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Pastor Scott L. Harris
Grace Bible Church, NY
October 21, 2012
Proverbs on Government
This morning I want to look at what the book of Proverbs has to say about human government. The timing of this particular sermon is tied to the elections that will be held in just over two weeks. In order to pray and vote intelligently and righteously, we need to have some basic understanding of what God says about the role of government and some of the characteristics of good leaders. Next week I will be expanding on this by examining the positions of particular candidates and their parties in light of these principles and characteristics.
We begin this morning with a reminder that the book of Proverbs is a collection of “pointed precepts for practical prudence” (J. Sidlow Baxter). Proverbs also gives us “the words of the wise on the ways of the world,” which is very helpful to a government official in being a wise leader. However, to understand clearly God’s purpose for government, we have to look at some other passages first.
Establishment & Purpose of Government
We start with the fact that Genesis 1 declares that God is the creator of the universe, time, the Earth, and man. God commanded Adam to “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:28). God created man in His image to be His regent on Earth carrying out His plans. This mandate has never been revoked or changed. This is still part of any government’s responsibility toward God. That includes the atheistic, secular and pagan ones.
Adam was free to carry out the mandate God gave him with only restriction. He was not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil on penalty of death (Genesis 2:16-17). Adam broke that command resulting in mankind, the earth and the animals being cursed (Genesis 3). God also began to give many more specific commands to reveal His will and direct man in what was right and what was wrong to do. Adam’s descendants continued to break those commands to the point that by Genesis 6:5 “. . . the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” God sent the flood and destroyed all of mankind and all flesh in which is the breath of life except Noah and his family along with the animals inside the ark.
After the flood, mankind began to multiply again though they did not spread out as they were commanded to do. Instead, they organized themselves on the plains of Shinar to build a city and tower that would reach to heaven. Nimrod’s establishment of Babel and other cities on the plains for Shinar are the first record of a “kingdom” (Genesis 19:10). God confused their language at Babel and forced them to scatter resulting in many kingdoms being established around the world according to language and families ties. By Genesis 14 during the days of Abraham, there were kingdoms that made war on other people to gain their land and wealth or subjugate them to collect tribute. People organized themselves for protection. It could have been patriarchal such as Abraham who had a large household which could defend itself, or it could have been a kingdom under a military leader who lead the people in battle. Defense of its people against sinful aggressors is the second major purpose of any government. Mankind was still in rebellion against God.
God called Abraham and established his descendants through Isaac and Jacob as a distinct nation with a theocratic government. Instead of a king ruling over the people by force of arms to carry out the king’s will, God would be their king with each person responsible to know and carry out God’s laws. These laws would be codified under Moses with the priests carrying out the functions of national government and the tribes and local officials handling civic affairs. While the particular form of government would be unique to the nation of Israel, the Mosaic Law is the most comprehensive revelation of God’s will and the principles and precepts for all governments to follow. They were the foundation of our own nation’s laws, though our society’s rejection of Christianity has also resulted in the overturning of those laws for ones that are opposite.
Sadly, the people did not learn and follow God’s law and eventually rejected God’s rule in favor of being like the other nations with a human king over them (1 Samuel 8). This did not catch God by surprise. He had already written into the Mosaic Law particular commands for Israel’s kings of what they were to do and not to do.
While Deuteronomy 17:14-20 is specifically for the Jewish kings, there are principles here that are applicable to all government leaders. Verses 14-15 set out the qualifications for the future kings of Israel. Verses 16-17 set out what they were not to do – multiply horses, wives or silver and gold. They were not to be like the kings of the surrounding nations that sought military might, financial wealth and many wives. These would secure their reign and legacy as sources of pride, power and pleasure. Israel’s kings were supposed to place their security in the Lord for their protection, needs and dynasty. It is still a general truth for any government that leaders that seek power, wealth or pleasure are dangerous.
Deuteronomy 17:18-20 set out what the king was supposed to do. “Now it shall come about when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself a copy of this law on a scroll in the presence of the Levitical priests. “It shall be with him and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, by carefully observing all the words of this law and these statutes, that his heart may not be lifted up above his countrymen and that he may not turn aside from the commandment, to the right or the left, so that he and his sons may continue long in his kingdom in the midst of Israel.” The leader of any nation that is humble, fears the Lord and will lead his people in righteousness will be a blessing to them. Proverbs 11:10, “When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices, And when the wicked perish, there is joyful shouting.”
