We are by now familiar with the list of tyrannies that the new King would impose upon the people (1 Sam. 8): conscription for military service and civil service, a military-industrial complex, taxation, confiscation of property, slavery, etc. What we learn from the following two chapters is the defective type of man who is right for that job, and the obstinacy of a population who looks past his folly, the certainty of tyranny, and cheers him on. In brief, 1 Samuel 9–10 is a snapshot of fallen man ascending to political leadership. As such, we also have a snapshot of modern politics.
In chapters 9 and 10, we are given an introduction to Saul. We learn several attributes about the young man who is about to ascend to the Israeli throne, few of which are flattering. Several of these vignettes reveal character traits that set the stage for all the tyranny, tragedy, and crime we know is coming in the following chapters.
The consummate politician
To begin with, we learn that the majority of Saul’s appeal was outward. And indeed, judging by outward appearances only, Saul was the greatest man in all of Israel. In 9:1, we learn that Saul comes from great stock. His father was a man of wealth. There is question among the commentators whether the word for “wealth” here (chayil) should be translated “wealth” (as in Deut. 8:18) or “strength” (as in 1 Sam. 2:4). It can mean both, and both may very well apply in this case. What is not in dispute is that Saul was quite a physical specimen: he was a handsome young man. There was not a man among the people of Israel more handsome than he. From his shoulders upward he was taller than any of the people (9:2). This guy was the quarterback, the prom king, the star of the show. He had a commanding presence: he drew all eyes when he entered the room. For a nation in search of a king who would lead them into battle and be a symbol of national greatness, Saul was just the guy who looked the part.
Second, we get an insight into Saul’s self-concern. While out seeking for his father’s lost asses, after a few days he abandons the search. Why? He grows concerned that his father might be missing him: Come, let us go back, lest my father cease to care about the donkeys and become anxious about us (9:5). This is a bit opaque, but shows Saul’s self-centeredness in seed form. He had traveled no more than ten miles—long by modern standards, but less than a full day’s walk. It’s plausible a father would get concerned, but with Saul being the biggest guy on the block, that seems a little unlikely. Rather, as we see revealed clearer in later passages, Saul was self-absorbed in a big way. Even when his open rebellion becomes clear and he is rejected as being king over Israel, Saul will prove to be concerned primarily with his own image, not losing his standing before the people: “I have sinned; yet honor me now before the elders of my people and before Israel, and return with me, that I may bow before the LORD your God” (1 Sam. 15:30). As commentator John Gill puts it: “he seemed more concerned for the loss of honour and reputation with the people, than for his sin against God, which is always the case of hypocrites.” He ends selfish because he began selfish. And this theme will dominate the narratives of Saul until his death in chapter 31. The idea that his father would eventually begin to worry was not inaccurate (10:2), but that Saul would quit in the middle of his task and default to this concern is a little telling.
Almost as an aside, we have a wonderful poetic image given to us in the side-plot of Saul hunting for the herd of asses. In the literary sense, the addition of this detail in the story seems only to explain why Saul journeyed to Zuph to begin with. But at another level, it is at least tempting if not correct to see here an image of the stubborn flock of God who had just rejected Him in favor of a king like other nations, and their soon-to-be king Saul was sent out looking for his father’s flock. Instead of flock of sheep, however, they were a herd of stubborn asses.
Thus when Saul converses with Samuel for the first time, Samuel essentially says, “Hey, don’t worry about the donkeys you’re looking for,” for they have been found (9:20). The actual donkeys had been found, so this was a literal revelation from Samuel and would serve as a sign to Saul of the divine veracity of Samuel’s message. But it is also getting further mileage out of the “God’s stiffnecked, stubborn people” motif: “Looking for a flock of asses, Saul? Look no further.” And what would be unstated but implied in that is: “You are about to be made King of the Asses.” Not only was it a fact, spiritually speaking, but Saul would prove to be just the man for the job.
Third, it appears Saul was something of a liar. In this case it was in an attempt to appear humble. When Samuel reveals to Saul that all Israel is waiting for him, Saul replies in disbelief: is not my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? (9:21). Yet we have already learned that his father was a great and powerful man (9:1), likely wealthy. There seems to be a conflict in the details here, and we know we should trust God’s description rather than Saul’s own. As we shall see later on more than one occasion, Saul has a loose relationship with the truth. In chapter 15, we see Saul’s consummate sin of disobedience against God: he fails to carry out God’s command to anywhere near its fullness, but instead follows his own judgment and spares king Agag and the best of the cattle. It is the very sin for which God rejects Saul from remaining as king. And yet when he meets Samuel he reports boastfully, “I have performed the commandment of the LORD” (1 Sam. 15:13). It was an outright lie. There will be others, some of which lead to outright murder. Here we see Saul’s tendency to falsehood at the outset.
