Proverbs 16:12-15

In Proverbs 16:12-15 Solomon talks about the importance of how leaders lead.  Solomon admitted that it was possible for kings to commit wickedness. Some think that because someone is a king or leader all they do is justified. Sadly, Solomon became a king who committed wickedness and his house came crumbling down. “It is an abomination to kings to do evil, for the throne is established by righteousness.” The righteous life of a king can bring God’s blessing upon his life and for those whom he leads. Because of this great potential and influence, it is an even greater sin for kings and leaders to commit wickedness.

Truth is the best thing a leader can hear.  They need to be surrounded by truth tellers who will give them the real truth. In their positions of authority, it is important for kings and leaders to hear from those who speak honestly and wisely. Therefore, they find delight in righteous lips as it gives them the information and perspective they need to lead well. “Righteous lips are the delight of a king, and he loves him who speaks what is right.” It is always important for kings and leaders to hear the truth from others and not mere flattery. The words of those who flatter have no value to leadership. ven when a man speaks what may be difficult for the king or leader to hear, the one who speaks what is right will gain the love and respect of those who are in authority.

Solomon reminds us that when a king or man of authority is angry, his reaction can bring death or a death-like fear to others. This is true of earthly kings and leaders; but it is much truer of the King of Kings. To be the target of His wrath is to receive a verdict of death without an Intercessor – namely Jesus. “A king’s wrath is a messenger of death, and a wise man will appease it.” Wisdom can help us have the right reaction even in the difficult moments when a king or leader is angry and shows their wrath. The wise man will especially know how to appease the wrath of the King of Kings – not by their own works and merits, but by receiving what God has provided through Jesus.

The approval and favor of an earthly king or leader could mean success or failure for anyone under their rule. To have his approving countenance meant you were safe in their favor and had life. “In the light of a king’s face there is life, and his favor is like the clouds that bring the spring rain.” There is benefit to having a leader who is pleased. The welcome and approval of a king is like life-giving rain, especially the spring rain which ensured a good harvest. This proverb is especially true regarding the King of Kings. The favor of His countenance is a blessing and to receive it gives light and eternal life.

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