Although in our system of government we do not have a king or other such “supreme” leader, our elected officials do have significant influence on societal morality.
We must understand that our “leaders” are intended to be our representatives, they are not intended to dictate law. Our leaders are intended to implement the will of the people.
Unfortunately, people are often corrupted when they get a taste of power and try to impose their will and ideas on others, and not fulfill their role as representatives of the people whom they serve.
In scripture we see the effects leaders have on those people. Proverbs 29:1-4 tells us,
“He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy. When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn. Whoso loveth wisdom rejoiceth his father: but he that keepeth company with harlots spendeth his substance. The king by judgment establisheth the land: but he that receiveth gifts overthrow it.”
In my brief lifetime of fifty years, I have seen the results of good leaders and bad leaders. Even in our current circumstances we can look across our great nation and see how various governors and styles of leadership affect the people.
Some states are showing severe distress over the laws enacted by its “leaders”. Legislators and senators, at the state level, as well as at the federal
level, often enact laws based on their personal morality. Our life choices are dictated by, or at the very least influenced by, our personal moral compass.
A righteous leader causes the people to rejoice, but the wicked cause people to mourn. The latter part of verse 4 shows the negative results of a leader who can be influenced by bribery. A land will fall apart, or even be destroyed by one who cares more for personal gain than for the welfare of his people.
As we look at current and recent headlines, we see many problems associated with greed among politicians. Some live extremely lavish lifestyles, while others are downtrodden and miserable.
In the United States we are not supposed to live in a caste system, we are all supposed to be equal. This is the concept upon which the United States is built, equality for all without special rights for certain groups or classes of people.
When looking at candidates for political office we must evaluate the character and nature of that candidate. Some have demonstrated a lifelong pattern of behavior that would cause great concern. Unethical and dishonest people are not good qualifications for leadership positions.
A good example of a wicked king would be the story of Ahab. 1 Kings 16:29-33,” And in the thirty and eight year of Asa king of Judah began Ahab the son of Omri to reign over Israel: and Ahab the son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria twenty and two years. And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord above all that were before him. And it came to pass, as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jereboam the son of Nebat, that he took to wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshipped him. And he reared up an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he had built in Samaria.”
Ahab was wicked and did evil in the sight of the Lord. Notice that he was more evil than those that came before him. 1 Kings 21 we see the story of Naboth, whom Jezebel, Ahab’s wife, killed.
Ahab stole Naboth’s vineyard, after his wife had him executed. This, coupled with pagan altars and grooves, showed how Ahab’s wicked influence led
the nation of Israel away from God and toward sin.
We also see how a good Pharaoh treated the Israelites well, and the people prospered. Later, a wicked Pharaoh, who never knew Joseph, wickedly oppressed the people. We must remember no leader is perfect
Psalm 17:1-3, “Hear the right, O Lord. attend unto my cry, give ear unto my prayer, that goeth not out of feigned lips. Let my sentence come forth from thy presence; let thine eyes behold the things that are equal. Thou hast proved mine heart; thou hast visited me in the night; thou hast tried me, and shalt find nothing; I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.”
Notice that David referred to his heart being proven, and in verse eight he was considered the apple of God’s eye. All this, and we know how imperfect David was and the sins that he committed. God looks at the heart and he sees the value of a man who desires to serve the Lord.
Make no mistake, the actions of people are extremely important. We must note, however, that a sincere desire, coupled with a proper relationship with God, are the most important qualities a righteous leader must have.
All men, and women, are flawed and need the redeeming grace of the Lord. Perhaps a verse we apply to ourselves must also be applied to our “leaders”.
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13.
A leader who realizes this would be far more inclined to seek the help of the Lord, and do a better job serving the people.
Bro. Chris Gonthier
BMAO Moral Action