The Government of God
Biblical revelation tells us that God created the heavens and the earth. God, an eternal, personal, Being designed, created and governs our universe. As part of this design, God employs varied and appropriate means to govern different aspects of His creation. When considering such arrangements, it is particularly important that we gain insight into the mode of government applicable to human beings. Doing so involves making appropriate distinctions between physical law and moral law, between the government of physical creation, the government of animal & plant life and the government of beings endowed with moral agency. As we become familiar with God’s design for governing the human race, we must resolve to honor it if we expect to produce good results.
A portion of God’s creation possesses life but is void of moral agency. This order of creation is animate (having life), non-moral (not immoral) creation. God also created many things that have neither life nor moral agency. These are known as inanimate (without life), non-moral creation. Along with the two categories mentioned above, He created beings that have both life and moral agency. We refer to this as animate, moral creation. With each class of creation, God arranged for an appropriate mode of government. Within each area of creation, there are very deep and fascinating discoveries one might make. Though there are marvelous aspects to each realm of creation, the goal of this chapter is to understand important truths about the design of human beings and the form of Divine government to which we are subject.
Animate, Non-moral Creation
Animate, non-moral creation consists of vertebrate and invertebrate animal life as well as various forms of vegetation. Among the long list within this category are such familiar things as canine, feline, cattle, reptile, sea creatures, birds, insects, trees, flowers, grass, fungus, etc. Within each class referred to above (and more) there are overwhelmingly tremendous varieties, variations and subdivisions. The two common characteristics of everything in this realm of creation are, they possess some form of life, and they do not possess moral capabilities. For our purposes, we will briefly consider the twofold division of animal and vegetable life.
It is helpful to consider the distinction between impulse, instinct and direct Divine intervention as we think of God’s mode of government for the animal kingdom. Impulse refers to certain internal drives, urges, appetites or desires that relate to food, sexual / reproductive activity, shelter / protection, etc. This area is more basic than the area of instinct in that many different animals share similar impulses but are equipped with distinct instincts regarding the way they respond to or satisfy such impulses. The instinct of a lion is considerably different from the instinct of a hummingbird when it comes to satisfying the impulse to eat. They share a common impulse related to hunger, but very different instincts for satisfying their hunger. Both, the impulse and the instinct, are important aspects of the mode of government established by their Creator. Investigating the tremendous variety of instincts in operation throughout the animal kingdom is a fascinating study that reflects the creativity and wisdom and God, but we will not pursue such an investigation at this time. Finally, we have evidence, particularly within the Biblical record, that God is able, and sometimes willing, to override or set aside the normal function of the impulses and instincts of animals, exercising direct Divine intervention. Scripture provides a number of examples. Hungry lions did not eat Daniel; ravens fed Elijah (not with their own flesh); a donkey spoke to Balaam, etc. Though God has a standard that consistently applies to specific creatures, He is able to dynamically and actively alter the normal mode of operation and act in a miraculous manner. When, how and why He does so is an investigation we will currently forego.
Within the realm of vegetation, we find a mode of operation that is quite fascinating. The life form and function of this realm are considerably different from the animal kingdom. However, they display patterns and characteristics that provide for their continued existence. Regarding the animate activity of vegetation, there is likely much more taking place than the average person realizes. Again, without delving into detail, we find an arrangement that speaks of God’s design and government for this particular realm of creation.
Neither of the above realms of creation are equipped with moral faculties. The mode of government applicable to them exclude their use of analytical reasoning and moral choices.
Imagine two hungry dogs and two bowls of food. In the process of being fed, it is stated, in a simple, matter-of-fact manner, that the first bowl of food placed in front of them is for Fluffy. Rover is told to wait patiently until the second bowl is prepared and placed on the floor. Would such a calm, thoughtful declaration inspire Rover to consider his moral obligation to avoid diving headfirst into the bowl placed upon the floor? The instinct of both hungry dogs would inspire them to eat. The effort to secure the food for their own personal consumption might even inspire them to become aggressive. Rover does not engage in moral evaluation about whether he should or should not eat from the bowl containing Fluffy’s food. If there had been prior conditioning one might manage to modify Rover’s behavior to some degree. Modifications made due to conditioning are not the same as moral choice. It is also worth noting that even in the famous experiments performed by Ivan Pavlov, many of the dogs failed to be conditioned. It was also acknowledged that the results of his experiments were not to be applied to human beings. Soon, we will consider how the issue of hunger, as mentioned above, would apply if we were speaking of two human beings.
As the purpose of the current information is merely introductory, we will not consider the massive amount of detail available in reference to such issues but instead turn our attention to the realm of inanimate, non-moral creation (the topic of an upcoming post).
 A moral agent is one possessing an intellectual ability to perceive moral obligation, a conscience to measure moral accountability, sensibility (an emotional structure capable of sensing virtue and blame), and free will; those capable of discerning and choosing between good and evil, right and wrong.
 A miracle, by definition, involves operating outside the normal, established physical law applicable to a certain realm of creation. As such, the miraculous can never become the norm or it ceases to be miraculous.
 I would encourage the reader to consider the case of Cleve Backster as he worked with the polygraph as recorded by W. A. Pratney, Healing the Land (Michigan: Chosen Books, Baker Book House), p.121-127.
 Albert H. Hobbs, Man is Moral Choice (New York: Arlington House Publishers), p.134-135, 177-178