The Lust For Power: How Politics And Personal Relations Become One Essays

The Lust For Power: How Politics And Personal Relations Become One Essays

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The Lust For Power: How Politics and Personal Relations Become One

     The stories of the Bible reveal a pattern of “ups and downs” for the
nation of Israel. A period of prosperity, faithfulness and fearing God would
almost always be followed by a period of destitution, lawlessness and idolatry.
This recurring cycle can be linked to political authority, and the level of
separation of political authority from other influences. The successful
struggle for liberation under the leadership of Moses and the glorious conquest
of Canaan under Joshua instilled a fresh breeze of hope and a renewed faith in
God in the nation of Israel. Guided by God, the nation of Israel met with
unprecedented success as they journeyed to the promised land. During this time,
political authority among the Israelites rested in the hands of patriarchs, or
prominent members within the tribes. These men were righteous figures of
authority, chosen by God, to lead His people and to teach His ways. The success
that swept over the Israelites was short-lived, however, and for the next two
hundred years the people of Israel struggled against neighboring tribes. The
new generation of Israelites “knew neither the Lord nor what he did for Israel”
(Judges 2:10). They began to “do evil in the eyes of the Lord” by worshipping
other gods and engaging in various sexual activities. To save His people from
their enemies and from their “evil ways,” God “raised up” judges to rescue them
(Judges 2:16). These so-called judges had the political authority vested in
them to lead the people of Israel and to save them from their sins. They
mobilized the people of Israel against invasions of the tribes all around them.
At this time, the nation of Israel was nothing more than a loose confederation
of twelve tribes. Israel had no central authority, which meant no unity, no
organization and no power. During the period of the judges, there was no need
for a central government, because the people of Israel were able to defend their
tribal territories effectively against adjoining peoples. Whenever there was a
threat from a neighboring tribe, God sent a judge to lead the Israelites against
their enemies. As this era came to an end, however, the Israelites were faced
with a much larger problem - the Philistines' military threat. As the
Israelites were elimina...

... middle of paper ...

... fighting for it. The judges were sent to lead the Israelites in
times of need and emergency. Their leadership was only ephemeral, and thus not
one of them were able to gain an exorbitant amount of political power. When
the period of the monarchy was firmly in place, however, there was a system of
succession of power. Even before the king muttered his last words, there were
peopleeagerly waiting in line to take his place. And if that wasn't enough,
people were plotting against the king in hopes of succeeding the throne, even
his own sons. This feature of the period of the monarchy allowed for the mixing
and intertwining of politics and personal relations. The use of women as
symbols of power and dominance became abundant as kings challenged the
prospective successors, and as prospective successors challenged the kings.
Events took place that can be compared to episodes of TV soap operas or Melrose
Place. Politics and personal relations became interrelated, and above all else,
the underlying reason was power. As people began to lust for power, for wealth,
and for recognition, the association of the two became imminent, and the
separation of the two became impossible.

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