Pro 16:10 A divine sentence is in the lips of the king: his mouth transgresseth not in judgment.
Pro 16:11 A just weight and balance are the LORD's: all the weights of the bag are his work.
Pro 16:12 It is an abomination to kings to commit wickedness: for the throne is established by righteousness.
Pro 16:13 Righteous lips are the delight of kings; and they love him that speaketh right.
Pro 16:14 The wrath of a king is as messengers of death: but a wise man will pacify it.
Pro 16:15 In the light of the king's countenance is life; and his favor is as a cloud of the latter rain.
Wow! What a great week of study we had last week with Tonya! I hope that this week will continue our progress . . . there's a lot here, so let's get started!
My title is "Great and Small" because these verses focus on those who are in authority -- kings (who ruled the land) and magistrates (who ruled in matters of weights and balances, ensuring against fraud). But these verses have a lot to say to us, even though we may consider ourselves "small" and not having the authority that the kings and magistrates had.
Verse 10 is not all inclusive --- by that I mean that not every king would not have been an example of this verse. Solomon is saying that if the king will be just, and rule in the fear of the Lord, and seek direction from Him, then He can favor them with grace and wisdom above all others, as He did Solomon. Solomon then notes that public justice is something that God pays attention to. He is not, as some believe, a God who set the universe into motion, and then walked away; He is actively at work, even today.
The next four verses speak about the character of a good king --- he not only "plays fair" and is just, but it is an "abomination" for him to do otherwise. That's a really strong word - he will abhor, despise, oppose it with every fiber of his being. In verse 14 and 15, Solomon illustrates the absolute power of kings -- if they were happy, others were happy. If they were angry, others were quaking in their sandals.
Can you imagine just how easy it would be, with that kind of power, to become arrogant? To be prideful? But Solomon's advice in other verses has been to seek wisdom, and to remain humble.
President Theodore Roosevelt and a dear friend engaged in a nighttime ritual to keep themselves humble. After an evening of conversation they would go outside on a clear night, and search the skies until one or the other found a faint speck of light-mist in a certain spot in the sky. Then the one who spotted it, would recite: "That is the Spiral Galaxy in Andromeda. That speck is as large as our Milky Way. It is one of a hundred million galaxies. It consists of a hundred billion suns, and each of them is larger than our own sun." Then the speaker would exclaim, "Now that we have our perspective, let's call it a day!" Pride is the constant enemy of the Christian, just as Solomon was noting that it could be the enemy of a good and righteous king. We need to keep alert to the sin or pride, so that we can reject Satan's suggestions of "how important" we are, how much "better" we are than others, and how "great" our achievements are. Whatever we have, and whatever we are, is by God's grace. Let's get in the habit of thanking Him for that!