“With the merciful You will show Yourself merciful; With a blameless man You will show Yourself blameless; With the pure You will show Yourself pure; And with the devious You will show Yourself shrewd. For You will save the humble people, But will bring down haughty looks.” (Psalm 18:25-27)
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary describes shrewd “as having or showing a practical cleverness or [sharp powers of] judgment.” Did you notice how David constructed these words? The merciful, the blameless, and the pure receive an equal reaction from God but the devious is treated very differently. (more…)
“Because of the transgressions of a land, many are its princes; but by a man of understanding and knowledge right will be prolonged” (Proverbs 28:2).
If you are like me, you probably had to read over this passage a number of times before it becomes clear what message it conveys. In Leviticus 18, after warning the Israelites not to commit the sins of the inhabitants of the land before them, the Lord warned; “Do not defile yourselves with any of these things; for by all these the nations are defiled, which I am casting out before you. For the land is defiled; therefore I visit the punishment of its iniquity upon it, and the land vomits out its inhabitants. You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations, either any of your own nation or any stranger who dwells among you (for all these abominations the men of the land have done, who were before you, and thus the land is defiled), lest the land vomit you out also when you defile it, as it vomited out the nations that were before you”.
Solomon, in Proverbs 28, draws on this warning when he said that because of the transgressions of the [nation] many will come to rule over it. History has made clear the truth of this Proverb, which America has thus far been spared from, thanks to the constitution limiting the terms of those elected to political offices but even the constitution has limits. As a matter of fact, when it comes to the word of God everything is limited.
Leaders can lead a whole nation away from God; we have seen this throughout the ages and ancient Israel is the prime example we Christians often draw on. Europe has gone spiritually bankrupt because they have been led by those who are spiritually bankrupt and America is hastily following in their footsteps. In a democracy where those in power are elected to office, they either represent or mislead the people who vote for them. In the end, their spiritual health or poverty will be the driving force behind their ventures and accomplishments.
A democratic nation that votes for a spiritually bankrupt leader has either been deceived or that leader’s character and traits represent that which the citizens embellish. The church, in a democratic nation, has to be concerned when the elected leader was and continues to be antithetic to biblically Christian values.
A known liar has either lied his/her way to the top office or they have successfully deceived the people.
A known cheater has either cheated his/her way to the top office or the people turn a blind eye to such a character flaw.
Someone known to have “an evil eye [for riches]” (Proverbs 28:22) who is elected to the top office has either deceived the people or is the personification of a set of national values.
Someone known to “increase possession by usury and extortion” (Proverbs 28:8) who is elected to the top office has either succeeded in doing just that or the people care little for the poor and the honest laborer.
Someone “who turns away [his/her] ear from hearing the law” (Proverbs 28:9) will neglect the rule of law even when he/she has the power to enact them.
A democratic nation that enables and emboldens the sins of those who continue to act in such a way may in fact have sunk to such level itself. A Christian nation that enables and embolden such behavior must keep in mind the very template we often draw on; Israel.
We should never forget that “the wicked will flee when no one pursues”; “because of the transgressions of a land, may are its princes”; “Those who forsake the law, praise the wicked”; Evil men do not understand justice”; “Better is the poor who walks in his integrity that one perverse in his ways, though he be rich”; “One who turns away from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination”; “He who covers his sins will not prosper”; “A ruler who lack understanding is a great oppressor”; “He who is of a proud heart stirs up strife”.
Take heart you who read this, for when the wicked flee “the righteous are embolden”; “By a man of understanding and knowledge, right will be prolonged”; “those who seek the Lord has understanding”; “Whoever keeps the law is a discerning son”; “The blameless will inherit the good”; “Whoever confesses and forsakes his sins will have mercy”; “Whoever walks blamelessly will be saved”; “He who trusts in the Lord will be prospered” and “whoever walks wisely will be delivered.”
Let us, as a nation, adhere to the latter and not the former actions. (more…)