Individually, a sheep is a believer and a goat is a non-believer. * But what makes a sheep nation or goat nation? * The way they treat the people of God. * In Jacob’s time Pharaoh and the Egyptians were favorable toward God’s people - this put them in the position to receive God’s blessing. * In Moses’ time Pharaoh and the Egyptians treated God’s people poorly - this put them in the path of God’s curse. * America has gone from a sheep nation to a goat nation, but change is in the air!
How Justice is Perverted
Two ways to rob people of justice • February 27, 2016 • Benham Brothers
• True justice stands outside our emotions. • Our hearts naturally gravitate toward certain people at certain times. • If we give in to our emotions then justice will be perverted. • To "pervert" something means that it's not being used according to it's original intention. • Sex - you can still have it with a same sex partner, but that's not its original intent - it's perverted. • The original intent of justice is to keep people moving toward God - but you can only do that by OBEDIENCE to His Law. • The only way to do this is to look at the sin and not the sinner. • If you look at the sinner you'll make the wrong decision. • Justice is perverted when: • 1) You show favoritism to the poor. • 2) You show favoritism to the rich. • The word "fairness" is used a lot when justice is perverted. • Justice is meant to lead people to God so that He can have mercy! • This is how mercy triumphs over justice. • But if justice is perverted then everyone will miss God's mercy.
A look at an early activist and how God dealt with him • March 9, 2017 • Benham Brothers
* Korah was a community organizer. * Community organizers blame leaders for everything and are always looking for systemic change. * Community organizer’s are experts at playing on peoples’ fears. * The only way a person can be under the control of a community organizer is when they fear man more than God. * The devil is one who never lets a good crisis go to waste. * The punishment of Korah was that he lost his life along with his entire family. * You can always recognize a CO when a crisis occurs - what are they crying for? * They’re always crying against leaders, for external change, but never toward individuals for internal change.
A Blessed Nation
How can we gain God's favor as a nation? • February 28, 2017 • Benham Brothers
* Psalms 33:12 - “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” * God blesses people individually when He blesses nations corporately. * If a nation makes God its Lord, the citizens will be blessed. * In America, look how many other religions can exist here in freedom because we were established as one nation under God. * What does it mean for a nation to make God Lord? * It means to operate under His authority. * America is “one nation under God.” * The founders put us under God’s authority - He gave us rights and the govt protects those rights. * This leads to freedom for everyone - even those who hate God.
Blessings and Curses
Lessons from George Washington • March 23, 2017 • Benham Brothers
* vs 1 - George Washington had the Bible open to this chapter when he placed his hand on it to be sworn in as our first president. * God is an “if / then” God - we have a part to play. * Whether we experience the blessings or curses is our choice. * vs 15 - God’s love is unconditional, but His favor is conditioned on our obedience. * He wants to shower us with blessings, but it’s our choice. * vs 20 & 63 - God Himself becomes our enemy. * I tell my kids I can be their best friend or their enemy, it depends on them. * vs 47-48 - Obedience requires more than just doing the right thing - you have to do it with the right heart. * vs 64-67 - Moses ends with a small list of things they would experience if they didn’t obey the Lord: * 1) They would constantly be out of place (vs 64) - never feeling “at home” anywhere. * 2) They’ll worship the wrong gods (vs 64) - other gods will replace the true God. * 3) They would have no rest (vs 65) - constantly be striving, exhausted in every way. * 4) They would be anxious (vs 65) - constantly stressed-out about everything. * 5) They would be filled with want (vs 65) - wanting stuff would be their way of life. * 6) They would be void of hope (vs 65) - always feeling hopeless. * 7) They would be fearful (vs 66) - always wondering what was going to happen and afraid of the results. * 8) They would lack certainty (vs 66) - never sure of themselves, always questioning. * 9) They would lack contentment (vs 67) - never satisfied with where they are or what they have.
Church and State
The role of the church in the nation • July 14, 2016 • Benham Brothers
• King Artaxerxes of Persia gave tax exempt status to the Levites thousands of years ago! • He saw such value in “the church” and Ezra its representative that he gave him authority to appoint all the governing officials in Israel. • That would be like the president asking Franklin Graham to appoint the congress and supreme court. • The church was valuable and the government of Persia recognized it as such. • The Bible was the most quoted source by the founding fathers at the Constitutional Convention in 1787. • They saw the church playing a valuable role in society and in the development of a new nation. • Why? Because their new form of civil gov was based on self gov - the church was the one who would teach people to properly govern themselves. • In the preamble - “promote the general welfare” - people were to “provide” their own welfare and the church helped them do it. • States started passing tax-exempt status’s for churches, and they were using the extra $$ to build hospitals, schools, community centers, and to help the poor, etc. • But the church started using $$ to build big buildings for itself, government took over - it now “provides” welfare. • We need the church to be more valuable to society once again.
