Thursday, July 13, 2023

The Wicked in Power (Proverbs 28:15, 28; 29:12)

"When the wicked arise, men hide themselves" (Prov. 28:28).

The character of a leader greatly impacts a nation for the better or the worse. His or her values will determine his selection of ambassadors, ministers, advisors, and cabinet members. These will in turn greatly influence policies and programs that will affect the entire nation.

Despite what some people may say, character does matter—especially in a leader. A nation cannot go unaffected when its leaders are ungodly and profligate. “The influence of the ruler’s personal character upon his people involves a fearful responsibility,” Bridges wrote. “A wicked prince makes a wicked people. In his more immediate sphere, if he hearkens to lies, contrary to the laws of God and of charity; he will ever want those about him ready to minister to his folly. ‘Lies will be told to those that are ready to hearken to them.’ Envy, ambition, malice, self-interest, will always be at hand for prejudice and scandal. 

The credulous ruler becomes the tool of all manner of wickedness. His corruption pushes away the godly from his presence; and all his servants are wicked. Exceptions there are to this maxim (as Obadiah in the court of Ahab, Ebedmelech in the service of Zedekiah, Daniel in Nebuchadnezzar’s court). But this is the natural tendency, the general result, to his own disgrace and ruin. If he would therefore rule in uprightness and in the fear of God; instead of lending himself to detraction or flattery, he must carefully close his ears against doubtful characters, lest he should countenance wicked servants, and discourage those, that will boldly speak the truth.”

When you vote for leaders, do you take stock of their character? Are they people who will stand by the truth no matter how much political backlash may ensue? Are they people of integrity? Do they honor God and walk according to His ways? Some may think it doesn’t matter if a leader believes in God or not. But if a person’s beliefs determine character (and they do), how can an atheist be trusted to uphold the principles of religion or the moral righteousness that exalts a nation? How can a man or woman who rejects God or who lives in an ungodly manner take seriously the responsibility to govern with justice and to honor God? Only those who serve God will serve a nation honorably and govern in righteousness.

If you don’t know the names of your U.S. and state representatives and senators, find out who they are and write their names on an index card. Put it in a prominent place in your home to help you remember to pray for them. Pray today for your president (if you live in another country, for your leaders) and your congressmen.