“When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.” (Proverbs 29:2)
Matthew Henry brings greater understanding to today’s verse:
The people will have cause to rejoice or mourn according as their rulers are righteous or wicked; for, if the righteous be in authority, sin will be punished and restrained, religion and virtue will be supported and kept in reputation; but, if the wicked get power in their hands, wickedness will abound, religion and religious people will be persecuted, and so the ends of government will be perverted.
A Biblical description of this process is given by Jesus in Matthew 13:24-26. In the parable, good people had a good field growing good seed. However, an enemy came in and planted bad among the good, thus contaminating the entire field. What afforded the enemy such an opportunity? The stark answer is found in verse 24: “While the good men slept, the enemy came in.” Jesus never faulted the enemy for doing what he did, for it was his task and purpose to destroy; Jesus placed the fault on the good men who went to sleep, thus allowing the enemy to do what he did. Very bluntly what has occurred in America happened first because the church went to sleep, and then because the enemy came in and caused the damage.
What can we do? “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men, for [leaders] and for all that are in authority.” (1 Timothy 2:1) Prayer is the key! Remember always the words of Abraham Lincoln in his statement:
The truth announced in the Holy Scripture, and proven by all history [is] that, “Those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.”
Now is NOT the time to be silent, but rather now IS the time to join our testimony with Paul’s in saying, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ”! (Romans 1:16)
“Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” (Proverbs 14:34) Simply put, if a nation stands for righteousness, God will exalt it. However, if the nation’s choice is sin, it will be a reproach in the nostrils of a holy God and bear the consequences! The same principle holds true in our personal lives . . . righteousness exalts us (makes us pleasing in His sight), yet sin in our lives is a reproach to the One who loves us most.
Let’s pray . . .
Father, we lift up all men in authority and we pray that righteousness would be birthed in their hearts. Father, we ask You to draw them to repentance, to a heart that is sensitive to the basis for moral justice. Father, hinder the work of the enemy to kill, steal, and destroy through the hands and hearts of evil men. Father, Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Thank You, Father, for Your prevailing love and sovereign justice over all. In Jesus’ name, amen and amen.
© Jan Ross
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