“A Nation’s Leaders are Indicative of the Character of Its People” (Proverbs 28; Proverbs 29)

Scripture reading – Proverbs 28; Proverbs 29

We continue our study in the Book of Proverbs, and today’s Scripture reading is Proverbs 28 and 29. We will consider a proverb from each of those chapters, and this is the first of two devotional commentaries for the day.

Proverbs 28

Proverbs 28:22For the transgression of a land many are the princes thereof: but by a man of understanding and knowledge the state thereof shall be prolonged.

The truths conveyed in Proverbs 28:2 are both political and spiritual in nature. Solomon, the king of Israel, was burdened that his son be prepared to rule the nation. Understanding the powerful influence a nation’s leaders has upon its people, the king stated a couplet of wisdom that we should all understand and heed. Consider Proverbs 28:2 with this author’s amplification of the Scripture in italics and brackets:

Proverbs 28:2  “For the transgression [sin; guilt] of a land [nation; country] many are the princes [chiefs; commanders; rulers] thereof: but by a man of understanding [discernment] and knowledge [gained by observation and experience] the state [rightness and well-being] thereof shall be prolonged [i.e., the nation shall continue to exist].”

Ponder two lessons we might take from Proverbs 28:2. The first: A rebellious, sinful nation becomes afflicted with many leaders! When a nation turns its back on God, and rejects His Laws and Commandments, its people turn to a bloated bureaucracy for its leadership (“many are the princes thereof”). Such a nation becomes weak and divided.

That truth is seen in nearly every nation of our day. Almost without exception, there is a void in principled leaders, and the world has become a more dangerous place for all. When a nation lacks timeless, unassailable principles, that nation inevitably will be ruled by government agencies, and led by corrupt, immoral politicians.

A second lesson found in our proverb is one that gives hope: “by a man of understanding and knowledge the state thereof shall be prolonged” (28:2b).

A nation is blessed when it is ruled by godly leaders who have wisdom, insight, and discernment. Whether a king, queen, president or senator–integrity and dependence on God impart a stability and sense of security that prolongs a nation’s life and prosperity.

LessonIt is the character of a leader, not the office he holds, that defines his leadership.

That principle is true of a nation, state, city, school, church congregation, and yes, our own families. Men and women of godly character make wise decisions that pave the way to health and happiness.

Closing thoughts – The decline of a nation runs parallel to the decay in the moral fiber of its people. If you are an American, and you question why the United States has lost its role as the world’s leader and force for good—you need look no further than the character of the men and women in power. Sadly, the moral character of a nation’s leaders is indicative of its people—they are who we are!

I do not want to leave you feeling hopeless, and wrestling with despair. There is something you and I can, and must do—Pray for your nation and its leaders.

1 Timothy 2:1-2 – “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2  For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.”

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Copyright © 2021 – Travis D. Smith