A man who is laden with the guilt of human blood will be a fugitive until death; let no one support him. Proverbs 28:17
This proverb is stated in the context of God's wisdom about leaders and kings. Therefore most likely it refers to those leaders who have gained and maintained their power through the shedding of much human blood. The key to seeing this is the admonition that such a man is not to be "supported." The idea behind this admonition is that one would throw their support behind such a man as their leader, which in their day would mean the king.
Ahab was a man who had shed much human blood. His power was maintained through intimidation and violent suppression of anyone who opposed him. He even allowed his wife, Jezebel, to act on his behalf to kill a man simply because he wanted his vegetable garden. When this happened, God sent Elijah to him because God had had enough of Ahab's wickedness and bloodshed. The Lord had Elijah tell both Ahab and Jezebel that they were going to come to violent deaths themselves. This is why we do not want to support violent men. The frightening aspect of God's judgment upon this wicked couple is that not only did they die - but their entire group of advisors were killed as well.
Another king who shed much innocent human blood was king Manasseh. His 40 year reign was marked by more bloodshed than anyone before him. Toward the end of his reign God sent a conquering nation against him and had him watch as his army was destroyed and he was taken into captivity. It was in a dungeon that he realized that Jehovah was God. He turned to God in repentance and brokenness - and God in his marvelous mercy forgave and redeemed this wicked king. God's favor came to him as he was returned to Judah as king. It was after this time that he removed all the wicked false gods from the land and returned to seek The Lord with all his heart.
When I review this I wonder, how could God support Manasseh after all the blood he spilled? The answer to such a question is found hundreds of years later in what Jesus Christ did by going to the cross. The fact of the matter is that Manasseh did not get away with anything. His sins (and ours as well) fell upon Jesus at the cross. They were paid in full in His death and resurrection. The only reason God supported Manasseh after he repented was because the penalty for his sin fell on God's Son instead. Thus what we have in Manasseh is an example of God's mercy and grace in the extreme.
There was another man laden with innocent blood who stands as the New Testament extreme of God's grace in Jesus Christ. His name is Saul - who later was renamed Paul. The apostle whom God used to write the majority of the New Testament - was another who deserved no support because he was laden with the guilt of human blood. Yet God showed him mercy.
Why would God show such grace to two of the most notorious men in the Bible laden with human blood. Paul answers that question in 1 Timothy 1:16 when he said, "Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life." God gave grace to these two men - one in the Old Testament and another in the New - as an example of his pefect patience and His incredible mercy and grace. If God can show grace to these men - we should take great comfort knowing that He can save us too!
So what do we learn from today's proverb? We learn that a man laden with the blood of men should not be our leader. We should beware when a man wants to rise to power on the blood of others. But we should also remember two, laden with human blood, who teach us of the depths of God's mercy and grace. We should remember that such amazing love is available to all who respond to the gospel of God's grace in Jesus Christ in repentance and faith. There is hope for all - even those laden with the blood of the human race. Hallelujah!
Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before obscure men. Proverbs 22:29
When a man works hard he honors God in what he is doing. But there is also another way to honor God in your work. The man who becomes very skilled in what he does and does it to the glor of God truly honors the Lord. According to today's proverb the Lord will not be the only one honoring him either.
A question is asked as we begin this proverb. The question is this, "Do you see a man skilled in his work?" Skilled is the word "mahiyr" which means to be well-versed, to show extraordinary expertise in some area. One who has a skill of this level is said to be one who is referred toglowingly by anyone blessed by it. Ezra was such an expert in the Word of God as referred to in Ezra 7:6 - and the Messiah is spoken of glowingly as one who is skilled or an expert in righteousness in Isaiah 16:5. These two cases have to do with the things of God - but there are also experts in a field of endeavor that are a blessing as well. Such was the case with two wonderfully blessed men who helped in building the tabernacle of Moses. Bezalel and Oholiab were the two men God had gifted in all kinds of metal and embroidery work. They were skilled with jewels and with building the glorious things that God required for the Tabernacle. Their skills, which were relatively unknown, were brought to the forefront by God Himself for use in constructing the Tabernacle in Exodus 31 and 36. Their skill, developed over years of hard work and a drive for excellence landed them a job working for God Almighty, building the very tent of worship in which God would be properly sought.