Fourth, despite his great stature and presence, Saul turns out to be a coward who runs from his political calling. Even after being legitimately anointed by Samuel, even after divine signs confirming that calling for Saul, and even after God’s Spirit making Saul a “new man” (10:6), when it comes time to stand and acknowledge that calling and be consecrated before the assembled nation, Saul is not to be found. He’s gone. Everyone is at a loss for Saul’s whereabouts. After consulting with the Lord, it is revealed that Saul is hiding among the stuff (KJV), or the baggage (ESV) (10:22).
So then, in these two chapters we learn that Saul outwardly was tall and handsome, but inwardly was self-centered, a liar, and a coward. In short, he was the consummate politician. As such also, Saul was the perfect representative of the type of king Israel had imagined. He was all outward show and strength, but inwardly he was morally bankrupt. He had high esteem for himself and no faith in God. So it was with Israel trusting in military strength to secure their nation: strong on the outside, but inwardly faithless. Indeed, “the war horse is a false hope for salvation” (Psa. 33:17).
Another characteristic highlighted here especially is Saul’s deep-seated unbelief. While giving outward assent to the truth he was told, and while even experiencing a renovation by the Spirit of God in some way, we learn that he could not bring himself to submit to the Word of God. This is apparent in two ways:
He was a man who needed signs in addition to the simple Word in order to believe. Samuel had told Saul outright that he was chosen for a special calling (9:20). Samuel had invited Saul to an exclusive feast, and had given him the priest’s portion (his own) of meat (9:19, 24). These things alone, coming from the prophet Samuel, should have been enough to convince Saul of the sincerity of his word. Samuel went even further and held private counsel with Saul to make known to you the word of God (9:27). Yet Saul had expressed skepticism. He apparently persisted in this to some degree, for Samuel goes on to provide not only one but three divine signs to confirm the veracity of the Word to Saul. These included predicting beforehand the meeting with two men who had found the asses (10:2), a second meeting with three men who would greet Saul with bread and wine, and finally a meeting among God’s prophets in which the Holy Spirit would engage Saul himself and he would prophesy. Should not the Word of God alone be sufficient for us to believe? It is all that would be required for David later (16:13). Yet Samuel (or God Himself) apparently judged that Saul needed more than this.
Consider Jesus’ discussion with the Pharisees who demanded a sign of Him: “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign” (Matt. 12:39). And consider His teaching to the 5,000 whom He had just fed: “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. . . . But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe” (John 6:26, 36). Indeed, as Jesus teaches elsewhere, if a man cannot simply believe the Law and Prophets concerning Jesus, neither will he believe even if he witnesses a miracle, even resurrection (Luke 16:29–31).
So the inclusion of so many signs seems to be a witness against Saul rather than a normal confirmatory process on God’s part. Not only had the Word been given to Him clearly, but once all these signs came to pass that day (10:9), Saul stood even more decidedly without excuse to believe it. We will see this as well emerge as a theme for Saul: no matter how much divine favor is shown to Saul, he can never quite bring himself fully to obey God’s Word. This is to say that he never truly believes God’s Word to begin with.
Even these signs were not enough for Saul. Even after these signs were miraculously revealed and fulfilled, Saul suppressed his new calling. This indicates that he had not yet accepted it in his heart. This appears also in two ways. First, he refuses to tell the matter to his uncle, and second, he hides from his own coronation. On the first part, we see Saul go through a radical spiritual experience in which he ends up joining the company of prophets and prophesying under the influence of the Spirit. This incident became known and rumors began to spread among those who knew Saul. When Saul was later questioned about his journey by his uncle, it had become known at least that Saul had been with Samuel (10:15). But when questioned about what Samuel had told him, Saul revealed only the mundane matter about the finding of the asses. But about the matter of the kingdom . . . he did not tell him anything (10:16). From this we can deduce that Saul was afraid to publish the matter. But this is more than mere fearfulness. Having had Samuel’s Word and all of the divine signs come to pass, shouldn’t Saul have been quite persuaded that a Spirit-driven, life-changing event had just occurred with him? And yet he refuses to tell it.
