For the Pillars of the Earth are the Lord’s, and He hath set the World upon them. 1 Sam 2:8
Dear Praying Friends:
Dr. Ellis Sandoz is Director of the Eric Voegelin Institute for American Renaissance Studies at Louisiana State University, his alma mater (B.A, 1951; M.A, 1953). The first sermon from Sandoz’s collection of political sermons from the founding era, entitled, “Government the Pillar of The Earth,” was delivered on August 13, 1730 before the Royal Governor of Massachusetts, Jonathan Belcher, by Boston Pastor Benjamin Colman. The text was from 1 Samuel 2:1-10:
Hanna could not have spoken with more loftiness and majesty; more authority and command — to the nobles, rulers, captains and mighty men; … She celebrates the Lord God of Israel, his unspotted purity, his almighty power, his unsearchable wisdom, and his unerring justice…
“He maketh poor and maketh rich, He bringeth low and lifteth up: He raiseth up the poor out of Dust, and lifteth up the Beggar from the Dunghill; to set them among Princes, and make them inherit the Throne of Glory; For the Pillars of the Earth are the Lord’s, and He hath set the World upon them.”
Thus my text is introduced as a reason for those dispensations of God towards a person, a family, or a people… We see then that the natural earth has no pillars, in any proper sense; Neither has the moral earth, (i.e. the inhabitants of it) any, but in a metaphorical sense: And so the princes and rulers of it are called it’s pillars… the text explains it self… speaks of the Bows of the mighty Men, and of the Thrones of Princes, and then adds — the Pillars of the Earth… We are to understand this to mean governors and rulers among men; but not the persons that bear rule, so much as the order itself, government and magistracy. For the persons may be weak and slender reeds, little able of themselves to bear up anything…
The Great God has made the governments and rulers of the earth it’s pillars, and has set the world upon them… Magistrates need be strong, for government is a great weight; and it is laid upon their shoulders. Pillars are also for ornament…those in power and magistracy are to be adorned with superior gifts, powers and beauties of mind to adorn the offices which they sustain… by employing their superior wisdom and knowledge, skill and prudence, discretion and judgment for the public good… Wisdom is both strength and beauty, a defense and ornament.
But then, is the pillar for ornament only? Integrity, uprightness, faithfulness added to knowledge and wisdom, makes men strong and beautiful pillars, whether in church or state. Every man is ready to proclaim his own Goodness; but a faithful Man who can find? Pr 20 … David, that pillar of Israel, came into the government with that noble purpose and resolution, Ps 75. When I shall receive the Congregation, I will judge uprightly. So he fed them in the integrity of his heart, and led them by the skillfulness of his hands. God’s righteousness and faithfulness, justice and judgment, are the foundation of his everlasting government, the habitation of his throne (The entire sermon may be read online at The Belcher Foundation Website. See Political Sermons of the American Founding Era: 1730-1805, 2 vols., Ellis Sandoz, 1998).
Those who govern are vitally important in God’s economy. Scripture charges us, as Jethro did Moses, to select people: “such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness” (Ex 18:21). We must know the candidates and consider supporting those we believe meet God’s test. How must God look upon nearly half of all American Christians who do not vote in presidential years and even less vote in the midterms like this year – the consequences of their inaction being the election of officials who impose upon our nation abortion, same-sex “marriage,” anti-Christian oppression and other evils? As Election Day approaches, we must make sure we are registered to vote, make sure at least two friends are registered, get to know the candidates, help inform our friends and families on the issues, and this time, vote biblical values! Visit 123Vote.com for more and take the 1-2-3 Vote pledge!