Bible Reading: Proverbs 16.10-17
A divine decision is in the lips of the king; His mouth should not err in judgment. 11 A just balance and scales belong to the Lord; All the weights of the bag are His concern. 12 It is an abomination for kings to commit wicked acts, For a throne is established on righteousness. 13 Righteous lips are the delight of kings, And he who speaks right is loved. 14 The fury of a king is like messengers of death, But a wise man will appease it. 15 In the light of a king’s face is life, And his favor is like a cloud with the spring rain. 16 How much better it is to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen above silver. 17 The highway of the upright is to depart from evil; He who watches his way preserves his life.
Proverbs is a collection of wise thoughts for living. Sometimes the thoughts have a connected theme and at other times they are intermingled life topics. In today’s reading (16.10-17), there is a threaded theme related to leadership.
Solomon is the King that asked for "wisdom" from God. In these verses, it is fitting that Proverbs 16:16 states "How much better it is to get wisdom than gold and to get understanding is to be chosen above silver". 2 Chronicles 1:1-12 tells us of Solomon's transition to leadership as King of Israel. In verses 7 to 10 below, Solomon gives insight as to why he needs wisdom and knowledge or "understanding".
"That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you. ” Solomon answered God, “… for you have made me king over a people who are as numerous as the dust of the earth. Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?”
Solomon needed wisdom to know how to be a King and be a leader and manage the thousands of people of Israel as "numerous as the dust of the earth". Solomon understood the task before him as a King and leader and the significance of carrying out God's plan and leading God's people and knew he needed God’s help.
In our life, our family, our work, our church, our community, we all have leadership opportunities or have the ability to influence others in some capacity. John C. Maxwell, says "A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way. A leader who produces other leaders multiplies their influences."
In verses 10 to 15, Solomon is sharing 6 leadership attributes that can be applied to a King, or to every day leaders. Solomon possibly had in mind his own children that would read these thoughts:
- Leaders should weigh their words carefully (16.10).
- Leaders should consider God's standards and realize you are His representative of the standard (16.11).
- Leaders should lead by example by doing the right thing (16.12).
- Leaders appreciate and acknowledge wise and righteous words (16.13).
- Leaders should be self-controlled and not sin in anger (16.14).
- Leaders influence those around them (16.15).
How's your influence? Solomon says The highway of the upright is to depart from evil; He who watches his way preserves his life (16.17). There is only one way to become upright and it begins with a relationship with the King of Kings. Jesus said, (John 14:6) "I am the way, the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through Me." Our words and behaviors are in view by those around us. We want to have the opportunity to introduce those in our path to Jesus Christ. Are your actions as a leader reflecting Christ the King? Are your actions going to give you the opportunity to influence others for God's Kingdom? Solomon was given wisdom and understanding by God and is passing it on to future generations. As a leader of any kind, may you find these leadership attributes of a king helpful. You are important to someone, so allow Christ to use you for His glory.
Memory Verse: Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. Proverbs 16.3