Paul expressed this same truth for rulers in Romans 13:3-4, “For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil.”
The three major functions of government then are: 1) Carry out the principles and precepts of God’s laws. 2) Protect it citizens from the evil actions of both those outside and those within its realm. 3) Promote what is good among the people.
Governments, regardless of form, that do not carry out these functions place themselves in grave danger of being removed because they make themselves illegitimate. King Nebuchadnezzar learned this the hard way in Daniel 4. The Most High God, possessor heaven and Earth who lives forever, “is ruler over the realm of mankind, and bestows it on whomever He wishes . . .” “Hi
s dominion is an everlasting dominion, And His kingdom endures from generation to generation. “All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, But He does according to His will in the host of heaven And among the inhabitants of earth; And no one can ward off His hand Or say to Him, What have You done?'” (Daniel 4:32,34-35). The book of Second Kings records the failure of both Israel and Judah to do this resulting in suffering defeat and eventual deportation. Many are the nations throughout history in which this truth has played out including those in modern times. The tragedy is not the failure and replacement of a government, but the suffering the people will go through because of it both during the decline and in its defeat. Our own nation is not immune from this truth, and the current immoral direction of much of our government is taking us down that path.
Proverbs gives a lot of practical advice regarding government, its officials and the response of the people. Not surprisingly, most of them deal with issues of wisdom, righteousness and justice verses their opposites of foolishness, wickedness and injustice. It is the moral character of a government, not its financial success or military might, that is important to God. Proverbs 16:12, “It is an abomination for kings to commit wicked acts, For a throne is established on righteousness.”
Types of Government Officials
The various Proverbs are set in a time of kings and the various officials that would serve under a king. This needs to be understood lest the idea arise that kingdoms are the only Biblically legitimate form of government. I have already mentioned patriarchal and theocratic societies. A form of democracy also existed within Israel’s theocracy in that the heads of each tribe were chosen by the tribe and then appointed by Moses (Deuteronomy 1:13). Deuteronomy 16:18-20 states the criteria by which they were to appoint for themselves judges and officers in all the towns. The apostles did something similar in Acts 6 in finding and appointing the men who would serve the widows.
It is important to note early that the emphasis in the Scriptures is on the moral quality of a government and not its particular form. The only government that is presented as superior is the Millennial kingdom under the reign of Messiah. I must point this out because Christians in America can easily fall for idea that democracy is always the best form of government. Our founding fathers understood that religion and morality are indispensable support to political prosperity (See Washington’s Farewell Address). The great weakness of a democracy is that since the leaders are chosen by the people, they reflect the people. If then the people are wicked, then so will be the government. We have been watching this decline in America for a long time. We are seeing it happen very rapidly in North Africa and Middle East where “democracy” is resulting in greater persecution of Christians than had occurred under the totalitarian dictators.
All governments have a hierarchy of officials. Authority extends from the top and works its way down. There can also be multiple branches of government which compete for power, but these branches in turn also have various levels of officials. In Proverbs there are kings, leaders, rulers, princes, nobles, rulers, chief’s, officers, etc. The exact hierarchy is uncertain for the usage of the words often overlap with particular Hebrew words even used as synonyms for each other. It is an interesting study, but not essential for the purpose of this sermon, so I will explain a particular word only when necessary to emphasize the meaning of a Proverb or its application.
The king and various other officials had many different specific responsibilities as do government officials of all types today, but all of these duties are related to the three major purposes of government already mentioned. These three major functions of government are again to: 1) Carry out the principles and precepts of God’s laws. 2) Protect its citizens from the evil. 3) Promote what is good.
We again start in Proverbs 1:1-7 because it lays out the purpose of Proverbs and points out how they will help a government leader. “The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel: To know wisdom and instruction, To discern the sayings of understanding, To receive instruction in wise behavior, Righteousness, justice and equity; To give prudence to the naive, To the youth knowledge and discretion, A wise man will hear and increase in learning, And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel, To understand a proverb and a figure, The words of the wise and their riddles. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (See: Introduction to Proverbs) All of these characteristics are important for leaders – wisdom, knowledge, understanding, righteousness, justice, equity, discretion and prudence.
