Wisdom is the thing that rulers need more than anything else. That is what we get when we read today's proverb of the day. In the midst of speaking of all the things that wisdom does for us - God includes that it is by wisdom that kings reign and rulers do what is right. What is interesting about this passage is that it assumes that a king or ruler will do what is right. That is not exactly an assumption that we share today.
Any authority that a king, ruler, prince, or noble has is what is called "derived" authority. They do not get their authority inherently, but receive it from God when they become a leader. This is something that is so important for us to remember. In years gone by kings would speak of how they rule by divine right. This was because the Scriptures teach us that there is no authority except from God - and all the authorities in this world are where they are only because God allows it. Unfortunately, the kings who said this said it because they wanted an absolute authority by which they could command their subjects to be submissive to them. They could have cared less about their people - what was important to them was their power.
God, though, sees things differently. It is by God's wisdom that kings and rulers should decide issues of justice. It it by God's wisdom that princes and nobles decree justice. Thus, in the end, the authority that God gives to a ruler is to be used to ensure that justice and righteousness reign in that society. In the end, God makes it clear that all the authority that these rulers have - is to be used to decree justice - and to judge rightly. what a different way of thinking - and yet it is not foreign to those of us who study the Scriptures. All throughout the Bible we see that ever since the fall of man the world has been turned upside down. Mankind thinks all things are about man - but the reality is that all things are about God and His glory. When we turn from that - and have rulers who do not decree justice and do not live for God's righteousness - we have a mess.
God desires to have all human leaders filled with His wisdom and understanding. He desires for them to make just and righteous decisions. That means He desires for them to rule according to His righteousness - and to establish His law in the hearts of men. He calls them to "judge rightly," and when He says this, He means that they judge according to His ways and according to His Word.
Wisdom tells us that when a king rules as he ought to, he does so according to wisdom. When a ruler or a prince does what he should in governmental affairs - he is doing it God's way. I realize that if we were to say that today - many would have a stroke and would cry out that this is contrary to the separation of church and state that is in the constitution. But then again that would just reveal their ignorance first, because no such separation exists in the actual constitution, and it would reveal their spiritual ignorance second, because THE ONE THING that we must have as a nation is God's favor. A ruler who wants to rule by his own thinking and his own wisdom is not going to have the favor of God on his life - and by that fact - we won't have the favor of God upon our nation. That is why for me - one thing I look for in a leader is whether he is willing to speak positively about the Bible - and whether he looks to it for wisdom in leading our city, state, or nation.