Ah, the Bible weighs in on politics - or at least on the kind of people who rule over a nation. One of the things that grieved me when we were facing revelations of presidential and congressional immorality was how many people stated that it did not matter what a person did in his private life - as long as he was a good President or a good Senator or Congressman. According to what we have written in Proverbs that kind of reasoning is very faulty. We knew it back then - but it is good to see that what we felt in our gut is confirmed by the Lord.
The phrase, "when the righteous increase," is actually not saying that when the number of righteous people grows larger. It is speaking of when the righteous become great - or when they are in authority. The idea here is that a godly man rises to the point where he is given greater authority over the ruling matters of the nation. When this happens - the people will rejoice! Oh, that we would see this at some point in our nation. Thus who ruled our nation early were concerned that we would have godly rulers and godly people in positions of authority. The discussions early on when the republic was formed was whether we were "good enough people" to be ruled in this way. Rather than the lowest common denominator being sought - we were concerned whether we, as a people, could be godly and good enough to maintain our nation.
That is no longer the case. In fact, it almost seems that we cheer for our godly men and women to fall and to be cast down. We don't want heros - but anti-heros in our land. The end of this is corruption and bad law. We want to sink lower and lower - and are shocked when our rulers act in ways that are ungodly. We act shocked when they are corrupt to the core. Our real problem is that we don't demand godly leaders! We don't tell both parties that we will not tolerate anything less. If we did this - then those who make our laws would be willing to live according to them. We would not have men and women making our laws who exempt themselves from having to obey them.
We have come to grasp the second half of this proverb though. When the wicked rule - the people mourn and groan. The Hebrew word usually used for wicked, "ra" is not used here. Instead "rasha" is - which points to people who are criminals. This does describe many who rule us today. We have people writing our tax code who don't even pay their taxes. We have leaders who run an entire presidential campaign while hiding a child they've had in an adulterous affair. We have Governors who run off to other countries to have sexual liasons with their mistresses and leave their posts unattended. What we have . . . is a mess. What is the result? The people of the United States groan and mourn as their elected leaders take care of themselves - but who leave them uncared for and forsaken. We have leaders who do not think ahead to how their policies will affect our children and grandchildren. We have men and women committed to ungodly ideologies which will destroy our nation in time. All the while we groan - and are even told that committed godly Christians are unwanted in government affairs.
We will continue to groan if we continue to elect wicked people to office. There is no cure for America if we continue to do this. We must no longer consider our wallets and short-term prosperity to be our goal when choosing leaders. What we need are godly men and women to lead us. Men and women who desire the best for our country and for its people. We need people of righteous character and actions to be our leaders - those who do not have this quality are wholly unsuited to lead us - now - or in the future.