Being skilled at something requires work and focus. These are things that are valued in the kingdom of God. God desires for us to work hard - and here we see also to work with skill and excellence. God mentions the excellence of those who worshipped Him specifically mentioning men like Chenniniah and Asaph. There were even men who served God with excellence doing things we might never notice - such as Obed Edom who was known for his care for the Ark of the Covenant and later an excellence as a door keeper in the house of the Lord. Finally, there were the mighty men of David listed in 2 Samuel 23 who were known for their leadership and bravery in fighting the battles of the Lord.
When a man has developed skill and excellence above all others we are told that he will serve before kings and important officials. Such a skilled man will not serve or stand before ordinary men. His skills will make a way for him - and he will be known widely. In a day where too many look to knowing the right people to get ahead - or a big break to suddenly be noticed, this is a welcome call to hard work and excellence. It is a reminder that time and time again men and women have distinguished themselves by being the very best at what they do. That is the way to true success in business or in some skilled profession. Any other way to make it to the top will leave the one gaining the position very vulnerable. His vulnerablility will be to those who actually have the skill to be where he is. When that is the case - the one who is there will resort to intrigue, betrayal, and many other kinds of wickedness to stay at the top. Better to let your skill talk for you - than to trust in your ability to be one step ahead of your competition. Because at the end of the day - or better said at the end of life - we will not get ahead that way. We will be known for our willingness to serve - and to serve with skill and excellence for the glory of God. That is the way to get ahead now - and even if you are unnoticed in this world - you'll be rewarded in the next.
The king's heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He wishes. Proverbs 21:1
Who controls world history? That is a question that makes some people squrim in their seats. The reason it does is because it seems easier to say that history is at times in Satan's hands - or at least it is in no one's hands than it does to say that God is sovereign over all history. If God is sovereign over all history - then the questions about evil and about suffering become far more complicated to us. God is sovereign over all human history - and at all times the hearts of all kings and rulers of this world are like channels of water in his hands. This proverb is true - He turns the hearts of these kings wherever He wishes. If then this is true, what are we to do with the Hitlers and others like him in this world - and in the course of history?
What do we do with the Pharaoh's who oppressed and enslaved Israel for hundreds of years? What do we do with the kings who conquered Israel and Judah - and leveled the temple to the ground? If you have a God Who functions according to the health, wealth, and prosperity gospel, these things become very difficult to deal with in terms of the sovereignty of God. God is more than just a cosmic sugar daddy who has come to give us everything we want if we just claim it. He is a God Who is working toward His own purposes and plans. He is a God who is concerned with the manifestation of His grace - yet Who does it while maintaining justice and righteousness. These are deep issues that find their only final answer in the end when we gaze at God's beauty, glory, wisdom, and majesty for all eternity. Yet - there are whispers of His workings for us in Scripture while we live here on earth.
The way God moves kings is always in accordance with His eternal purpose in Christ Jesus. It always has been and it always will be. There are times when God moves the hearts of kings to deliver His people - much like He did with Esther and Mordecai. These are glorious times when we see God protecting His covenant people and showing that He is the One with the last word. There are other times when the king acts - and even in the king's wrath God delivers - as with Daniel and his three friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. In situations like these God does not move the king's heart until after that king has seen God's power and might. But there are other cases like that of Nebuchadnezzar destroying and carrying away God's people. These are times when a king is used for the purpose of disciplining and correcting God's people. Kings are used for a myriad of purposes by God for His ultimate plan and purpose. Even the ultimate worldly king, the antichrist, will serve God's ultimate purposes of bringing judgment on the earth and saving His covenant people, Israel.
Kings serve God's purposes and plans - even when they themselves do not know it. They serve God even though they may even deny His existance and rebel against Him. We must remember that even the New Testament tells us in Romans 13 that there is no authority except from God. Paul goes on to remind us that all authorities are established by God. Our problems come when we think that these authorities are here for our blessing alone - misonstruing Paul's admonition to Timothy which says, "First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity." (1 Timothy 2:1-2) Some mistakenly think this admonition is a carte blanche to us to always have kings and rulers who bless us. Yet Paul's own life was taken by an ungodly ruler when he died. Persecution came upon the church again and again in the early days of its existance. We are to pray for such things - and ask God to move the king's heart. But ultimately God's plans and purposes will prevail. Remember here we are told He moves the king's heart - wherever HE wants it to go. That will mean for both blessing and for discipline - for good and for bad - for times of peace and also times of conflict and yes, even persecution and great difficulty.
