Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Social Architecture (2) Family Authority

The government is the main source of authority in modern society. The government decides how much authority will be delegated to regional and local governments. Local governments control the structure of cities and communities. The coming of the Government of God will reverse the structure of authority in society to flow from bottom to the top. This will require that society is structured in a totally different way. A new social pattern will be essential for the coming of the Kingdom of God.

This new pattern was demonstrated when Moses led the children of Israel went entered the Promised Land. When they came out of Egypt, they were not a modern nation state. They had no political system at all, because they had been slaves in Egypt. A benefit of their time of servitude was that there was not false system of government to be removed. God was starting with a clean slate.

The Israelites were organised by households, families, clans and tribes. The centre of authority was the households, with households delegating some of their authority up to family and tribal leaders. There was no central controlling authority. Moses could not force his will on the people. When the leaders of families and tribes refused to follow his lead, he was powerless. Moses’ lack of authority seems odd to us, but this was the perfect situation for God’s system of government.

The primary unit of organisation in Israel was the household, not the central government. These households included dependent relatives and various servants, but God saw each household as a cohesive entity, not a group of individuals. These households did not stand alone, but were formed into tens, fifties, hundreds, and thousands.

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