I write a lot about civil government, but the basis for civil government is found in the government of God, in how He directs, guides, and controls the universe He has created. Charles Finney demonstrates, in his Systematic Theology, the two very different types of government that exist within God’s creation, distinct because His various creations are distinct:
All government is, and must be, either moral or physical. . . . Physical government is control, exercised by a law of necessity or force, as distinguished from the law of free will, or liberty. . . .
Moral government consists in the declaration and administration of moral law. It is the government of free will by motives as distinguished from the government of substance by force. . . . Moral government presides over and controls, or seeks to control, the actions of free will. . . . It is a government of motive, . . . in accordance with the law of liberty, as opposed to the law of necessity. . . .
Moral government includes the dispensation of rewards and punishments; and is administered by means as complicated and vast as the whole of the works, and providence, and ways, and grace of God.
Finney argues that God is the great Moral Governor who seeks to govern His beings made in His image, not by force, but by administering rewards and punishments as a means to work on the motives of all those free beings. He uses many means to accomplish His purposes in the lives of those He made to live in communion with Him. We are to look to God’s ways of dealing with men to figure out the best means for governing men in civil society. The two are indissolubly linked. God has always been interested in government; after all, He is the originator of the whole concept.