PROVERB PRACTICALS   Leadership, Proverbs 11:10,11, audio

 

Proverbs 11:10,11,  When it goeth well with the righteous, the city rejoiceth: and when the wicked perish, there is shouting. By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted: but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.

The Bible tells us that we are made in the image of God.

It also tells us we are spirit along with soul and body.

It also tells us in John 4:14 that God is Spirit and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

Thinking about these things will bring you to believe that all men, women and children in this world are connected to each other by Godís act of creation and upon this creation He has placed His image.

I also know from scripture that there is a special connection of believers to each other by another direct act of God called the New Birth which places us in Godís Spirit in order that our eyes be opened to the kingdom of God.

This is a second creative act of God for we are called new creatures.

But without this direct act of God that takes place, without the new birth, each man, women, boy or girl still has Godís mark upon them which connects them together for they all have Godís stamp upon them which reflects His image.

God is without a body but we are not so, therefore the image that God is talking about is not the body.

There are many aspects of Godís image but several important Godlike qualities include the fact that we are given language, creativity, love, holiness, immortality and freedom.

Another one that pertains to our proverbs for today concerns justice, or another way of saying it is fairness.

God is a God of justice and He has implanted that attribute into his creation which reflects His image upon His creation.

The desire for justice appears early in the human mind and is easily seen in the smallest of children who will early on say when favoritism is shown,  Thatís not fair!

This desire for justice is in all of Godís creation as pertaining to man.

There is no human mind that does not contain this desire, for God has included this Godlike quality in all men, all women, all boys and all girls for justice shows Godís image.

Now within the sinful nature of man this desire is easily distorted and can be desired only for oneself without care that justice be extended to all.

The Old Testament word for just means straight, upright, perpendicular and the New Testament word for just means equal, equal treatment for those under authority.

When we say that God is just, we are saying that He always does what is right, what should be done, and that He does it consistently, without partiality or prejudice.

The word just and the word righteous are identical in both the Old Testament and the New Testament and they mean essentially the same thing.

It has to do with Godís actions.

They are always right and fair.

Because God is righteous and just, He has established moral government in the world.

He has laid down principles which are holy and good, then added consequences which are just and fair for violating those principles.

Furthermore, He is totally impartial in administering His government.

He does not condemn innocent people or let guilty people go free.

Peter said in the book of Acts,  Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:

Peter also said in I Peter 1:17 He is a God  "who impartially judges according to each manís work"

His treatment is never harsher than the crime demands.

Since God is truly just and always acts in harmony with His holy nature, He must show His displeasure with sin by opposing it and punishing it wherever it exists.

He cannot enact a holy law, threaten a penalty, then take no action when His law is broken.

For Godís justice demands that He will not overlook the guilty.

God declares the soul that sinneth it shall die.

He says the wages of sin is death.

God justice is perfectly demonstrated in the fact that He has given His only begotten Son to pay those wages.

He has not neglected those wages even to the need to provide a substitute.

This justice, this attribute of the image of God has been implanted in you and in me.

And therefore when this justice is prevalent in the city, in the country, in the world it is natural to rejoice and that is what our proverbs express.

When Godís image is clearly presented in the world there will be rejoicing for Godís image is perfect.

So our proverbs for today so state:

Proverbs 11:10,11,  When it goeth well with the righteous, the city rejoiceth: and when the wicked perish, there is shouting. By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted: but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.

Using a math term we can say this proverb expresses a direct proportion.

A direct proportion says that when this number goes up another number also goes up.

This proverb says when things go well with the righteous in the city then things go right for everyone in the city and there is rejoicing.

And contrarily when the wicked mouth is in power the people of the city suffer.

Seems familiar in todayís world does it not?

I remember as a seven year old boy in 1945 the fall of the Nazi empire and the death of its evil leader, Adolph Hitler.

I remember the hanging by the feet of the one who aligned himself with Hitler to form the Axis, that proud man of Italy called Benito Mussolini.

We have seen example after example of the falling of the wicked in our time.

Recently we saw the slaying of the dictator Gaddafi, before that the hanging of Saddam Hussein, and then in the last few months the killing of Osama Ben Laden.

What followed these falls from power was an outpouring of rejoicing by the peoples who had been unjustly treated.

Remember the young people who danced in the streets of New York and Washington after the announcement that Bin Laden was dead.

I realize that those people are not all of the righteous but they are people who have been created in the image of God.

Their motives may not be pure but they still have the desire for justice.

