Righteousness Exalts a Nation - Part III
Proverbs 29:2; 11:10, 11
- Prov. 14:34 Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a reproach to any people. NKJV
- First week
- Last week we defined righteousness as doing right, thinking right and living right. It is seen as conforming ones heart to the heart of God.
- We looked at what righteousness does to an individual and to a nation. It raises one up, lifts them out of the place despair, bring increase of joy, strength, and overall happiness in life.
- We looked at George Washington life brief and and caught a glimpse of what he saw and envisioned of our new nation.
- Last week
- Why men forget God and the pattern of that evil process
- What God looks for in His people
- What we must remember as Americans in this hour.
· We have looked at the responsibility we have as a free people to participate in our government. And we observed some statistics over the past couple of decades of our nation.
· Today I want to look at the topic of what happens when righteous people are in authority.
· Prov 29:2 When good people run things, everyone is glad, but when the ruler is bad, everyone groans. (from THE MESSAGE)
· Prov 11:10-11 When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices; And when the wicked perish, there is jubilation. 11 By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted, But it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked. NKJV
1. You Can Be Glad
a. Hebrew word for rejoice—samach—to make glad, to cause to rejoice to gladden the heart.
i. The majority of the feasts of Israel were around eating, fellowship and remembering God and what He had done. This brought joy into a person’s life.
ii. Prov. 15:30; 16:24; 17:22 all speak of good reports, pleasant words, happy hearts are all health to the bones.
iii. Joy and rejoicing do that to us.
iv. Nehemiah 8:10 …The joy of the Lord is your strength.”
b. According to these two passages, what would cause one to rejoice?
i. When the righteous rule or are in authority.
1. Authority—Hebrew- raba--to increase greatly in number, to be numerous. It speaks of a community of people who have the same values.
2. This means when the righteous have the greatest voice or are too numerous to be voted out or overpowered, the community, city, state, nation will rejoice.
ii. When the influence of righteous people is far greater than the influence of the wicked. Prov 11:11 the good influence of godly citizens causes a city to prosper, but the moral decay of the wicked drives it downhill. TLB
c. Righteous people are the kind that makes a city rejoice.
i. We learned the first week of this series that Righteousness exalts a nation and I defined for you what righteousness is. It is right thinking, right speaking, and right acting. It means to have ones heart or to be conforming ones heart to that of our heavenly Father.
ii. Righteousness comes by faith and it is lived out by having our actions back our beliefs. What you believe in your heart will come out and be made visible. Ie.James—if you have faith you will have right actions.
iii. And the fruit of those actions will also be made visible.
d. Dt 28:1-14 from the message. These verses will make you rejoice!!!
2. You Can Be Sad
a. Hebrew word for groan-anah
i. This verb is not the most frequently used in the OT for the act of mourning. s¹pad and °¹bal refer more to public acts of mourning and wailing as at a funeral. anah’ refers to weeping in any sorrow and is used mostly for personal mourning. (from Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament. Copyright © 1980 by The Moody Bible Institute of Chicago. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)
ii. This noun refers to groaning in either physical or mental distress. (from Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament. Copyright © 1980 by The Moody Bible Institute of Chicago. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)
b. Hebrew word for bad/wicked men is –rashal- wicked, criminal
i. a guilty one, one guilty of crime (substantive)
ii. wicked (hostile to God)—take note of that phrase!!! If you are pro abortion you are hostile to God, If you are pro homo sexual you are hostile to God, If you are anti-traditional marriage you are hostile to God.
iii. wicked, guilty of sin (against God or man) (from The Online Bible Thayer's Greek Lexicon and Brown Driver & Briggs Hebrew Lexicon, Copyright © 1993, Woodside Bible Fellowship, Ontario, Canada. Licensed from the Institute for Creation Research.)
iv. This is the kind of person or persons that will make a city or nation groan.
a. Rule-Hebrew-mashal-to rule, to have dominion,
v. It is a different word that from the one used above, raba. I believe the writer was intentional in his purpose so that we would see the bullying of wickedness in the community of people who just want to have a life.
vi. God said to Israel, “You want a king, I will give you a king. He will take your sons and daughters. He will take the best of your heard. He will take the best of your crops. Etc etc.
vii. God knew that in the hearts of men dwell wickedness and to desire to be under a king rather than under God would result in pain and stress for people. Groaning!
b. Did you hear the nation groan a few weeks ago when the stock market plunged. No rejoicing then! We heard the groans of American people learning that our politicians, the ones we chose, did not act in our interest.
