The Pursuit Of The Wise: Ruling Others Well (Part 1): Proverbs 14:28-31
28) In the multitude of people [is] the king’s honour: but in the want of people [is] the destruction of the prince. 29) [He that is] slow to wrath [is] of great understanding: but [he that is] hasty of spirit exalteth folly. 30) A sound heart [is] the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones. 31) He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor.
EXPOSITION: A wise man recognizes his need to exercise his authority over others in a Godly way…
28) In the multitude of people [is] the king’s honour: but in the want of people [is] the destruction of the prince.
1. A king is most highly honored by others when he has many people who WILLINGLY serve him. It is an indication that he is a fair, kind and wise ruler.
2. A prince will many times be removed from authority when only a few are willing to submit to his authority while many hate him and seek to be removed from his rule. This is a sign of an unjust, cruel selfish rule.
A wise person will make decisions that display a love, concern and desire to benefit those over whom he rules.
“The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. Thy people [shall be] willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.” (Psalms 110:2-3)
29) [He that is] slow to wrath [is] of great understanding: but [he that is] hasty of spirit exalteth folly.
1. A ruler who holds his temper and makes decisions after reflection (not during times of hot anger) shows a great understanding of genuine leadership, inward strength and self-control.
2. A ruler who makes hasty decisions based upon his emotions declares to all his lack of wisdom and weakness within himself.
A wise person will only make decisions after reflection, consistently using self-control as a decision making tool. This shows a great desire in wanting to make the correct decision not affected by the events or emotions of the day.
“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.” (James 1:19-20)
30) A sound heart [is] the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.
1. Just as the heart is essential to physical life, so too, a ruler who rules according to his love and concern for his people is essential to the health, growth and protection of the ruled.
2. Just as a spirit of envy will eat away at a person eventually causing them physical and spiritual harm, so too, a ruler who makes decisions to impress his rivals and have a “keep up with the Jones” mentality towards other rulers will bring corruption and eventual death to the people over which he rules.
A wise person will mind the affairs of his own people, not being distracted by the actions of those who rule over others. He will only be concerned about benefiting his people, not what will bring him the most praise or promotions from his peers.
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7) “And even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” (Romans 1:28-32)
31) He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor.
1. A person who abused his authority and takes advantage of the poor and weak through his rulership, does not understand his need to answer to His Creator for all of his actions. He brings dishonor and shame to the One who rules over him.
2. A person who honors all the Lord has done for him, his salvation, his blessings, his forgiveness will treat his subordinates with a kind, forgiving, gracious attitude.
A wise ruler will use the exercise of his authority as an opportunity to honor his Lord. He will do this by using Christ as the perfect example for his rule.. His rule will display the same type of rulership that Christ exercises over him.
“If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, marvel not at the matter: for [he that is] higher than the highest regardeth; and [there be] higher than they.” (Ecclesiastes 5:8)
“Therefore, as ye abound in every [thing, in] faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and [in] all diligence, and [in] your love to us, [see] that ye abound in this grace also. I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love.” (2 Corinthians 8:7-8)
SUMMARY: A wise ruler will:
1. make decisions that display a love, concern and desire to benefit those over whom he rules.
2. only make decisions after reflection, consistently using self-control as a decision making tool.
3. mind the affairs of his own people, not being distracted by the actions of those who rule over others.
4. use the exercise of his authority as an opportunity to honor his Lord. He will do this by using Christ as the perfect example for his rule.
By God’s grace, let us all study these proverbs diligently, giving them the value that they deserve.
May the Lord bless us as we receive this sound wisdom and then “Think On These Things”.
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