While Saul’s behavior was not lying, and is thus not censurable on that ground, it was definitely failing to tell the whole truth. Sometimes there are wise reasons for not revealing a whole matter, but sometimes there is a personal agenda. This, I believe, is one of those times, especially considering the nature of the calling Saul received. He would be king. If true (and certainly Saul knew it would come true) he was going to have to reveal it sooner or later. He was going to have to face the music. But he kept it to himself. In this context, this shows that Saul had not really accepted the truth of God’s revelation to him through Samuel.
The fact that he had not accepted the truth of this calling is only further confirmed by his attempt to hide during the assembly. Despite all that God had said and shown to Saul, and despite the experience of the Spirit Himself, Saul acted in disobedience and disbelief. Had he accepted the truth of the Word, he would have known there was no possible way to hide from God. God will bring His will to pass.
A Wicked Contrast
At this point, Samuel warns the nation once again of the grave decision they were making. They were literally rejecting God in setting up their new king over them:
And he said to the people of Israel, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘I brought up Israel out of Egypt, and I delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of all the kingdoms that were oppressing you.’ But today you have rejected your God, who saves you from all your calamities and your distresses, and you have said to him, ‘Set a king over us’” (1 Sam. 10:18–19).
Indeed, they were rejecting the God who had delivered and protected them from slavery, and were embracing a government that was destined to bring them back into slavery and poverty—all in the name of national security. Indeed, it was this God alone who was able to spare them from the very misery they desired to overcome.
And yet, ironically, it was at this very point that the nation which had rejected God had to turn to God for help. The people trusted in a military hero, so as Samuel had them draw near for Saul’s coronation, he had them line up according to their thousands—in other words, in battle array (Num. 1:16; 10:4; 31:14). They apparently drew lots to demonstrate the divine origin of the choice of Saul. Yet when it finally fell upon Saul, he was nowhere to be found. The people’s great new courageous war-king had failed them even before he was coroneted! Having their chosen government of fallen man fail them, they were forced by necessity to turn to God for help—help in finding out where that new king was hiding. God had to have been laughing at this point (Psa. 2:4). The great leader who was supposedly going to protect Israel and save her from all her enemies was hiding in fear of his calling. Israel had to rely upon the God they rejected in order to find their cowering hero. This is a foreshadowing of what was to come. Ultimately, human leadership will fail and the people will be forced once again to flee to God for help.
Despite God’s illustrated sermon on Saul’s cowardice, the Israelites wanted their hero anyway. When Saul was brought forth, his stature was of note among the people (10:23), who were certainly in awe of their new king. Samuel announced the obvious (almost certainly mockingly to some degree), There is none like him among all the people (10:24). The people, wowed, shouted, Long live the king! Samuel then dumped cold water on the party, repeating the way of the king (same phrase, essentially, as in 1 Sam. 8:9, 11)—the tyranny that was about to come through this man—and writing it in a book as a witness against the people.
So what do you have here? You have a people moved by fear of terrorist attacks, and by this fear are moved to demand an aggressive national military leader (8:20) contrary to God’s command (Deut. 17, 22), fashioned after the standards of the very pagans they condemned. This pro-war, pro-military desire on the part of the people God considered a complete rejection of His rule. Yet when a self-centered, lying, cheating, coward comes along whose only asset is his appearance, this people spontaneously burst into a praise chorus, “Long live the king!” Despite an imminent warning of tyranny and slavery from the only person in the whole nation who had never said anything that didn’t come to pass (3:19; 9:6), and despite the whole nation assembled having witnessed that very king caught hiding from them when duty called, the nation could not praise his advent loudly enough.
What you have here is a wicked contrast of that king to the power of the God they had rejected. With this, implicitly, comes a contrast between faithfulness and stubborn foolishness among the people. A faithful people would have had no need for such a king, only God’s Word and God’s rule over them. Yet these people wanted that warlord. Despite God showing them in no uncertain terms what a failure Saul was from the start, the people still demanded all the more. This was foolishness in the service of stubborn delusion. Indeed, the asses had been found. Israel was once again proving itself to be a stiffnecked people (Ex. 32:9; Deut. 9:6, 13; Acts 7:51).
