Whither is Good Government? Reflections on Psalm 45

My tongue is a pen of a quick writer . . .

The Psalmist takes to honorific writing to praise the king, the anointed of God. God indeed anoints. And God’s will is known throughout the world. The Apostle Paul counseled his followers to obey kings and magistrates as the secular agents of God, who impose order and law on society, so that we may direct our hearts and minds from secular to spiritual things, and contemplate God and His works.

Because of truth and meekness and righteousness . . .

The Psalmist praises the king for these qualities for which God’s will is accomplished through the secular arm of rule. Truth, meekness, and righteousness appear oxymoronic compared to government–rather falsehoods, arrogance, and sinfulness seem to be the attributes of government. If only a philosopher-king, such as David, would appear among us!

The sceptre of thy kingdom is a sceptre of righteousness . . .

Such is the will of God among his secular counterparts who govern society. God loves righteousness and law-abiding. What, then, has gone wrong? Why is the world filled with the exact opposite? Why are kings and prime ministers and governors so corrupt? God anoints the powerful with power, but after the ceremonies and parades, when the task of government becomes real, and the objective wielding of power is required, humans, weak and sinful, cannot abide by the will of God. If humans cannot abide by God’s will in their personal lives, how can they in public lives?

All her glory is within . . .

Such is the praise the Psalmist declares to the wife of the king, who appears in glory, and radiant clothes, and all her subjects worship her, as if she were the Lord. But of course she is not. Rulers and rulers’ families are the same as us all, for God loves equity, not only among humans, but among all life. Should the king or queen, the minister or magistrate, give the glory to God, not self, then perhaps equity and righteousness will be accomplished among human society.

The nations give thanks to thee for ever . . .

If the anointed, the king, rules according to the will of God, then yes, people will acknowledge the king as a great ruler. There have been so few, however. The problem with government and society is that riches anoint, power anoints, rather than God. Notwithstanding if the government is secular or religious, monarchy or democracy, government concerns itself with things of a day, with the present, never the past or future, hence government is shortsighted, and rarely sees beyond the power and riches of today. God sees yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Only when government adopts such a point of view, making all decisions according to the past, in anticipation of the future, acknowledging in the present the will of God, will government ever achieve the justice and equity that has eluded humans for millennia.

About theamericanplutarch

Writer, thinker, historian.
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