God’s Term Limits

Shaman

Hamatsa ritualist, 1914 (source: wikipedia)

Here is a man who was once influential in his community. This man is now gone, along with every other member of his generation. This photo made me think of our political leaders.

Do you know what God’s temporary solution to human depravity was? Term limits.

“Then the Lord said, ‘My Spirit will not put up with humans for such a long time, for they are only mortal flesh. In the future, their normal lifespan will be no more than 120 years.’” Genesis 6:3.

Sin Was Too Strong

In the ancient world, Adam lived over 900 years, and yet he was unable to stem the tide of wickedness around him. If the ancients would have listened to anyone, it would have been to their father who had walked with God. Yet they turned from the teaching of Adam to their doom.

When humans lived for 800+ years, the wicked got into power and stayed there. This created a feedback loop so powerful that after just 2,000 years, there was only one righteous man left on the entire planet. The corrupting force of sin was too strong for human nature to withstand and God had to start over with the human race.

God phased in his term limits as each generation died sooner than the one before, till no one was left who lived longer than 120 years. With these life limits in place, human depravity is held at least partly in check. We are no more evil than our ancestors 3,000 years ago. Our sins may be different, but we are also no better than our murderous ancestors.

800 Years of King Saul

Would it have been nice to have King David reign for 800 years? Probably. But we would have had to go through 800 years of Saul first, which Israel would not have survived. Also, sin started to work on David as he grew in power. This is the fundamental problem with power.

Sin slowly ate away at David until this “man after God’s own heart” eventually used his power for murder. If David had reigned for 800 years, he may have become a monster. Death may be an act of mercy as God allows us to pass into eternity before we become beasts.

The Only Way To Handle Temptation

The only way to overcome temptation is to flee. George Washington set the example by walking away from power before it ruined him. The wise can see the trap of power and avoid it.  So, over time, the halls of power fill with fools and villains who can’t or won’t flee the temptation of power.

These are just some thoughts I had after viewing that 100-year-old image on Wikipedia. What do you think?

Tweetables:

  • “We need term limits to remove the villains and to keep the fools from falling into villainy.” Click to Tweet!
  • “Politics attracts fools who can’t see the temptation of power & villains who embrace it.” Click to Tweet!
  • “The only way to overcome the temptation of power is to abdicate.” Click to Tweet!

What do you think?

  • Do you agree?
  • Are term limits a good idea?
  • How can we best create a system that limits human depravity in the halls of power?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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