3. Or You Can Vote Your Values, It is Your Choice
a. In the American system of government, a Republic-founded on the Word of God, in which our Founding Father’s said, that if we depart from that we are doomed as a nation because this system of Govt. will not work without the moral compass of the Word of God. With that in mind let me share with you about what our Founding Fathers had to say about choosing people for elected offices.
b. One of our most important duties in creating a sound government is to elect leaders with moral and religious integrity. This means we have to do more than just vote. We have to do an investigation of the lives of those running for office. The choice is ours and our Founders understood this and that is why they pressed the issue with the generations to come.
i. Note Signer William Penn “Governments, like clocks go from the motion men give to them; and as governments are made and moved by men, so by them they are ruined too. Wherefore, governments rather depend upon men than men upon governments. Let men be good and government cannot be bad…But if men be bad, let the government be never so good, they will endeavor to warp and spoil it to their turn….But let them consider that thought- good laws do well, good men do better; for good laws may want [lack] good men and be abolished or invaded by ill men; but good men will never want good laws nor suffer [allow]ill ones.” David Barton, Original Intent p. 341 .
ii. William Patterson, signer of the Constitution and Justice on the Supreme Court would remind juries, “When the righteous rule, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan.” Prov. 29:2
c. The quality of government in our republic depends more on the quality and character of our leaders than upon our laws. Ibid. D Barton
i. Noah Webster instructed students “When you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public officers, let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers just men who will rule in the fear of God. The preservation of a republican government depend on the faithful discharge of this duty; if the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made not for the public good so much as for selfish or local purposes; corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute laws; the public revenues will be squandered on unworthy men; and the rights of citizens will be violated or disregarded. If a republican government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness it must be because the citizens neglect the Divine commands and elect bad men to make and administer the laws.” Ibid. p. 343 Ie. David Williams- Student from FCC makes headlines this week. University of Colorado-Co Springs.
ii. In another text, Webster said, “In selecting men for office, let principle be your guide…look to his character…It is alleged by men of loose principles or defective views of the subject that religion and morality are not necessary or important qualifications for political stations. But scriptures teach a different doctrine.” Ex. 18:21 “Choose men who rule in the fear of God, able men such as fear God, men of truth hating covetousness.”
1. A man’s voting record will show what he stands for. Senator Obama has clearly stated he supports abortion. That is not in keeping with the standards of the scripture regarding those we want to lead us as believers.
2. Any person who does not support the traditional view of marriage is not a person we want in office. Genesis 1:27; Leb. 18:22; Matthew 19:4-6
3. Any person supporting the gay agenda is not in keeping with the Word of God and is not a person we want leading us. Why? Because we do not want Dt. 28:15-ff to come upon us. Christian Voter Guides are there for a reason.
iii. Samuel Adams, “The public cannot be too curious concerning the characters of public men.”
iv. Gouverneur Morris, signer of the Constitution, proclaimed, “There must be religion. When that ligament is torn, society is disjointed and its members perish…The most important of all lessons is the denunciation of ruin to every state that rejects the precepts of religion.” Ibid. p 343 All these warnings are clear—if citizens neglect their duty in electing moral leaders their government would become corrupt.
v. John Jay, “Providence (God), has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation, to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.” Ibid. p 344
vi. Matthias Burnet, “Look well to the characters and qualifications of those you elect and raise to office and places of trust…Let the wise counsel of Jethro…be your guide; Ex. 18:21
vii. John Witherspoon, “The people in general ought to have regard to the moral character of those whom they invest with authority either in the legislative, executive, or judicial branches.”
1. How can we choose Christians if Christians do not run for office?
2. How can we grow Christian politicians if we do not support them in their way?
3. You will not find such quotes in the writings of any other nation, solely because of the uniqueness of our government.
viii. Our founding fathers so strongly believed that the duration of our government rested upon the wise votes of citizens that Noah Webster proclaimed: “When a citizen gives his suffrage [his vote] to a man of known immorality he abuses his trust [civic responsibility]; he sacrifices not only his own interest, but that of his neighbor; he betrays the interest of his country”
1. Webster was calling citizens who did so traitors to their country for installing leaders who practice the principles that destroyed good government.
ix. John Adams, “The importance of piety and religion; …are essential to the well being of a family.” Ibid. p 346
1. If government is made up of poor leaders, it will become and enemy to the values, beliefs, and practices necessary to the formation of stable families. In fact if you will look at the past decade of governmental decisions you will find poor policies and programs by our government at the root of many of society’s problems.
a. We took prayer out of school
b. We took the word of God out of school
c. We took the 10 commands out of our courtrooms
d. We took the nativity out of Christmas and we wonder why kids carry guns to school, and why teachers no longer have control of classrooms, and why our kids have no respect for authority.
x. Daniel Webster, “If we and our posterity reject religious instruction and authority, violate the rules of eternal justice, trifle with the injunctions of morality, and recklessly destroy the political constitution which hold us together, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us hat shall bury all our glory in profound obscurity.” Ibid. p. 347
1. Mt 13:25. It was while good men slept that the enemy came a sowed the tares. The problem was not the enemy it was that good men slept.
· “The responsibilities facing God fearing citizens are somber and the potential repercussions from our actions—or lack of—are both far reaching and long lasting. Remember that where citizen complacency rules, wrong principles and policies will abound; and when it comes to sound government, the enemy is seldom “them”; it is generally citizen apathy.” David Barton p. 350
· I want to encourage you to prepare to vote and let your children know how to find the answers to how to elect good leaders.
· Invitation to people to receive Christ.