When you think back through history about good kings and bad kings, there are some things that stand out. Those who try to rule through despotism -- cruelty, scheming, an "iron fist" --- they not only have troubles within their borders, but they have troubles outside their borders as well. They are notorious for being devious, and not honoring their promises, so rulers of neighboring lands would just as soon conquer and forget them!
On the other hand, there are those kings who utilize mercy, truth, and faithfulness in their dealings with their own subjects, and with other rulers. They are faithful to their words, and can be counted on to honor their commitments. They have compassion on the distressed (there's the mercy), and they make sure that the law of the land is upheld. They also are steady as a rock on the administration of justice (there's the truth) in their land.
Solomon says that these characteristics will preserve the king --- they'll definitely preserve the affections of the people toward him; and that his throne will be established and secure.
Hmmmm.....as I was typing the characteristics of the good kings, I realized that those were a pretty good list of characteristics for us to aspire to! Kinda reminds me of what Paul said:
2Pe 1:5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;The words may be slightly different, but I'm hearing "mercy" and "truth" in there. And how about this from James:
2Pe 1:6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
2Pe 1:7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
Jam 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.Now, here is your homework (I'm such a meanie!): pick one good king and one not-so-good king, either from the Bible or from secular history, and note what they did wrong or right. Now give some thought to what you can do better in your earthly "kingdom" --- the area of your world where you are the authority. Leave me a quick comment and let's compare notes.