Scripture Reading – Proverbs 16-18
Continuing our chronological daily reading of the Scriptures, you are invited to read Proverbs 16-18. Today’s devotional will be based on Proverbs 16:10-13.
Americans live in a republic whose laws should be as binding on her leaders as they are on common citizens. Idealistically, no leader is above the law and the scales of justice are in no man’s favor.
In a monarchy, however, the king is the embodiment of the law and the citizens of his realm can only pray that their king is a righteous man who fears the judgment and wrath of God.
Proverbs 16:10-13 expresses four principles that serve as a guide for every leader and those he 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 being mindful that God, not man, is the ultimate authority of right and wrong. When godly men sit in places of judgment, their hearts are able to weigh matters with the discernment God alone gives. How is that possible?
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.”
The kings of Israel were to possess a copy of God’s Law written in their own hand (17:18). The Law of God was to be a king’s daily meditation (17:19) and he was to remember he was God’s servant and a minister to his 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 equity. She is often depicted 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 kings were to remember: God is the final judge and arbitrator. Israel’s king was to remember that God’s Law and the immutable principles of His holiness, grace and mercy were 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 believe America is in a quagmire of immorality and injustice because our leaders have forsaken the Law of God, and have no moral compass for discerning right and wrong. The decay of our strength and security as a nation has paralleled the erosion of our confidence and respect for those in authority.
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 seek counsel from those who serve their immoral ends, but godly leaders have a passion for truth and love those whose words and counsel are honest and just.
Do you desire wisdom and discernment? Study God’s Word and meditate on His Laws and Commandments.
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.”
Copyright 2020 – Travis D. Smith