I know what you might be thinking, “Pastor, we are not suppose to talk about politics.” But the reality is the Scriptures talk a great deal about politics. There is even an entire book in the Bible written by a king to prepare his sons to govern a nation; the book of Proverbs. Certainly, Proverbs is written so that every person can gain wisdom from God, but the specific context of the book is King Solomon training his sons to be the future rulers of Israel.
With the context for Proverbs in mind, it is important to consider the origin of the word “politics.” Consider the following two Greek words: “polis” meaning “city” and “politicos” meaning “a citizen.” By definition, every citizen of a city, state or country is a political being. There is much talk about “police” today and you can notice that there is similarity between “police” and “polis.” Police refers to the government department designed to keep the city or state safe. Every law abiding citizen is thankful for the police departments that protect citizens from evil. So if you are a citizen of a country, then you by definition are involved in politics! One value of Proverbs is it gives us wisdom to be wise citizens of a country.
The starting point for every biblical political foundation is God. Notice how Proverbs begins in Proverbs 1:7 – “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Sadly, not all political philosophies begin with or acknowledge the Lord. Some, like Marxism, blatantly reject and deny God. The founder of the Black Lives Matter movement claimed to be a “trained Marxist” in 2015 and the BLM’s website supports anti-God philosophies like “the disruption of the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure” and other areas of how citizens should behave. As this movement and other movements sweep across our country, it should not surprise us that the words “under God” are being left out of the pledge to our flag and that we have witnessed rioters burning Bibles in American streets. As believers in Christ, it is important for us to remember that our citizenship is ultimately in heaven (Philippians 3:20), and we have been given the greatest message, the gospel of Jesus Christ, to share with those who don’t know the Lord.
With the foundation for the wise politics being the Lord, Proverbs continues with many descriptions of what is just, right, and wise and what is unjust, wicked, and foolish. When a Proverb is repeated, it is meant to grab our attention. Ponder that as you read these two Proverbs: “Blessings are on the head of the righteous, but violence covers the mouth of the wicked” Proverbs 10:6. “The mouth of the righteous is a well of life, but violence covers the mouth of the wicked” Proverbs 10:11. In the next chapter, we read further about the mouth of the wicked, “It (the city) is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked” (Proverbs 11:11). It is sad to see violence rise in American cities. Without righteousness, there will be no safety and cities and countries will be overthrown. Looting, rioting, burning buildings, attacking people and police is wicked and it is not good for any country. However, just like in Solomon’s day, there are unrighteous and unjust people who are demanding a “new” America. They want to overthrow the city!
In contrast to the mouth of the wicked which is covered with violence, the righteous ruler is to open his mouth and judge righteously. “Open your mouth for the speechless, in the cause of all who are appointed to die. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy” Proverbs 31:8-9. The largest group of “speechless” individuals in the United States is the unborn. In Solomon’s day, the nations that didn’t know the Lord sacrificed their children to their false gods. Recent reports from the CDC indicate that abortions are the leading cause of death in the United States with over 623,000 “reported legal” abortions in 2016. Furthermore, the wise ruler is to open his mouth and “judge righteously.” True justice is when righteous laws are correctly applied without bias or prejudice to every citizen of the land. May the Lord allow us to ponder these Proverbs and be good citizens as we represent our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ here on this earth.