Wisdom is personified in Proverbs 8 and declares in verses 14-16,“Counsel is mine and sound wisdom; I am understanding, power is mine. “By me kings reign, And rulers decree justice. “By me princes rule, and nobles, All who judge rightly.” Wisdom adds in verse 20, “I walk in the way of righteousness, In the midst of the paths of justice.” These are all necessary for success. Wisdom invites and warns in Proverbs 8:32-36, “Now therefore, O sons, listen to me, For blessed are they who keep my ways. “Heed instruction and be wise, And do not neglect it. “Blessed is the man who listens to me, Watching daily at my gates, Waiting at my doorposts. “For he who finds me finds life And obtains favor from the Lord. “But he who sins against me injures himself; All those who hate me love death.” (See: Wisdom’s Call)
Wisdom is foundational for any leader of anything. A government that seeks and follows wisdom will be successful, and one that follows foolishness sows the seeds of its own destruction. It must be quickly pointed out that the wisdom being referred to here is the wisdom from above and not the wisdom from below (James 3:13-18). The wisdom from below is earthly, natural, demonic leading to jealousy, selfish ambition, disorder and every evil thing. True wisdom is not the same thing as common sense or being street smart. First, it seems that common sense is not all that common anymore or have much sense. Second, both of these seek to conform to the ways of the world and not necessarily to God. The wise leader will seek out and follow the precepts and principles of God’s word instead of the advice of political consultants and polling.
Wisdom, chokm” (khok-maw’), refers to skill and ability in the entire range of human experience from technical ability and craftsmanship to battle tactics and government administration. However, in the Hebrew Scriptures, wisdom is also tied to the revelation of God and His will of what is holy, righteous and just. Because wisdom resides in God, true wisdom submits to God’s will and revelation. True wisdom is characterized by being “pure, peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy” (James 3:17). A king will need true wisdom because, “A divine decision is in the lips of the king; His mouth should not err in judgment,” Proverbs 16:10
Righteousness / Unrighteous (See: The Way of Righteousness)
The truth of Proverbs 14:34 applies to every government, “Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a disgrace to any people.” Righteousness brings blessings on a nation and its people. Proverbs 29:2a, “When the righteous increase, the people rejoice .
. . “, Proverbs 28:12a, “When the righteous triumph, there is great glory . . .” Sin brings travail and tragedy. Proverbs 29:16a, “When the wicked increase, transgression increases . . . ,” Proverbs 28:12b, “. . . when the wicked rise, men hide themselves,” Proverbs 29:2b “. . . when a wicked man rules, people groan.”
The tragedy is that there are so many nations that have no sense of shame and their leaders glory in their sin. This has become true in our own nation with scandal being so common among the political class that we hardly notice it anymore. A generation ago an indiscretion could end a political career, now affairs and prostitutes are not a big deal unless it was lied about or government money was used to pay the bill. Corruption, cronyism and political pay-offs are normal operating procedure to the point it often does not even make the news. For example, there have already been near 600 convictions and judgments against misuse of funds from the “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act” (stimulus) with 1,900 more open investigations, but it was hard to find news of the story. That does not include in the least the political corruption that enabled many to legally get a share of those funds for personal benefit. Do you get the sense that transgressions are increasing? Does such financial waste cause you to groan? But the economics are the least troubling aspects of an unrighteous government.
Proverbs 29:27 states, “An unjust man is abominable to the righteous, And he who is upright in the way is abominable to the wicked.” Since God declares the actions of the unjust to be abominations, then it is just for the righteous to react to them accordingly. The righteous are to call sinners to turn away from their evil (Proverbs 4:14-15). It would be cruel to leave them in their sin under God’s just condemnation without warning them. A good king will uphold God’s law and correct them – Proverbs 28:4, “Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, But those who keep the law strive with them,” Proverbs 19:29, “Judgments are prepared for scoffers, And blows for the back of fools.”
