The Book of Proverbs is a collection of spiritual truths, life principles and wise instructions. I have rarely highlighted more than two verses in the course of our daily devotional study in Proverbs; however, today’s reading will be the exception as we focus on Proverbs 16:10-13.
Americans live in a democratic society whose laws should be as binding on the president as it is on common citizens. Idealistically, no leader is above the law and the scales of justice are in no man’s favor. In a monarchy, the king is the embodiment of the law and the citizens of his realm can only hope that their king is a righteous man who fears the wrath of God’s judgment should he be derelict in his duties as king and judge.
Proverbs 16:10-13 expresses four principles that should serve as a guide for every leader and those he/she serves.
Proverbs 16:10 – “A divine sentence [decision reflecting God’s Law] is in [proceeds from; is on] the lips of the king: his mouth transgresseth not [does not commit trespass] in judgment [sentence; verdict].”
Kings, rulers, judges and all who are in authority are to exercise judgment mindful that God, not man, is the ultimate judge of right and wrong. When godly men sit in places of judgment, their hearts weigh matters with the discernment God alone can give. How is that possible? Notice Deuteronomy 17:18-20.
Deuteronomy 17:18-20 – “And it shall be, when he [king] sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he [king] shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: 19 And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them: 20 That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.”
A king was to possess a copy of God’s Law written by his own hand (17:18). The Law of God was to be his daily meditation (17:19) and he was to remember he was God’s servant and a minister to the people (17:20).
Proverbs 16:11 – “A just weight [right verdict; scale] and balance [scales] are the LORD’S: all the weights [stones; measurements] of the bag are His work [labor; work of His hands].”
Lady Justice continues to serve as an international symbol of justice. She is often personified wearing a blindfold, holding in her left hand the scales of justice and in her right the double-edged sword of judgment. She serves as a modern reminder of what a king was to remember–God is the final judge and arbitrator in matters of judgment. God’s Law and the immutable principles of His holiness, grace and mercy were to serve Israel’s king as the final word when he executed judgment.
Proverbs 16:12 – “It is an abomination [abhorrence; loathsome; repulsive] to kings to commit [do; execute] wickedness [moral wrong]: for the throne [seat of authority and judgment] is established [fixed; firmly established; made strong] by righteousness [rightness; moral virtue].”
Proverbs 16:12 addresses the responsibility and influence of kings and all who are in authority. I make no apology in stating my opinion that America is in a quagmire of immorality and injustice because her leaders have forsaken the Law of God and have no moral compass for judging right and wrong, moral and immoral.
The decay of our strength and security as a nation has paralleled the erosion of our confidence and respect for those in authority. It is an abomination to God and repulsive to man when those in authority commit and support all manner of evil and immorality.
A nation, state, county and city are strong and stable when its citizens elect leaders who rule by spiritual convictions and moral absolutes, not polls and political correctness.
Proverbs 16:13 – “Righteous [true; just] lips are the delight [desire; pleasure] of kings; and they love [desire; like] him that speaketh right [just; upright].”
The integrity of a leader may be measured by the moral character of his counselors. Godless leaders choose as their counsel those who serve their immoral ends. Godly leaders have a passion for truth and love those whose words and counsel are honest and just.
You be the judge—what manner of leaders are serving our nation, state, county and city? What about you—are you a student of God’s Word? Do you serve your family as a lover of Truth and a model of integrity?
Psalm 119:103-105 – “How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! 104 Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. 105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”