By Elizabeth Prata
The Bible has much to say about leaders who fail to honor God and help the people. The Bible is replete with events, warnings, and punishments of kings and rulers who abuse the people they are supposed to govern wisely.
Verses like this one in Leviticus 19:13 are echoed throughout the pages of the Scriptures: “You shall not oppress your neighbor or rob him. The wages of a hired servant shall not remain with you all night until the morning.”
But the leaders, kings, and rulers of today continue to seemingly prosper, while pressing their thumb of power ever deeper into our lives and ripping out what valuables they can to continue to support their lavish and wanton spending. Though it is bad now, this kind of power abuse will be rampant in the Tribulation because the restraining influence of the Holy Spirit will cease restraining sin, and it will blossom like mold on a gushy banana.
(Revelation 18:3– “For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury.“)
James 5:4 says “Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.” Revelation 6 shows the poor working all day for a loaf of bread but in Revelation 18 the ultra rich continued their trade in ivory, spices, furniture, even the souls of men throughout the Tribulation.
Our governments are increasingly interested in the peons like us rather than solving the problems we elected them to solve. They regulate us to death and scurry off in profligate dissipation. They have forgotten how to govern righteously. We are plagued with a plethora of Pharaohs while enduring a famine of Solomons.
“A leader who is a great oppressor lacks understanding, But he who hates unjust gain will prolong his days.” (Proverbs 28:16).
“Richard Nixon’s “enemies list” appalled the country for the simple reason that presidents hold a unique trust. Unlike senators or congressmen, presidents alone represent all Americans. Their powers—to jail, to fine, to bankrupt—are also so vast as to require restraint. Any president who targets a private citizen for his politics is de facto engaged in government intimidation and threats.” (Source)
The Bible says of kings, “But he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, for the LORD has said to you, ‘You shall not return that way again.” (Deuteronomy 17:16).
The Deuteronomy verse expressly forbids kings to excess. Barnes Notes says “Excess is forbidden. Vast accumulation of treasure could hardly be effected without oppression; nor when effected fail to produce pride and a “trust in uncertain riches” 1 Timothy 6:17.” Kings were forbidden to use their office to heap up riches for themselves.
In the Bible, there are hapless kings, apathetic kings, and kings who not only do not believe and who are sinful through and through, but who actively campaign against God. Pharaoh was such a one. Jezebel was such a one. Ahab was one too. The progression of evil kings always got worse. The next generation was worse than the one before, and so it is today. We started with Washington, Jefferson, Adams. We end up with Nixon, Clinton, Obama…well, you know what we end up with.
So what shall become of them? Amos 5 & 6 speaks to the Day of the Lord when He deals with the unrighteous rulers who abused in order to fatten their larder, or otherwise failed to lead but used their God-given position unwisely. They “… trample on the poor and force him to give you grain. Therefore, though you have built stone mansions, you will not live in them; though you have planted lush vineyards, you will not drink their wine.” (Amos 5:11).
“You put off the evil day and bring near a reign of terror. You lie on beds inlaid with ivory and lounge on your couches. You dine on choice lambs and fattened calves. You strum away on your harps like David and improvise on musical instruments. You drink wine by the bowlful and use the finest lotions, but you do not grieve over the ruin of Joseph. Therefore you will be among the first to go into exile; your feasting and lounging will end.” (Amos 6:3-7)
As for us brethren, especially those in either civic or ecclesiastical positions of leadership, “So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober.” (1 Thessalonians 5:6). The word sober there in Greek is nepho, “to be sober, unintoxicated” refers to having presence of mind & clear judgment, enabling someone to be self-controlled.
Apparently at the highest levels of power, self-control is a thing of the past. That is what makes the Christian stand out as light and salt. (Matthew 5:13-16).
We long for a Solomon to lead us, while we endure an Ahab, but in the end we will get Jesus! O what a day that will be, our perfect Savior as our perfect leader.
I will indeed appoint him as My firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth, (Psalm 89:27)