2 Chronicles 26
If you were educated as a child in America, one of the first things you learned about our form of government is that it is based on a separation of powers. Divided into three branches—executive, legislative, and judicial—each one has independent powers and areas of responsibility so that (in theory) no one branch has more power than the others. Although many have attempted throughout history to use one branch to usurp the authority of the others, the founders of our country envisioned a system where no person or group of people would hold absolute power.
Did you know that God’s government works the same way? Let’s begin by looking at the government He established on this Earth with the Israelites, the principles of which King Uzziah began to violate: "After Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to the Lord his God, and entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense. Azariah the priest with eighty other courageous priests of the Lord followed him in. They confronted King Uzziah and said, 'It is not right for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the Lord. That is for the priests, the descendants of Aaron, who have been consecrated to burn incense.'" (vs 16-18)
The general principle in Israel—according to the way the Lord had set up their government—was that no king should also be a priest. The king might have been the civil authority in Israel, but that was not the only authority in the land. There was also a spiritual authority, and the king could not be both. In the people’s eyes, the king was to be in charge of "the state," and the priests were to be in charge of "the church." There was a separation of powers.
Uzziah’s problem was that he had become so powerful, he wanted to also add priestly functions to his royal power. But absolute power has no place in God’s government. He doesn’t even exercise absolute power. Just think about that for a moment.
God’s government on this sinful planet is one thing, but He also maintains a separation of powers in His heavenly government. Consider this: A dictator who holds absolute power always gets his way, but that doesn’t describe God. God created beings with freedom—power to think and to do. That means that, even in heaven, there is a separation of powers. We have just as much power to decide about our eternal destiny as God does. In fact, even though He wants everyone to be saved, we have the power to usurp His wishes in that regard and place ourselves beyond His reach.
Absolute power has no place in God’s government—even for Him. He believes in the separation of powers, and He has hardwired that principle into the very fabric of His creation.