What place does a ruler or leader have in making sure that the country he rules is not overrun by evil? In recent years we have had fools who have tried to tell us that leaders don't need to have character. We should only be concerned with their political decisions. To expect actual moral character from them is too much. Their personal lives are their own business. If they decide to commit adultery on their wives with an intern in their office (while working for us) - that is their own business. Nothing could be further from the truth!
The king, ruler, president, or any other person who has a high position of power and influence, needs to be a man of godliness and godly character. Here we read that he needs to be a man who sits "on the throne of justice." The word for justice here is very instructive. It means judgment, condemnation, cause or plea - and it refers to the legal realm. The king needs to sit on a throne that grasps and understands justice. He needs to make judgments so that justice will prevail in the land. Some say this refers simply to the legal seat he takes in a courtroom. They say it has little to do with what kind of judgment he has - rather that he just make decisions while seated there. But if that were the case - why does the second half of this proverb speak of how this action lead to evil being dispersed by this man's eyes? That contradicts itself.
The king - at least the ones that God commended - were godly men who sat on a throne that stood for the justice of God. This was an interesting justice because it held both to a strong standard of what is right and wrong, but it also exhibited mercy to those who sought it. God's call for righteousness was absolute - and it was and is based on absolute truth. This has not changed - and will not change. But God also states that mercy triumphs over judgment. Those who see God as being too judgmental should consider seriously how God dealt with the ultimate judgment - by having His perfect justice satisfied by judging His own Son, Who paid the ultimate price for sin.
God told the king to write out a copy of the Law for himself so that he would not forget to judge righteously. The king was instructed by his mother in Proverbs 31 that it is not for him to drink and get drunk because his judgment would be clouded - and he would not stand up for the rights of the poor and innocent. God warns His kings that they should not err in judgment - but that their judgment should be righteous judgment. To have a godly leader who understands and who seeks to administer righteous, biblically-based judgment is a blessing that unfortunately is rare in our day - honestly - it is rare in history.
When the king sits on a throne of justice - he will "disperse all evil with his eyes." The word used here for disperse is wonderful. It is the Hebrew word for sifting - and it spoke of how one would sift wheat by separating the good wheat from the chaff. As one would sift like this - they would keep what is good, while breaking off the worthless chaff so that it could be discarded. The king has discernment and sees what God considers good and wise - as well as what God identifies as useless and worthless. In the end, the sifting allows him to get rid of evil. This, the proverb tells us, he does with his eyes.
When a king has evil pass before his eyes and he does not judge it or deal with it - wickedness will abound in his nation. But when a king makes it clear that he disapproves evil, there will be great blessing in the nation. Too often a bribe closes the eyes of the king. An official who is important and who has influence will cause him to blind his own eyes - or cast them down instead of staring wickedness in the face and condemning it. The godly king knows that if he does not deal with ALL EVIL alike - disapproving it and looking with disdain upon it - evil will grow and bring great problems to his kingdom.
One of the things that is destroying our nation is a lack of this kind of leader in our government. We have these odd things called "ethics panels" in our government. They were originally put into place to bring a proper disapproval to those who act outside godly, law-abiding ethics. But now they are used to wink at fellow party-members who disregard the law - and to crucify those of opposite parties who don't. There is no righteous standard any longer - just a flaunting of the law - and a vigilante status toward destroying opponents who make their mistakes while out of power. Both parties do it - and it is an affront to the laws of our land. What we truly need are men and women of integrity who will once again sit in seats of justice. They will help disperse and sift out evil in our land. May God raise them up soon - before justice in our land is just an afterthought.