General Qualifications for Civic Office

By Phillip G. Kayser · 2016-9-1

    The Absolute Minimum Standards (“must” 2 Samuel 23:1-7)

    1. Must be called (v. 1; Ro 13:4, 6)
    2. Must be accountable to God (v. 1; see also Ps 2:10–12)
    3. Must see this in more than theoretical ways – uses specific Scripture for authority (vv. 1-2)
    4. Must see authority as limited, delegated, and specified (vv. 1-2)
    5. Must be a Christian (v. 3; see also Pss 2:10–12; 21:7; Is 31:1; 33:22)
    6. Must be thoroughly familiar with God’s word (vv. 2-3)
    7. Must see God as a nation’s only security (“rock” v. 3a)
    8. Must be male (vv. 1,3; see Ex. 18:21; Numb. 11:24-25; Deut. 1:13; 17:14-20; Is. 3:12; Prov. 31:23)
    9. Must be committed to righteousness, justice (v. 3b; Dt 16:18–20; 33:21; 2 Sm 8:15; 23:3; 1 Ki 10:9; 2 Ch 9:8; Ps 45:7; Pr 8:15; 16:12; 17:15; 25:5; 29:2, 4, 27; Is 11:4–5; 16:5; 51:4; 56:1; Jer 21:12; 22:2–5; Ezk 18:11–13, 15–17; cf. Dt 24:17)
    10. Must rule in the fear of God (v. 3c; see also Ex 18:21; 2 Sm 23:3; 2 Ch 19:7, 9; Ps 2:10–12; cf. Lk 18:2, 6)
    11. Must go back to the Gospel over and over (v. 5) Note: all candidates who do not have these minimum standards are rejected by God and should be rejected by man (vv. 6-7). There were good kings who lacked some of the ideal standards below, but God still approved of them (1 Kings 15:14; 2 Kings 15:3-4,34-35) Additional Standards That All Candidates Should Aspire To
    12. Maturity (Ec 10:16; Is 3:4f, 12)
    13. Honesty (Ex 18:21; Pr 16:10; 17:7; 29:10,12,14)
    14. Integrity (1Kings 3:6; 9:4; Job 1:1,8; 2:3; Ps. 9:8; 58:1; Prov. 29:10),
    15. Reliability (1Chron. 28:7; 2Chron. 16:7; 19:9; Pr 20:28; Is 16:5),
    16. Faithfulness (2 Ch 19:9; Pr 20:28; Is 1:26; 16:5)
    17. Moral uprightness (1Kings 9:4; 2 Ch 9:8; Ps. 58:1; Ps 45:7; Pr 16:12; 17:15; 25:5; 28:4; 29:2, 27; Is 11:4f; 16:5; 32:1; 51:4; 56:1; Jer 21:12; 22:2–5; Ezek 18:11–13, 15–17),
    18. Fidelity (1Sam. 22:14; Is. 1:26; Prov. 31:3),
    19. Hatred for covetousness (Ex 18:21; Pr 28:16; Jer 22:17)
    20. Prudence (1Sam. 16:18; 2Chron. 2:12; Prov. 22:3),
    21. Temperance, not a drunkard (Ex 18:21; Pr 28:16; 31:4-7),
    22. Justice (Deut. 16:18; 33:21; 2Sam. 8:15; 23:3; 1Kings 10:9; Prov. 8:15; 29:4; Is. 32:1; Mic. 3:9),
    23. Fortitude (1Sam. 2:10; 1Chron. 22:13; 2Chron. 19:11),
    24. Self-restraint (Prov. 25:28; Acts 24:25),
    25. Humility and teachability before God (Deut. 17:18-20; 2Sam. 23:3; 2Chron. 12:6; 19:7,9; Prov. 25:12; Ecc. 12:14; Zech. 9:9),
    26. Courage (Deut. 1:17; Josh. 1:6-7,9; 8:1; 1Chron. 22:13; 2Chron. 19:11).
    27. Wisdom (Dt 1:13; 2 Ch 9:7; Pr 8:12–16; 20:8, 26)
    28. Husband of one wife (Deut. 17:17; Prov. 31:23)
    29. Having ruling abilities (Deut. 1:13)
    30. A citizen of the country he rules (Deut. 17:15)
    31. Not a war-hawk (Deut. 17:16)
    32. Not a centralist (Deut. 17:17)

    Additional Qualifications for Judges

    1. They must fear God (2 Chron. 19:4-7)
    2. They must make all judgments as unto the Lord (Deut. 1:16; 33:21),
    3. They must know and keep God’s laws (Ezra 7:25; Ezek. 44:24; Deut. 11:1),
    4. They must have the wisdom to apply God’s laws to new situations (1 Kings 3:28; 2 Chron. 1:10; Ezra 7:25; Ps. 2:10
    5. They must be willing to judge independently of any pressures from the executive office (Jer. 22:3; Lev. 19:15; Deut. 1:17),
    6. They must judge with righteous impartiality (Lev. 19:15; Deut. 1:17; 16:19; 2 Chron. 19:6-7; Prov. 24:23),
    7. They must not be susceptible to bribery (Ex. 23:8; Deut. 16:19; 27:25; cf. 1 Sam. 8:3; Mic. 3:11; 7:3),
    8. They must judge with a servant heart (Deut. 19:17 [“judges who serve”]; Rom. 13:4,6 [“ministers” = servants]),
    9. And lastly, they should have sufficient closeness to God to avoid satanic deception (Job 9:24).

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