“When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn”
Today’s verse passage reminds us of the profound influence regional rulers have over the lives of their people. When they govern with transparency, wisdom, and moral uprightness, their citizens are blessed and grateful. On the other hand, when the wicked come into positions of authority, those they rule over feel frustrated, angry, anxious, and in some cases, even fearful. How do wicked men slither their way into positions of power, especially in democratic nations where citizens vote in leaders who supposedly represent their interests? We can never overestimate the ingenuity of evil people to shamelessly promote themselves even as they manipulate others. In some cases these wicked people are themselves being manipulated. They receive bribes to enact certain laws and policies which, in the long run, will destroy a nation (Proverbs 29:4). Biblical doctrine applied politically leads to free but responsible citizens, people who exercise moral uprightness, discernment, and discipline. Though the conduct of such people will invariably bless their communities, they will nevertheless find themselves in the cross-hairs of wicked rulers. We are seeing this kind of thing in our own beloved nation. “He that is upright in the way”, says the proverb, “is abomination to the wicked” (Proverbs 29:27b). Depraved, prideful tyrants cannot tolerate dissent. Their reigns of terror include the suppression of any views but their own. The situation would easily lead to depression and despair if not for the Lord’s promises concerning the future. “Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness,” wrote the great prophet, Isaiah, “and princes shall rule in judgment” (Isaiah 32:1). The Lord Himself promised He would return in glory and purge from His kingdom all things that offend (Matthew 13:41). “For brass I will bring gold,” promised our God, “and for iron I will bring silver, and for wood brass, and for stones iron: I will also make thy officers peace, and thine exactors righteousness” (Isaiah 60:17). At long last regional governors will rule in an upright fashion under King Jesus; those that were faithful to the Lord in this life will have great authority in the life to come. (Matthew 24:47; 25:21; Luke 19:11-26). As we see depraved leaders in our own land doing wickedly, let us neither lose hope, nor look to man for our deliverance from tyranny, for vain is the help of man (Psalm 60:11; Psalm 62:9). Let us remember that our only real help comes from our God and Maker (Psalm 121:2). Look to Him in this hour, dear saints, and do not lose heart. “For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry” (Hebrews 10:37).