The rise of cynicism
While this whole story carries portents of the long-term failure and judgment into which Saul would eventually lead the nation, we must briefly note that even under a king the nation still had the opportunity to be faithful to God and lead a godly existence. This will be clear in chapter 12 when Samuel reconstitutes the nation under Saul’s rule. He will say, “If you will fear the LORD and serve him and obey his voice and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, and if both you and the king who reigns over you will follow the LORD your God, it will be well” (1 Sam. 12:14). So the ascension of Saul to the throne was not necessarily the end of all hope.
Yet we see that there were some sons of Belial or worthless fellows here who did seem to lose all hope. These allowed their criticism of the new government to drive them all the way into raw cynicism. They despised Saul and said, “How can this man save us?” (10:27). They had properly assessed Saul, no doubt. But there reaction of ugly despair was just as blameworthy as the super-patrio-militarism of their neighbors: they were judging their nation by the man instead of God’s Law and promises. This is the point where faithlessness leads to cynicism, because the object of one’s trust is in man not God. In such a case, when the man fails, all hope must go down with him. In this setting, no matter how conservative one is, or how much one claims to believe in “liberty” so-called, trust in man will become just as destructive as it would had it been under statism.
When a faithful person meets tyranny, they plan and work for its end. But if your faith is in man and his devices, the continual failures of fallen human government will tend to drag you toward cynicism. This is something that the text calls worthless, even though some of its practitioners may offer some sound political commentary with which we might agree and which we might find helpful. Even so, we must remain wary of where this particular humanistic path leads. God does not respect the total despising of government altogether, for like statism, it is a rejection of Him.
1. We must judge statesmen by God’s Law, nothing else
The Israelites were in awe of Saul because of his appearance despite the fact that nearly every other attribute of his was negative and ungodly. Likewise in our day and age, people give allegiance to particular political candidates for all kinds of unbiblical reasons. Worse yet, they are not only unbiblical, but often frivolous and laughably vain. This is a malady that, sadly, plagues both left and right. Leftists can support tyrants for all sorts of reasons, as we well know: often as do-gooders wanting to save the poor, educate the children, and give equality to minorities. They usually end up giving unequal rights to perverts and criminals in the name of equality, and redistributing wealth at gunpoint in the name of Christian charity. It is easy enough to see the folly of these things. But conservatives—who often pretend they are immune from endorsing socialism and tyrants for the sole reason that they are not Democrats—are often just as guilty. Conservatives will support humanists and cultists—all of whom are statists—often simply because they are not Democrats and because they look electable. Such is one of the great evils of our current two-party system: it allows humanists to continue in office, even under the guise of “conservative” and “family values,” and yet said conservatives have nothing close to a biblical worldview. In this process, Christians are cajoled and bullied into supporting political representatives who are actually pagans. In addition, more biblical candidates are routinely denied because they are allegedly “unelectable,” “don’t look presidential,” or a number of other compromises that are unacceptable according to God’s standard. Even if the criticisms based upon outward appearance and speech are true, they do not justify the level of compromise many of the other candidates in question would require.
There is a particular irrationality that attends allegiance to political solutions and political heroes. God put this lesson of Saul here for us all to see and learn. It applies just as much today as it did 3,000 years ago. God has revealed to us a government and a way of life that is peaceful, prosperous, free, and which safeguards both liberty and safety (defense) in His Law. But we continually reject that way—even when the choice is before us—in exchange for a police state and a foreign policy of war and fear. We break every law God gave against a strong central government (Deut. 17:15–20), and we are too often totally oblivious to the tyranny and slavery under which we have lived for decades. Our written histories center on political personalities and the wars we’ve fought, and by these we define the greatness of a nation. We thus judge political candidates by their stage presence, and dismiss their many failures according to God’s Law in order to maintain the possibility of election victory. This is pride in man speaking, not faith in God.
I once heard a woman—the wife of a military man—on a news panel one day scoffing at a particular candidate for president because of his outward appearance. She said he had no “command presence,” and just couldn’t imagine him as “commander in chief” because she could not picture him leading an army. Well, Saul had quite a command presence, didn’t he? He had such an overwhelming command presence that no one could compare to him, right? And how did that work out? Worse yet, the whole idea of a “king” to “fight our battles” God saw as a rejection of Him, totally. That decision in Samuel’s generation led to a militarized state which slowly, steadily declined until Babylon. So much for that “command presence.” It took over 400 years for this process to complete, but it was the inevitable result of rejecting God’s revealed society in exchange for the false safety of a strong military and aggressive foreign policy.