The one constant for us is not that everything goes well all the time. This is a recipe for spiritual disaster and a severely stunted spiritual growth rate. Our one constant is that God is working all things after the counsel of His will - His good purposes - and His glory. This is a constant becasue we know that He is good and in Him is no darkness, no sin, no evil, and no wrong. Therefore regardless of our current situation - and in light of today's proverb - regardless of our current leader here on earth - God is still sovereign. He is in control and all things are working toward His ultimate end of summing all things up in Christ Jesus. He WILL work whatever we think is good, bad, or anywhere in between toward His ultimate purpose for us as well. That purpose is not for us to be rich or live in perfect health - and to never have problems. His ultimate purpose for us? It is that we are conformed to the image of His Son. It is that our character and lifestyle look more and more like that of Jesus every day we live! To that end He will move kings and rulers, despots and even maniacal dictators to work with Him so that we, and all other believers in all ages and all places, will be to the praise of the glory of His grace!
Loyalty and truth preserve the king, And he upholds his throne by righteousness. Proverbs 20:28
What preserves the king or the president of any society? According to today's proverb - which presents to us the wisdom of God - it is loyalty, truth, and righteousness. Now I hear what is happening there where you are reading this - you are rolling on the floor laughing uncontrollably. But regardless of what our current society thinks or practices, this proverb is true. So, let's take a look at what is taught here - because good leaders follow these principles.
Loyalty is the first principle we will look at today. A good leader knows that loyalty preserves him and blesses him. But the Bible does not refer to blind loyalty. This begins as loyalty to God and to His principles in Scripture. That loyalty will create in others who see it a desire to follow and be loyal to their leader. The best example of this is king David in the Old Testament. A group of men gathered themselves around David and served him in every situation imaginable. They did this because they watched David be loyal to God's principles first. His loyalty to God showed his men that they could rely on him to be loyal to them. This engendered the most amazing loyalty in them. Therefore the best of leaders do not seek loyalty by commanding it - but rather by being an example of it in their relationship with God.
Truth is the second principle that preserves the king. This follows the first principle because we see that what a leader is becomes far more important than what he requests or demands of his followers. When those who are around him realize that he is an honest man who values truth - they will see that they serve an honorable man. This love of truth will protect and preserve him no matter what happens. Consider Daniel for a moment when thinking about this proverb. Daniel loved the truth of God more than anything else in his life. Therefore when he faced either living according to God's truth - or that of a king corrupted by his officials - Daniel chose God. He prayed to God even though the king made a law saying one could not pray to anyone but him. But what at first seemed to get Daniel in trouble - became the manifestation of how far his God, to whom he prayed, would go to protect and honor him. In the end - even the king pledged to protect not just him - but even the honor due to his God.
Righteousness is the last principle tha preserves the king, This particular promise even states that God will uphold the throne - or seat of power - of one who embraces what it right. In our society we question whether there even is an absolute standard of right beyond what we ourselves choose to make our own personal standard. Thus, over time, we've embraced things that oppose God's standards and are trying to make them right - even though they will be the very things that undermine the pillars of our society and make it crumble. The godly leader realizes that God is the One with absolute authority to determine matters of right and wrong. He also realizes that God has revealed Himself through the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament in the Bible. Therefore a wise leader holds to things like the 10 commandments as a basis of good law. He sees the value of using the Bible in case law to help determine what is right and wrong. As a result, such leaders have God's very standard of right upon which to build stability in a nation. Granted such things require the rule of law, which can be hard to embrace. Without it though, a society will become lawless and will degenerate to however the flesh desires to live. If you read the latter part of Romans 1 and Galatians 5:16-20, you will see that such a state will be very lawless indeed.
Rule by true loyalty to God, truth, and righteousness is a rule that God Himself will support. There is no guarantee that such a rule will not face difficulties, but at least one knows that God's support and deliverance will be there to help such a nation survive the worst of times as well as the best of them. How wonderful it would be if such wise leadership would return to our nation. The way we can support such a move is to first establish these three principles in our own lives - and then teach and widen their influence as God grants us favor. We cannot establish them from a top down election. At this point in our history, such a thing would result in wide-spread revolution. What we need it revival of such things first in the church among our leaders and people. Then as the wisdom of our ways is seen - we can hope and pray that God will allow them to spread through revival and through seeing others embrace them as they embrace Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. This, dear brothers and sisters, is the way to establish godly leadership. First it comes individually - and then through influence it spreads to larger groups. May we be wise enough to embrace it now - and pray that it spreads through the grace of God to His glory - and our benefit.
