What Would Society Look Like Under God’s Law?

By:  Dr. Joel McDurmon, American Vision

The Bounds of Love: An Introduction to God’s Law of Liberty 

Master Table of Contents

A properly theonomic society in terms of civil government would be closer to classic libertarianism than any other common political position. There would be differences, of course, but in general, theonomic standards would simply require a radical reduction in the size and scope of civil government. It would require a stronger sense of law being a restraint upon government rather than a burden imposed by it. It would include a radical reorientation from a powerful centralized government exemplary of a police state back to a free, largely volunteer-based focus on local community.

We noted earlier where Hebrews says the Mosaic Law “proved to be reliable,” and that by it “every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution” (Heb. 2:1–2). This means that the system of justice laid out in that law was perfectly just. The author of Hebrews then immediately adds that we should “pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we should drift away from it” (Heb. 2:1–2). This was certainly excellent advice for the author’s audience, which was about to experience God’s wrath poured out upon Jerusalem (A.D. 70) for its apostasy. But it is excellent advice for us today as well. We need to pay much closer attention to the abiding system of justice laid out in Old Testament law. We have certainly drifted far away from it, and the consequences for us have been stark.

. . . in which righteousness dwells

Two passages from Isaiah give us the imagery for a starting point perhaps better than any others. Both describe an ideal theonomic society, although in different degrees and perspectives:

It shall come to pass in the latter days
that the mountain of the house of the LORD
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
and shall be lifted up above the hills;
and all the nations shall flow to it,
and many peoples shall come, and say:
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,
to the house of the God of Jacob,
that he may teach us his ways
and that we may walk in his paths.”
For out of Zion shall go the law,
and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
He shall judge between the nations,
and shall decide disputes for many peoples;
and they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war anymore (Isa. 2:2–4).

This is a vision of world justice and peace. It is founded upon God’s law.

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