The Christian Scots were declaring to the world that their rights came from God, not from the king (or any government leader, court or legislature). Therefore, a ruler, cannot force his arbitrary laws upon the people and expect them to passively follow.
To understand this bold National Covenant we must realize that these Scottish men in kilts were not just playing war games. They did not promote anarchy, as have most modern revolutions up to our time. They were biblically and intellectually prepared to stand against oppression, even unto death, by men like the eminent Professor Samuel Rutherford. Rutherford’s book, Lex Rex, written in 1644, stands even today as the premier defense of the biblical rights and responsibilities of people to resist tyranny (out of control government) and to restore the rule of law (God’s law).
For hundreds of years the people had been erroneously taught, by ruler and prelate alike, that the king was God’s absolute authority on earth and was always to be obeyed. Rutherford unraveled this argument biblically. He powerfully defended the right of the people to resist, with force if necessary, a ruler who abuses his trust and his people, just like an abusive father or husband may be removed from leadership. Rutherford made it clear, as did Calvin and others, that the people have no right to riot, but must act formally through their representatives, publicly naming the wrongs the ruler has committed. America’s Declaration of Independence directly parallels the principles delineated in Lex Rex.
It took another 40 years and the martyrdom of 18,000 courageous ministers, until the brutal Stuart Kings were swept from power. In 1688, England and Scotland experienced true freedom under William and Mary and the Glorious Revolution and the English Bill of Rights. Again the revival of liberty can be traced to brave defenders of God’s justice, who remembered the paper trail of freedom.
Two hundred years later, liberty was again at risk. The English King, George III, had chosen to brutally oppress his colonies in America. Defying 800 years of English law and the blood bought freedom documents back to the biblically based law code and Common Law of Alfred the Great, he taxed without representation, boarded his troops in American colonists’ homes (giving the English the right to steal and rape), and took entire cities captive.