Robert Wurtz II
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counselor? (Romans 11:33–34 KJV)
Paris Reidhead once remarked that old time ministers would occasionally preach what he termed, “The wisdom of God’s requirements.” This is a way of saying that God, in His infinite wisdom, established “requirements” that have to be understood in order to be appreciated. Generally speaking, this wisdom cannot be comprehended unless we experience the consequences of someone (or ourselves) rejecting His requirements. Obviously, the Old Covenant saints could visualize (imagine) the seriousness of “thou shalt not murder.” However, when it was their loved one who was murdered then they appreciated and understood thoroughly the wisdom of the commandment. The same could be said for thou shalt not steal, commit adultery, or bear false witness.”
When we have been wronged (because someone decided to disregard God’s word) we have a greater appreciation for God’s word than if it were merely academic. Sometimes we have to experience the fallout from someone’s disobedience in order to see the wisdom of God. The same holds true for all of God’s directives and instruction. Time will prove that we disregard God’s word at our own peril. As a wise man once said, “We don’t just break God’s word… God’s word breaks us.” God is not mocked. When we disregard his clear instruction, we generally pay a heavy price.
One example that comes to mind that had far reaching implications for the Children of Israel was in the matter of God’s desire to be their King. Part of their identity and uniqueness was that God alone was going to be their King. He would rule from the Holy of Holies. However, God knew that they would reject His will so He accommodated Himself to their rebellion and gave commandments concerning an eventual king. Yet they wanted a king “like unto the nations.” A cursory reading of the Old Testament narrative demonstrates the wisdom of God’s perfect will and the folly of man’s desire for a human king. In fact, the very first king did evil and had to be replaced. We then had David who did good, but Solomon was mixed. When his son, Rehoboam, came to power his actions were so devilish that the nation split into two kingdoms (north and south or Judah and Israel).
After Rehoboam, we discover that for Israel (the Ten Tribes or the Northern Kingdom) they had a perfect record of around 19 straight evil kings. That is insanity. Judah (the Southern Kingdom) did better — but still only managed to have (more or less) six who did good. There were two who were “mixed” (did well in the beginning but fell away late in life). Compare that to the staggering 12 who did evil before the Lord. These evil kings led the people into unspeakable sin and rebellion. Is there any wonder that God, in His wisdom, did not want men being kings? Sadly, many of the best kings fell into some kind of compromise The more they behaved like the Gentile kings the eviler they became.
God knows the corruption that is in the hearts of men. History has proven that above all things bad men desire power. The time would fail to list their names and their dastardly deeds. Show me a person who desires power and control, and I’ll show you an agent of Satan. What did Israel experience? Having a man as a king opened the door to men leading the people according to their own will. It was rare to find someone who would do God’s will (a man after God’s own heart). For our part, we should be able (by this example alone) to see why God utterly rejects the notion of a “king” type role in the churches of God. A careful examination of the New Covenant reveals that God entrusts the care of churches to elders and the term is always in the plural. No kings. The Gentile “hierarchy” type structure was rejected by Jesus in Matthew 20:25-26 and Mark 10-41-44.
Consider how this has played out in modern times. Denominations were established (in part) in order to protect the people from bad ministers. That is, to make sure they were properly trained, licensed, and monitored. Had we hearkened to the wisdom of God we would have known this would not work. The failed kings of Israel prove the fact. What has happened? In many cases, denominations have become a means by which bad people can express their bad behavior. Not only can the denominations not perform their original designs, they are doing the exact opposite thing by empowering destructive people. The whole racket becomes a political and corrupt as the nonsense we see happening in democratic nations. Moreover, instead of having a single church with a limited platform of influence, the denomination creates positions that can wield exponential influence. Bad men work feverously to design rules to make their power absolute. And as the saying goes, “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” God never intended for this to be. In the light of all he has revealed in scripture, I think I can say safely that it’s all an abomination to Him.
Do we trust God’s wisdom or do we believe we can somehow improve on his precepts and designs? God’s perfect will was and is for the people to make God Himself their King. Nothing has changed in some 4000 years. Yet people still want a king. They still want to be like the nations. There is almost no sense of our unique destiny and calling. In Romans 11: 34 Paul is expounding on the great wisdom of God in saving the Jews and the Gentiles. But that wisdom extends to all walks of life. If God instituted a method of doing something we are foolish to change it. There will be consequences. Why? Because there is a wisdom to everything God does. It is a gross understatement to say that any deviation from His ways will result in serious side effects (pain, suffering, heartache, destruction, etc.). We flout God’s word and wisdom at our own peril.