Three things we must do when a nation has sinned • July 14, 2016 • Benham Brothers
• The Jews had intermarried with the other nations, which was direct disobedience to God. • When Ezra found out about it he called for public repentance. • Why? Because it was a sin taking place in his nation and it wasn’t being dealt with - it was seen as “ok” in the culture. • Nehemiah 1:4-7 - the walls were broken down and Jewish culture was a disaster. • He saw the condition of Jerusalem as God’s punishment for the nation of Israel. • Nehemiah and Ezra prayed, “our sins….” they recognized there are two sins that require repentance - personal sin and national sin. • How do you know it’s national sin? When what God calls sin is tolerated and/or celebrated. • God deals with national sin by national punishment - enemies rule over us, justice trampled in the streets, bloodshed follows bloodshed, violence of unprecedented order, etc. • We need to do three things: • 1) Repent personally. • 2) Repent as a nation - starts in the house of God. • 3) Tear down the high places - the things that are abominations to God.
The Importance of History
A look into why and how to keep our nation blessed • July 21, 2016 • Benham Brothers
• This entire Psalm gives us a picture of the importance of knowing our history. • History is “HIS” story - it’s all about seeing God’s hands working in the world. • vs 1-8 show the importance of remembering your history, vs 9-11 shows what happens if you don’t. • If you forget you won’t fight. • Two things have to happen before a new worldview can overtake the existing one: • 1) Words have to be redefined. • 2) History has to be re-written - this is happening in America. • With history, you have to remember the good (vs 12-16) AND the bad (vs 17-22). • Remembering the good inspires you to act courageously and reminds you of God’s greatness. • Remembering the bad keeps you humble and reminds you of God’s mercy. • It would be wrong to judge an adult on the basis of what they did when they were 12. • We need to be like the men of Issachar, not the men of Ephraim. • Both of them had history, but only one of them could see God’s hand in it.
A message for our nation today • September 29, 2016 • Benham Brothers
• These three verses are exactly what America needs to hear today. • It’s getting so dark, but God is telling us to WAKE UP & BE LIGHT! • These are commands given to the church. • God then tells us why we should do this in verse 2 - “For your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.” • Christ is our light and He’s in us to shine through us. • The result? Nations and those in authority over nations will see our light and come to it. • This signifies the growth of the church throughout history.
Reforming a Nation
A lesson from history on national renewal • August 7, 2014 • Benham Brothers
God had spoken 2 Chronicles 7:14 to Solomon years before, and now we get a glimpse into what this looks like in real life. vs 5-6 - The peace of the city had been replaced with violence (sound like a public school to you?). vs 7 - God promised a reward if Asa remained faithful to Him (in the next chapter we see him aiming for the reward and not God). vs 8 - Asa responded by "doing" something (3 parts to prayer - Keep Watch, Pray, Get Up And Do Something!). 1) He removed what was evil - he got rid of idols (anything that stands in the way of God, even good things!). 2) He restored what was good - he brought back true worship so they couldn't worship however they saw fit. This wasn't just creating good culture, but reinstituting that which drew people toward God. vs 9 - He gathered them for a solemn assembly. Note - many non-Jews wanted to become Jews at this time, not because of Asa's cool programs but by his spirit - they saw him as someone whom had the presence of God on him - this is the Law of Attraction. How did Asa manifest God's Spirt? 1) Resisted Evil 2) Restored Good. vs 10-11 - They sacrificed abundantly to God - people were getting right with God! vs 12-14 - They entered back into the covenant God had made with His people because they sought Him with their WHOLE heart. The covenant still existed but they had voluntarily walked away from it, but by their repentance they were back in. vs 15 - God gave them rest. The peace of God inside you will manifest itself outside you. What happens internally will manifest itself externally, so if we want peace in our land it starts with us! 2 Chronicles 31:1-2: When Hezekiah's assembly was over they went and tore down anything that stood between them and God. He then restored that which needed to be restored (the duties and roles of the Levites). This is what reformation "looks like." It doesn't end with the prayer.