The king's favor is toward a servant who acts wisely, But his anger is toward him who acts shamefully. Proverbs 14:35
Anyone who has ever worked knows the difference between receiving the favor of your boss versus receiving an angry rebuke or tirade. Today's proverb reminds us that when we serve others - especially a king or person in high authority - it is good to be prudent in how we perform our duties.
The king will show favor to a servant who acts wisely. The word for "wisely" here is the Hebrew word, "sakal" which has as its root meaning to act with prudence. One who acts wisely takes time to consider his actions. He ponders what the consequences are for a word that he speaks or an action that he takes. He wants to understand and have insight into what he does. Any leader loves having such a servant or employee. They are not quick to rush into things and as a result make fewer mistakes. They are good employees because they honestly think of the good of the company - and are prone to being selfless toward others.
The king or boss in a situation will react with angrer though toward someone who acts shamefully. The idea behind this word is to cause shame or disgrace. Leaders know that when someone is not thinking and not pondering their choices - they will inevitably walk into a lot of problems. These particular problems are enough to shame a boss - or disgrace a king. It should not shock us therefore to learn that the king or boss reacts with wrath against this one. They are not only falling down on the job - but they are failing in a way that is bringing shame and disgrace on the business.
The foolish man acts without taking time to think about what is about to do. He has even less knowledge of the potential consequences for what he is doing. He does not want any restraint upon himself. The wise man looks things over and is careful to make a decision consistent with what is best for his authorities. That is why the king shows him such favor.
In a multitude of people is a king's glory, But in the dearth of people is a prince's ruin. Proverbs 14:28
A king is not a king unless he has a kingdom over which to rule. A kingdom will not exist where the people are not fruitful and multiply. Therefore it is wise for kings to encourage their people to grow in number. Today's proverb handles this situation - but the implications of this proverb are fascinating, especially when applied to what is happening in both the United States and Europe.
The simple meaning of this proverb is obvious - a king needs people to have his kingdom flourish. When there is a multitude of people under his rule - he is blessed, but when there is a declining population within the kingdom - it points to the ruin of his son. The son will have a far smaller kingdom over which to rule - or possibly none at all.
As I stated at the beginning of this post, this has amazing ramifications for both our nation and the nations of Europe. Both places have declining populations when it comes to the original population of the countries. As a result of this both of these regions are trying their best to maintain population growth by immigration. The problem is that as the numbers of immigrants grow, they are having more and more influence in the policies and direction of the nation. Give this direction a few more years - and soon Europe will be different - completely different than their forefathers. The United States is not that far from this development either. Why is this happening to these once great nations?
For a king to continue to rule over his own people, he has to encourge his own people to multiply in their families. If they do not, the indigenous people of the land will begin to dwindle in numbers. The result of this will be that a different group of people will begin to rise up and rule the land. All this happens because the people do not have children. Or, in our case, they only want 2.4 children or less. That is what has happened in our nation. We have become a people who do not believe that having multiple children is a blessing. This all began with people espousing a worldview that did not value children. We became a people so interested in our own comforot and our own pleasure that we decidd that children were no longer a blessing of the Lord. We came to the conclusion that the man whose quiver if full of children is not blessed at all. In fact, we decided children were a burden - an unnecessary burden - and within a couple of generations - an unwanted burden.
According to the humanistic worldview - this was a wonderful development. We were supposedly choking the world to death with our overpopulation - our poluting - and our urban sprawl. So when people bought this unbiblical view, they stopped having childen, or they did what was necessary to reduce the number of children they have. Everything seemed wonderful and the planet would be saved. But over time, the dearth of children began to weigh heavy on our society. Now we face problems as our system is imploding. It is doing so because we no longer have far more families coming up, because we do not like or enjoy the thought of having multiple children. Programs like Social Security require a larger generation of younger people than in the older generation. Even our national character - is shifting from being European and western to being either Mexican or Islamic.
A wise set of leaders would have had a biblical worldview. That worldview remembers that God said to be fruitful and multiply. The whole concept of overpopulation is foreign to God. He promises to supply our needs if we will live for His glory and obey His Word. But since those things have been jettisoned just as we have done with His view of children and family - we are facing the "dearth of a people."
An interesting thing about this passage is that it says that the prince is ruined by this. The king is to rule not just with an eye toward himself - but toward his sons - and his grandsons. That is a fascinating thing to see here. It is fascinating because one of the curses of our current political fabric is that we only see the immediate future as important. Most of our elected officials actually only see the next election cycle as important - therefore they plan only to keep people fat and happy til past the next election. All the while as we are doing this - the princes of our future (our children) are having their future ruined by the selfishness of the current generation.