God held out the possibility that the nation could continue under His favor, even after selecting a king, if the people and government would abide by His laws. This must be our only criteria for judging statesmen at all levels. We have to quit being awed and swayed by Reagan’s rugged manliness, Clinton’s smoothness, Al Gore’s kissing his wife, the impressions that a particular candidate is a “fine man,” Obama’s skin color, etc. None of these things means anything when judged from a biblical perspective. No outward measure means anything from God’s perspective. The King whom God would eventually choose was David, and David at the time was a rosy-cheeked teenager. Some of our rather remarkable statesmen have been the shortest, quietest, most non-descript of men: James Madison standing at 5’4”, and Martin Van Buren about the same—hardly a “command presence.” Jesus Himself “ had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him” (Isa. 53:2). What is it with alleged Christian conservatives today that they so often endorse men according to faithless and pagan criteria, and so often reject sound biblical criteria, for the selection of leaders?
Christians must return to God’s Word for their standards not only of personal morality, but also political leadership. In the face of all the temptations in modern society to judge according to outward appearances, and to be willfully deceived in that regard, Christians have the choice before them to judge according to God’s Law, or to join the herd of the stiffnecked asses led by the likes of Saul.
2. Christians must beware of cynicism
Christians, especially those of us who do fancy more principled standards for candidates, must guard against the temptations of cynicism. Among its other attributes, cynicism is hopelessness in regard to social progress. Under the guise of political commentary and critique, it writes off political and social action. The original “cynic” philosophers in ancient Greece rejected all social conventions and moral standards and ended up living in the streets. Thus the name, “cynics,” which comes from the Greek word for “dogs.” Some, but not all, flaunted their rejection of social mores by going so far as to eat raw meat and even allegedly have sex in public. While this may sound like a far stretch as far as something for which we need to warn modern Christian voters, the principle involved is the issue, even if not the degree to which we indulge in it. The principle of which to beware is the type of trust in man that drives us into despair for society when the men fail.
I see this as a particular problem for Christians in the broader “Liberty” movement, for these tend to have stricter criteria in areas where politicians most often fail: fiscal issues, deficit spending, the Federal Reserve, logrolling, compromises of constitutional privacy, warmongering. The constant failures by what is a vast majority of officials in these areas are enough to demoralize a liberty-minded activist or volunteer and lead them to reject the whole process altogether. More often than not, however, political cynicism among these types manifests as a whiny cliquishness and self-righteous intellectualism. Among the most popular libertarian websites I see a tendency toward constant complaining nearly void of any positive injunction, planning, blueprints for freedom, or encouragement. With this stream of critique comes that self-righteous spirit of the Pharisee who despised the “publican,” praying, “God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector” (Luke 18:11). Yet Jesus said that the repentant tax collector was justified before God and the Pharisee who touted his superior lifestyle was not. And in our narrative here, God calls such political critics worthless, for among other things, they do nothing but tear others down, have no vision for the future, do not trust in God themselves, and provide nothing positive for the fight for liberty. Let this be a lesson to those of us who are so often tempted to despise our political leaders in such a way as to quietly exalt ourselves in our hearts because, after all, we’ve read Hayek or Rushdoony, while those fat souls in the seats of power do nothing but wield dirty tricks to stymie our righteous voices and refuse even to read what we know is the true path to liberty.
So what should the outspoken, hyper-critical Joel McDurmons of society do at such a point? How should the theocratic, “libertarian,” small-staters who see the handwriting on the wall react? They should simply remain faithful to God, stick to their jobs, stick to their callings, build networks, work for reform wherever possible, teach others, and remain patient. They should work patiently and faithfully within the system, within the Law, and within their communities and churches to return the nation to repentance and restore it to godly government. Yes, there are many legitimate cases of establishment party leaders and others using absolutely corrupt tactics. Many of these are professing Christians. But it will be difficult for you to persuade a necessary majority when you lump everyone who is not you into a category of critique, exalt yourself, and look down your nose at them. Even if they have treated you poorly in the past, you will not make progress by badgering them. Keep cool: “Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding” (Prov. 17:27). You have to have calm, kind, persuasion with persistent, tireless, dedicated faithfulness, or else it is worthless in the eyes of God. And without God’s favor, nothing can prosper. Let us not put ourselves in a position to lose the one absolutely necessary thing we need to prosper.
