Sermon:  The Rule of God (pt1)

1.  Remember going to British store called the Queens Pantry
	a.  Showed us a British coin
	b.  Explained that the image of the "sovereign" is put on the coin
	c.  It occurred to me that this is not an altogether correct term
	d.  King is not sovereign
2.  In our country, we say the people are sovereign, it is the will of the people
	- But the people are not sovereign either
3.  Only God is sovereign
4.  Will look at a prominent theme in the Bible - The Kingdom of God

I.  Major theme in ministry of Christ - Kingdom of God
	A.  Jesus did not just pull this out of thin air
	B.  Existed in Jewish teaching long before his was born
		1.  Hebrew phrase:  II.  What does God do concerning his reign in the beginning?
	A.  Start with two scriptures
		1.  (Gen 1:27-28) - Mankind is given "dominion"
			a.  God grants man the right to rule over the earth
			b.  He names the animals
			c.  He is given charge over the earth
		2.  (Ps 8:3-8) - A reflection on man's place on the earth
			a.  "Son of man" an idiom that means "human"
			b.  The Psalmist marvels that God has delegated ruling 
			      authority to man
		3.  So, God has given dominion to man
	B.  Continue with more scriptures
		1.  (Ps 2:1-12) - Kingship Psalm
			a.  God has installed his King on Zion
			b.  Son of God a title of kingship
				- King has power to rule
				- King responsible to God to rule righteously
			c.  When Jesus came, only natural for this to apply to the 
			     ultimate, unique son of God, Jesus Christ
		2.  (Ps 45:1-5) - Marriage Psalm for King and princess?
			a.  Show what job of king was
			b.  King was to fight for truth, righteousness, righteousness
			c.  His right hand (power) was to teach awesome things
				- In other words his power was to demonstrate God's 
		3.  God's rule is a righteous rule, and the king was to be "co-regent"
		4.  So, God has granted his rule to kings as well
	C.  God grants his rule to mankind, later more specifically to kings

III.  How did they do in their rule?
	A.  (Mic 3:1-12) - A judgment on all kinds of rulers and leaders
		1.  See bribery, self interest, oppression, etc. etc. etc.
		2.  Due to them, Jerusalem will be destroyed, temple destroyed
		3.  Micah an 8th century prophet, prophesied of Babylon
	B.  ILL:  But, all the people bear guilt of ruler?  What if they innocent?
		1.  Several things to remember
			a.  They might not all have bore guilt of leaders, but they all 
			     suffered because of them
				- God's prophets were righteous
				- Example, Jeremiah suffered tremendously 
				- May not be collective guilt, but there is a sense of 
				  collective responsibility, or collective consequence  
			b.  Way back when people demanded a king in days of 
				- Preferred a king to lead them rather than God
				- Wanted to be like the nations around them
				- They depended on a "human" king, it backfired
			c.  According to the prophets, most were wicked.  The kings 
			     were a reflection of the general moral state of the people
		2.  Picture looks pretty bleak
	C.  Book of Samuel and Kings - There is a major purpose
		1.  Not just for stories for Sunday school
		2.  Demonstrates the failure of the kings
			a.  They divided the nation
			b.  They led the nation in pagan worship
			c.  They oppressed, were wicked, etc.
			d.  All Israelite kings bad, only two Judean kings good.
	D.  Because of this a small group of prophets loyal to God spoke up
		1.  Most of the "prophets" were false prophets, and popular
		2.  The true prophets were called "seers"
		3.  They prophesied that Jerusalem would be destroyed

IV.  But God is not through
	A.  (Mic 7:7-20) - How the book of Micah ends
		1.  This is typical of most prophetic books, they end with a note of 
		      expectation of restoration
			- God will forgive and restore his people
			-  God will fulfill the promise he made to Abraham
		2.  Indeed, this is how the Old Testament ends
			- Hebrew Bible has a different order, ends with 2 Chronicles
				(2 Chr 36:22-23) - Ends with return
			- Christian Bible ends with Malachi
				(Mal 4:1-6) - Ends with a promise of restoration
	B.  During the period of the Babylonian captivity, Micah's promise of 
	      restoration becomes more vivid
	C.  Will stop with this for now, and continue next time

1.  What we learn about God in all of this
	a.  God allows us humans authority, and desires we wield it according to 
	     his righteous character
		- If humans do not rule righteously, God can and does take them 
	b.  God is faithful, even if we are not
	c.  God will take the initiative to set right what is wrong
2.  In whatever domain we exercise authority, it should be according to God's 
	-  Not another set of rules for church, and another while in the world