Wisdom means that rulers think ahead - they think long-term - and honestly, they should think biblically. To do otherwise is to think in a way that God will not bless. This, more than the economy or any other factor, is what will bring about the blessing or the dearth of our society and its people. We should always remember the verse, "Blessed are the people who are so situated. Blessed is the nation who's God is the Lord."
The lizard you may grasp with the hands, Yet it is in kings' palaces. Proverbs 30:28
What is the exceeding wisdom that the lizard has for us? We are told of four animals here - all who demonstrate wisdom by their existance and practics. We come now to the fourth and final animal - the lizard. What does he have to teach us?
First we read that the lizard is not the most intimidating of animals in the world. He can be grasped with the hands. His natural defenses are not very effective. Thus he is able to be caught and grasped with a human hand. The lizard is not given a great deal of weapons at his disposal. The lizard spoken of here is usually the common ones that you seek on the walls in homes. He has no sharp claws or teeth - and the ones mentioned here have no venomous bite or sting to deliver. Yet we are told that he is in the palaces of the king.
The lesson for us is an interesting one. Though we may feel weak and defenseless, we can still be in high places. The lizard teaches us though that if we are to be in such places, we will need to be humble and come in such a way as is fitting for our situation. If the lizard were to come to the king's palace and seek to knock down the door - he would be a fool. If he decided to battle his way into his presence with his great strength - he would be deluding himself. If he decided he would come showing his comeliness and beauty - he would be blind to the fact that he is a lizard. The lizard uses none of these tactics. Instead he is humble and comes quietly. He remains on the wall and chooses not to be boisterous and draw attention to himself. Because this is how he comes - he can be in the presence of the king.
The lizard teaches us that great strength can be had in something as inauspicious as humility. God says that He opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. There is something about a humble man that can disarm even a king. Therefore if we want to be received and come even to a king's palace - we need to learn humility. With the humble comes great favor. Jesus told us that when we come to a banquet we should not seek the place of honor - and take a seat next to our host. That would be coming in pride and arrogance - stating that we are viewed highly in our own mind. The warning was that when our host comes, he would see us in such a proud position and completely overlook us. When he would see someone far more humble taking a seat beneath himself - the host would invite him to sit where we are. At that point we would be humiliated and have to go to the very last seat in the sight of all those present. Instead we should adopt the attitude of the lizard. Jesus said that we should take the lowest place at the table. Then when our host sees us taking such a humble place, he would request for us a better seat - and we would be honored before all at the banquet. This is where our Lord told us that God opposes the proud, but honors the humble.
Exceedingly wise is the lizard, who embraces humility. Wise indeed he is to come quietly and without fanfare. Thus he is in king's palaces. Wise also is the man who in life chooses to humble himself, not just to be exalted, but who truly sees himself humbly. We are counselled to humble ourselves in the presence of the Lord, and he will exalt you (James 4:10). So be wise - be like a lizard - humble yourself - and be blessed by the Lord.
The fury of a king is like messengers of death, But a wise man will appease it. Proverbs 16:14
The knock on the door resembled more like someone trying to break it down. As he drew near to open, Daniel knew that this was no friendly visit by the sounds coming from the other side of the door. He could hear the sounds of a chariot - and the all too familiar sound of armor and swords striking each other. This was a military visit - and it did not sound as if it would be positive. As he reached for the handle of the door Daniel said to himself, "Calm Daniel, respond with calm and confidence in your Lord." As the handle moved to open the door a prayer also went up to heaven, "God, please help me respond wisely."
As the door opened Daniel was astounded by what he met. It was a military escort - and it had come for him. Daniel knew things were bad when he saw Arioch, the commander of the king's bodyguard leading the way. "The king had commanded that all the wise men of Babylon be executed," was the announcement that Arioch made at Daniel's doorway. "I am sorry Daniel, but I must put you in chains and escort you to the executioner immediately."
"Why is this decree so urgent, Arioch?" Daniel replied. "Have we done something wrong - for when I last knew - all was well with the king and the wise men." Arioch then told Daniel of the dream - and the command from the king that the one who interprets the dream must also be able to first tell the king what the dream was. When the wise men present balked at this - and tried to bide their time - the king became furious and commanded that this be done to all the wise men.
Daniel sent a quick prayer to heaven again, "HELP LORD!" Then a passage from the writings of Solomon came to mind, the fury of the king is messengers of death, but a wise man will appease it. "Give me wisdom Lord to appease this request."