Traditional conservatives are hardly immune from cynicism themselves. If the liberty-patriot’s tendency is toward self-righteous cliquishness, the traditional conservative’s cynicism manifests as inaction and retreatism. Among Bible-belt conservatives, much of this originates with pessimistic eschatology. Neither premillennialists (of all forms) nor amillennialists believe in godly social progress before the return of Christ, and these two schools include 95 percent or more of modern Christians. Yet, many of these Christians take up seats in political parties. By virtue of their inherent pessimism in regard to social improvement (as measured by God’s Law), they refuse to plan and work for it. Their contribution to politics becomes an attempt to impose a holding action against liberalism. But this stifles the march toward true liberty as well.
According to the most popular view, the world must devolve gradually into corruption and evil before the return and rule of Christ can begin. Thus, conservatives who believe this accept the gradual decline of society as a welcome part of their Christian expectations. It is prophecy fulfilled, God’s will, the way things must be.
Such a Christian must, even if subconsciously or secretly, love and embrace—earnestly desire—the advance of the police state, socialism, liberalism, homosexual marriage, “gay rights,” abortion, economic crisis, inflation, the Federal Reserve, war, natural disasters, radical Muslim immigration, and indeed the entire evisceration, decline, fall, destruction and utter desolation of the United States of America. While obviously they would be personally opposed to all of these things, such Christians must of doctrinal necessity appreciate the advance of these things in the public square. For the worse things get, the closer we must be to Jesus coming back.
Worse yet, any earnest effort to halt such things, especially politically, is judged as at best naïve, and at worst an attempt to thwart the will of God by the “works of man.” Such Christians believe that greater liberty is not possible before Christ returns. They thus welcome statism and reject efforts to roll back tyranny. This plays into the hands of establishment Republicans and neoconservatives who believe in a form of fascism, who use language of traditional family values and pro-Israel eschatology to court the evangelical vote, and yet who are themselves often not only not Christian, but are in fact quite hostile to Christianity. With this political marriage, many traditional conservatives are led to view the “libertarian” element in their party with a hostility that breeds misrepresentation, guilt-by-association name-calling, labeling, scapegoating, and other forms of false-witness, among other things. Thus can eschatology become an impediment and enemy to freedom in our time.
I say, such an eschatology is pessimistic and worthless. It demands and welcomes consistent historical defeat until Christ returns (“soon,” of course). And the fact that such a view dominates a large portion of the political landscape among the GOP is a tremendous obstacle to the advance of Christ’s Kingdom, which is true freedom.
Until the majority of these Christians changes their eschatology or gets out of the way, there is very little hope of political progress for conservatives. Political progress toward freedom requires a goal, a plan, and an optimistic faith, both short-term and long-run. But such an outlook is by definition impossible for dispensationalists and premillennialists in general (and to be honest, most amillennialists, too).
In short, Christians of all sorts must guard against the tendency toward pessimism and especially cynicism in regard to social action. If you are liberty-minded and find yourself among the clique of screeching parrot critics, you need to remember that God is in control, and that he works through quiet, faithful, humble means. You need to repent and return to His standards. If you are a traditional conservative who does not believe in the possibility of political advance in favor of God’s kingdom, then why are you in the seat? You are like the Pharisee who blocks up the door: you refuse to enter and yet you keep others from entering as well (Matt. 23:13). You may be sincere in your beliefs, but those beliefs contradict the nature of your office. So why do you hold it? Either repent and work for kingdom advance according to God’s Law, or resign and leave the seat to a more appropriately equipped believer.
In the end, we need godly men as political and social leaders, we need godly people in every office and seat of administration, activism, volunteerism, publicity, etc. The choices we too often make to the contrary betray our stubbornness before God and confirm our rejection of Him as our true President, Legislator, and Judge (Isa. 33:22). We need to uphold that standard as the goal of our American vision. In the meantime, in the effort to progress toward that more faithful standard, we must guard against cynicism and pessimism. These failures stem from the same source as statism: judgment by humanistic standards. Statism and cynicism are both worthless and condemned of God. Let us remember that our goal is godly government according to His Law. Let both the goal at which we aim as well as the means we use to get there honor that Law together.
 John Gill, Exposition of the Old and New Testaments, 2:491.