Proverbs 29:2 (NLT)
When the godly are in authority, the people rejoice. But when the wicked are in power, they groan.
Godliness is not very popular in America these days. When a godly man or woman attempts to enter the arena of politics, they are often met with disdain and scorn. They are accused of being close-minded, old-fashioned, and even spiteful and hateful. And while a godly person would seek to govern in a way that is consistent with God’s decrees of right and wrong- which bring God’s blessings – there are still millions and millions of citizens that would stand in direct and enthusiastic opposition to that person.
Solomon knew from his father, David, what can happen when a wicked person is in authority over the people. God had warned the people through the prophet Samuel what would happen to them if they chose a man to lead them rather than choosing to follow God (1 Sam. 8) …and they got exactly what they asked for in King Saul. From that point forward, God’s people would rejoice under godly leadership and mourn under wicked leadership. It’s a familiar story, is it not?
God’s ways are best for every person and every nation – a fact that our Founding Fathers understood all too well. In his 1796 farewell address, President George Washington said:
“Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and Citizens.”
President Washington knew in the 18thcentury what Solomon knew in the 8thcentury B.C. – godliness in its leadership and in its citizenry is what would lead a nation to strength and prosperity rather than slick campaigns, catchy slogans, and empty promises. Sadly, the further we move away from God as individuals, the more likely we are to put ungodly leaders in authority over us. After all, “How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness?” (2 Cor. 6:14).