"Arioch," Daniel spoke, "would you first take me to the king that I might request a time when I may come and declare the dream and the interpretation to him?" From the look on Arioch's face Daniel knew that he was wary of this request.
"Daniel, my friend," the captain said, "He is furious right now - and not in any mood for delays or schemes. He is very disturbed about this dream and wants an interpretation."
Daniel was amazed at his own boldness and faith as he answered, "Then that is what I shall give to him."
As Arioch took him to the king Daniel continued to pray for favor and for God's power to appease a very angry king. He also knew that when he returned to his home, he would have to call Hannaniah, Mishael, and Azariah to prayer as well that God would grant him the ability to know the king's dream and its interpretation. "This will be a true test of our faith - and of our trust in Jehovah to protect and keep us here in Babylon," Daniel would say. "Yet He has been faithful so far to offer us His gracious protection."
The king or whatever the supreme leadership position is called in any state - holds with it a tremendous amount of power and authority. When that person is furious - it is not a good thing for the ones at whom his anger and rage is directed. To approach him with respect, honor, and wisdom is absolutely necessary. Depending on the laws of the region - that anger could mean death. That is why examples like that of Daniel - where a gracious, submissive, appeal to authority and God's provision is definitely in order. We can thank God for this godly example, for it gives us hope in what otherwise might be a hopeless situation. The wise will learn from it - and repeat it as they go into every situation trusting God and relying on the wisdom of His Word to not only guide them - but also go before them to appease anger and wrath - and make a way for grace and peace to prevail.
Luxury is not fitting for a fool; Much less for a slave to rule over princes. Proverbs 19:10
There are certain people who do not need to serve as a ruler over a people. We might think that it is a good thing for the "everyman" to rise to power, but if the "everyman" that does this is a fool - it will end badly.
The fool who begins to enjoy luxury - will wind up being very difficult to live with in the end. He will view his luxury as what is due him - rather than a blessing and a priviledge that has been given to him either by others or through hard work and application of himself to a task. That is why such luxury is not fitting for him. It isn't right for him to have it - because he does not appreciate it. It does more harm to him than good in the end because he will begin to think he deserves it - everyone owes him what is necessary to live a life of luxury.
I'm going to take the risk of offending some at this point in this proverb. This passage illustrates why a welfare state is harmful to a populace. I know there are cries made at this statement that we do not provide a life of luxury to those on welfare. True - their standard of living is not that of kings - but we are fundamentally harming them by not having them work or do something to get it. In order for us to develop properly in a moral sense, we need to work - we need to DO something. When we don't, we do not appreciate what is given to us. Then we begin building a mindset that people owe us something - and that will become toxic in the end. In time we will think they owe us more and more - and gratefulness for what we do have will be all but extinct in our thinking. When that way of thinking grows in our minds - we are quickly descending in wisdom and in any kind of spiritual growth.
Just as luxury is not fitting for a fool - so also is it for a slave to rule over princes. We in America are not used to the whole idea of nobility. We fought an entire war to make sure that we did not have a king who could rule over us without the consent of the governed. But, there is a wisdom to having the wiser in society rule over us. To have a person rule who does not know wisdom - who does not know the matters of state - who does not understand the necessity for good economic policy - and most of all justice - is to invite serious problems in that land. It is also a historical reality that when a slave or a commoner comes into power - the problem is too often that they want revenge for the wrongs they suffered - rather than to govern all the people with wisdom and integrity. I do not support the ascendency of a king in our land - but I do fully support not electing fools to office. It is wisdom to elect the wise to rule over us.
A king who sits on the throne of justice disperses all evil with his eyes. Proverbs 20:8
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 , t hat 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 leads 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 view of 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. 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 was to have discernment and see 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 eventually destroys nations is a lack of these kind of leaders in the 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 the seat of justice in our land . We need those who will look evil in the eye and make sure that evil will not find a place in our nation. The first ones they should look in the eye every day is the one looking back at them in the mirror. They need to see justice and righteousness prevail in their own hearts and lives. Then they will be able to disperse and sift out evil in our land. May two things happen so this will be the case. First may we demand such things of our own hearts and minds. Then second, may we demand such leaders once again from both parties. Whatever we do we must do quickly - before justice in our land is just an afterthought.
Proverb a Day
Each day, we'll take a look at a verse from the chapter of Proverbs for the day. Our hope is to gain wisdom each day - and from that wisdom - to have understanding to make godly decisions in the throes of everyday life.
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