But what about when the reverse is taking place? That is when the people really groan. They are persecuted for their righteousness, oppressed for maintaining God’s commands. Chik-fil-A and Hobby Lobby have both been recently slandered and boycotted by the pro-homosexual lobby along with many politicians because they support traditional marriage which is an abomination to them. Those boycotts backfired and people have given them even more support, but others have suffered the loss of their business, had their property damaged or even been physically assaulted directly by wicked and angry people or through perverted laws and courts. The people groan when government takes the side of the wicked and oppresses the righteous.
God warned in Isaiah 5:20-21, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes And clever in their own sight!” Those are serious warnings for both Israel and Judah were eventually conquered and deported because of their evil. Proverbs 24:23-26 both warns and encourages, “These also are sayings of the wise. To show partiality in judgment is not good. He who says to the wicked, “You are righteous,” Peoples will curse him, nations will abhor him; But to those who rebuke the wicked will be delight, And a good blessing will come upon them. He kisses the lips Who gives a right answer.”
Those who are in any leadership position need to be very careful about the advice they receive. Proverbs 12:5, “The thoughts of the righteous are just, But the counsels of the wicked are deceitful.” Many good men have been led astray by poor advice that paid more attention to the wisdom of the world than wisdom from God. First, make sure you are not getting advice from the wicked. Proverbs 25:4-5, “Take away the dross from the silver, And there comes out a vessel for the smith; Take away the wicked before the king, And his throne will be established in righteousness.” Second, be wise and seek out good counsel (Proverbs 1:5; 12:15; 13:10, etc.) in order to avoid foolishness and be guided to right decisions. There is a great blessing in having godly advisors, Proverbs 16:13, “Righteous lips are the delight of kings, And he who speaks right is loved,” and Proverbs 20:28, “Loyalty and truth preserve the king, And he upholds his throne by righteousness.” Of course the best counsel comes from the Lord (Proverbs 19:21; 21:30).
A leader also needs to stand strong and courageous because there can be a lot of pressure to yield to the wicked. Proverbs 25:26, “Like a trampled spring and a polluted well Is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.” By standing against evil a leader prevents his people from being contaminated and ensures a healthy stream.
Justice / Injustice
Justice flows from righteousness just as surely as injustice arises from evil. Righteousness and evil are mutually exclusive and their response to justice is opposite – Proverbs 21:15, “The exercise of justice is joy for the righteous, But is terror to the workers of iniquity.” As previously mentioned, wisdom is essential to being able to walk in both righteousness and justice (Proverbs 8:20).
The importance of justice is seen in Proverbs 21:3, “To do righteousness and justice Is desired by the Lord more than sacrifice.” Rituals of worship are relatively unimportant to God for unless they are done with the right heart, they are abominations. God rejected the sacrifices of Judah because of their wickedness (Isaiah 1:10-15). Proverbs 15:8, “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, But the prayer of the upright is His delight.” What the Lord requires is to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with Him (Micah 6:8).
Justice is carried out by several means. The first of which is actually the laws that are set forth by the government for any judgment is supposed to be based on them. That is why righteousness must precede justice. If the laws are perverted, then so too will be justice. Remember, God, not man, determines what is just for He sets the eternal standards by which all men will be judged. Under man’s laws, it can be legal to be unjust and illegal to carry out what is just. Proverbs 28:5, “Evil men do not understand justice, But those who seek the Lord understand all things.”
I pointed out some examples of this last week in commenting about Proverbs 13:23, “Abundant food is in the fallow ground of the poor, But it is swept away by injustice.” I recall a case when I was in college in which a farmer could no longer plow a section of his land because Kangaroo Rats were found there. They have survived his planting of the area in the past, but now the land lies fallow and he gets no production out of it and no compensation for it – but I can guarantee he still has to pay taxes on it.
But there are many worse cases of injustice than this. One of the most recent is September 30 signing of a law in California that has made it illegal for a licensed counselor to assist a minor who desires to decrease his or her same-gender attraction. That includes a minor who has been molested and is now confused. What is just is made illegal. But California is also one of the states in which its judges continually overturn their own constitution. They keep setting aside legally passed referendums confirming traditional marriage and instead support homosexual marriage. What is unjust is made legal.