I think even in the protests that are against social and economic inequality, high unemployment, greed, financial corruption we have seen recently on Wall Street the motivator behind much of that is the desire for justice.

Vast amounts of money change hands on Wall Street for doing little but knowing how to manipulate the financial system.

But in the doing of it, legal though it may be, it is perceived to take money from the poor and middle class and so moves people to act.

Many people see this as income redistribution of income from the poor and the middle class to the rich, not a distribution by the government but by a corrupt financial system with clever people who know how to move money from your IRA into their bank account.

Many people see this as free enterprise gone amuck, as free enterprise which is unjust and unfair.

What moves the demonstrators in Egypt and Syria?

Even in our own history our revolution was about unfairness and injustice.

Now where the desires for justice take the protestors, will be distorted by their sinful nature and corrupt men who will take advantage but those desires still reveal the image of God in which they were made.

But the best situation for rejoicing concerns the righteous for when it goeth well with the righteous the city rejoiceth.

Proverbs 29:2 tells us,  When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.

Remember the story of Esther and Mordecai and how the wicked seemed to have the strategy for victory.

Haman was in charge wasnít he, unrighteous though he be and Jews were declared enemies of the state.

But God turned his evil into good and all of Hamanís plans for their destruction turned to his own destruction.

And when Godís plan came about the people rejoiced.

Listen to Esther 8:15,16,  And Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal apparel of blue and white, and with a great crown of gold, and with a garment of fine linen and purple: and the city of Shushan rejoiced and was glad. 16The Jews had light, and gladness, and joy, and honour. 17And in every province, and in every city, whithersoever the kingís commandment and his decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast and a good day. And many of the people of the land became Jews; for the fear of the Jews fell upon them.

The Jews continue to rejoice annually for this great victory as they celebrate the feast of Purim.

And during this celebration the enemy Haman continues to receive scorn for he is the enemy the Jews love to hate.

When Haman's name is read out during public chanting in the synagogue, which occurs 54 times, the congregation engages in noisemaking to blot out his name.

There is even a practice of writing his name on two smooth stones and knocking them together until his name is blotted out.

Some write the name of Haman on the soles of their shoes, and at the mention of the his name they stamp their feet as a sign of contempt.

Another method was to use a noisy rattle which was used to blot out the hearing of his name.

Godís deliverance from Hamanís evil has been remembered for 2400 years.

Talk about joy that lasts.

Even though the Jews have continued to be repressed though the centuries they have continued to remember Hamanís demise and Mordecaiís elevation.

Mordecai was a man who feared God and he operated by Godís standards of justice and charity towards men.

He was a virtuous man, a man of integrity, a man whose acts and motives were known to be based on the highest of values.

And because God placed him in a position of power the Jews had light, and gladness and joy and honour.

The man in power who brings gladness will be a man as Solomon brings to mind in Proverbs 16:7:

He will be a man whose:  ways please the LORD, a man who: maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.

The people will know his virtues, will know his honesty, will know his fairness and will live in rejoicing for having a man in authority who lives on a higher plane.

How often we read the evaluations of the kings of Judah and the kings of the northern kingdom.

You can go on line and attend the Hall of Fame or the Hall of Shame of the kings of Israel.

Of the kings of the northern kingdom all are in the Hall of Shame.

Fourteen were given a report card with one grade, and that grade was bad.

Two were given Mostly bad, one was given Extra Bad and the grade that was called the Worst was received by the evil king Ahab.

The grades of the kings of Judah were a little better but not by much.

Within their Hall of Shame there were 4 bad kings, 2 bad mostlys, 3 wicked, 2 worst, and 1 devilish, the Queen Athaliah.

Of 19 kings of Judah 8 are fit for the Hall of Fame, 4 with grades of good, 2 with grades of mostly good, and 2 declared to be best kings, Josiah and Hezekiah.

So of the 38 kings of Judah and Israel after Solomon only 8 are declared good kings, kings which caused rejoicing in the land.

It is no wonder that both kingdoms ended up in exile and eventual collapse and banishment.

See how important it is to have righteous leadership.

Look at what takes place in your place of work, or in your church, or any place where leaders function.

An indication of righteous leadership is a rejoicing people.

An indication of wicked leadership is a mourning people.

For everything rises and falls on leadership.

"A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way."

A leader is one who knows Jesus Christ who is the way, he attaches himself to Jesus Christ, and he shows others Jesus Christ.