Righteousness and justice demand honesty in all areas. A good government will promote such honesty and have laws that punish dishonesty. Proverbs 16:11 and 20:10 address honesty in business transactions, “A just balance and scales belong to the Lord; All the weights of the bag are His conce
rn,” and “Differing weights and differing measures, Both of them are abominable to the Lord.” Proverbs 22:28 addresses land dealings, and by implication in our modern society, accurate surveying and record keeping – “Do not move the ancient boundary Which your fathers have set.” (See: Proverbs on Economics)
A good ruler will establish justice while an evil ruler will oppress his people – Proverbs 29:4, “The king gives stability to the land by justice, But a man who takes bribes overthrows it.” Proverbs 28:15-16, “Like a roaring lion and a rushing bear Is a wicked ruler over a poor people. A leader who is a great oppressor lacks understanding, But he who hates unjust gain will prolong his days.”
The justice of a good king is a blessing – Proverbs 20:8, “A king who sits on the throne of justice Disperses all evil with his eyes.” He will punish the wicked – Proverbs 20:26, “A wise king winnows the wicked, And drives the threshing wheel over them.” He will judge rightly – Proverbs 29:14, “If a king judges the poor with truth, His throne will be established forever.”
A wicked king can be bought – Proverbs 17:23, “A wicked man receives a bribe from the bosom To pervert the ways of justice.” He will adhere to poor counsel increasing evil – Proverbs 29:12, “If a ruler pays attention to falsehood, All his ministers become wicked.” The hidden danger is that even a good leader can be fooled – Proverbs 28:10, “He who leads the upright astray in an evil way Will himself fall into his own pit, But the blameless will inherit good.”
King Lemuel was given stern warning about women and strong drink lest it cause him to forget the law and pervert the rights of the afflicted. He was admonished to be a good king and “Open your mouth for the mute, For the rights of all the unfortunate. Open your mouth, judge righteously, And defend the rights of the afflicted and needy” (Proverbs 31:8-9).
What happens in the courtroom is an important aspect of justice. A good government will not tolerate falsehood in the court, while a corrupt one will encourage it. Proverbs 14:25, “A truthful witness saves lives, But he who utters lies is treacherous.” Proverbs 19:28, “A rascally witness makes a mockery of justice, And the mouth of the wicked spreads iniquity.” And while a false witness may prevail in man’s court by lying, he will not escape in God’s court – Proverbs 19:5, “A false witness will not go unpunished, And he who tells lies will not escape.” Even revenge does not justify it – Proverbs 24:28-29, “Do not be a witness against your neighbor without cause, And do not deceive with your lips. Do not say, “Thus I shall do to him as he has done to me; I will render to the man according to his work.”
What a judge allows in his courtroom and the verdicts he renders reflect his own character whether good or bad. – Proverbs 21:8, “The way of a guilty man is crooked, But as for the pure, his conduct is upright.” Proverbs 29:7, “The righteous is concerned for the rights of the poor, The wicked does not understand such concern.” The actions of the wicked are seen in their perversion of justice. Proverbs 18:5, “To show partiality to the wicked is not good, Nor to thrust aside the righteous in judgment.” Proverbs 17:26, “It is also not good to fine the righteous, Nor to strike the noble for their uprightness.” Proverbs 17:15, “He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous, Both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord.”
Whether a government is good or bad is determined by its moral character, not its financial success or military power. God is the judge of both men and nations. It is summed up in Proverbs 14:34, “Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a disgrace to any people.”
That is the reminder that keeps us balanced when it comes to our own involvement in government. In a democracy, if righteous people do not vote nor run for office, we cannot be surprised at being ruled over by evil ones. At the same time, since the primary issue in good government is righteousness, our only real hope is in the preaching of the gospel and revival, not in achieving political victory, though it is right to work hard towards that end.
Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help. Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – Do one or more of the following: 1) Count how man times “righteous” and “justice” are mentioned. 2) Talk with your parents about the importance of both in government.
THINK ABOUT IT!
Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. How does the purpose of Proverbs apply to government? What is God’s mandate to man (Genesis 1)? What is the relationship of the Mosaic Law to Gentile nations? What do we learn from Deuteronomy 17 about the character and responsibilities of all government leaders? What does Romans 13:3-4 reveal about the purpose of government? What are the three major functions of government? What is the danger to a government of not carrying out these functions? What types of governments are presented in Scriptures? What type is presented as being superior? What is the danger of democracy? What kinds of government officials are mentioned in Proverbs? What is the importance of wisdom in government? Compare the “wisdom from above” to the “wisdom below.” What are the contrasting results of righteousness and sin in a nation? Give examples of each from history or current events? Give examples of evil being declared good and good declared evil by governments in the U.S. A. Why must leaders be very careful about the source of their advice? What is the relationship of justice to worship? What is the relationship of law to justice? Who determines what is just? What is the relationship between honesty and justice? What blessings does a just king bring? What are the sources of injustice in a wicked king? What application do the warnings given to King Lemuel have in current times? What are the characteristics of a good judge? How do his verdicts reflect his character? Why is it important for the righteous to be involved in politics? What is the only true source of hope for any nation?
Sermon Notes – 10/21/2012
Proverbs on Government – Selected Proverbs
Establishment & Purpose of Government
God is the creator of the universe, time, the Earth, and __________ – Genesis 1
God created man in His image to be His __________ on Earth carrying out His plans – Genesis 1:28
Adam broke God commands with his descendants becoming so ______God destroyed them in the flood
God forced Noah’s descendants to _____________ by confusing their languages – Genesis 10
By Genesis 14, Kingdoms were established and had a ________________ role for its people
Abraham’s descendants through Jacob became a distinct nation with a ________________ government
The Mosaic Law is the most comprehensive revelation of God’s will for _______________
The people rejected the theocracy and demanded a _________, but God was already prepared – Deut. 17
Rulers are to put their trust in ___________ instead of seeking power, wealth or pleasure
Rulers that are humble, fear the Lord and lead their people in righteousness will be___
____ (Prov. 11:10)
Governments are to promote _____________ and suppress evil – Romans 13:3-4
Governments are to 1) Carry out God’s commands, 2) _________its citizens from evil, 3) promote good
Governments that do not do these things place themselves at risk of being _________- Daniel 4, 2 Kings
Proverbs dealing with _______________primarily deal with issues of wisdom, righteousness and justice
Types of Government Officials
Types of government in scriptures include: patriarchal, kingdoms, _________& democracy in theocracy
Only the Millennial _______________ under Messiah is presented as the superior government
The weakness of democracy is that it reflects its _______________ – whether good or evil
There are many specific ________of government officials mentioned in Proverbs, but they often overlap
The ______of all government officials are eventually related to the three major functions of government
Wisdom is crucial for _________________ government – Proverbs 1:2-7; 8:14-16, 32-36
Biblical wisdom is _____________, not earthly, natural or demonic – see James 3:13-18
Wisdom in the Bible refers not only to human skills and ability, but also to _____________to God’s will
Righteousness / Unrighteous
Prov. 14:34 applies to ___government: Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a disgrace to any people
Righteousness brings _________________ while sin brings travail & tragedy: Proverbs 28:12, 29:2, 16
A good ruler _____________ God’s law and corrects sinners: Proverbs 29:27; 4:14-15; 28:4; 19:29
A leader must stand strong & _________________ against the wicked – Proverbs 25:26
Justice / Injustice
Righteous and evil are mutually exclusive yielding ________________ results: Proverbs 21:15, 8:20
The first level of justice are the _____________ that govern the nation – Proverbs 28:5; 13:23
Righteousness & justice demand _____________ – Proverbs 16:11; 20:10; 22:28
A good ruler establishes justice, an evil ruler ______________ – Proverbs 29:4; 28:15-16
The _____________ of a good king is a blessing – Proverbs 20:8; 20:26; 29:14
A ________king can be bribed – Proverbs 17:23, listen to bad advice and increase evil – Proverbs. 29:12
Rulers must be careful about allowing anything to ____________ their judgment – Proverbs 31:8-9
A judge must suppress ______________ witnesses – Proverbs 14:25; 19:5, 28; 24:28-29
A judge’s decisions reflect his __________character – good or bad – Proverbs 21:8; 29:7; 18:5; 17:15, 26
______________ is the judge of both men and nations
Our only real hope is in declaring the gospel and God granting _______________
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