What Makes a Good Ruler?

Text:   Daniel 4:8-27

 

I.         Accepting the idea that Christians should vote when their government gives them the opportunity to do so, the question then turns to whom should we vote?

            A.        Far too often we are presented with choices where it appears we must choose between the lesser of two evils

            B.        I might have opinions on the current candidates, but is my opinion worth anything? How does choosing among the current candidates help future generations in their selection

            C.        The Bible does tell us what characteristics make one ruler “good” and another “bad.”

            D.        While in biblical times people were stuck with their ruler until God removed him, can we not use those principles to help weigh our options?

II.        A Ruler is God’s Servant

            A.        Governments exist by God’s ordination - Romans 13:1-2

                        1.         God puts those in power that He desires - Daniel 4:17

                        2.         I Samuel 2:8

            B.        Governmental leaders then are God’s servants - Romans 13:6

                        1.         Even those who might not acknowledge God - Jeremiah 27:4-11

            C.        When God wanted a replacement for Saul - I Samuel 13:14

                        1.         David was a man who obeyed God - I Kings 11:34

                        2.         Israel fell because its rulers broke God’s laws - Jeremiah 2:8

            D.        A wicked ruler is destructive - Proverbs 28:15

            E.        Poor rulers desire power. Good leaders want to serve - Matthew 20:25-28

III.       A Ruler Leads

            A.        A good ruler leads by example - Ecclesiastes 10:17

            B.        A corrupt ruler will lead the people astray - Ezra 9:2

IV.      A Ruler Dispenses Justice - Micah 3:1

            A.        A ruler must not act foolishly - Ecclesiastes 10:5-7

            B.        A ruler needs wisdom - Proverbs 8:16

                        1.         When Solomon was made king - I Kings 3:7-12

                        2.         Pharaoh chose Joseph to rule over Egypt - Genesis 41:33-41

                        3.         Nebuchadnezzar chose Daniel to rule - Daniel 2:47-48

            C.        Without wisdom, men turn to might to get their way - Proverbs 28:16

                        1.         They prey on their own people - Ezekiel 45:9, Zephaniah 3:3

                        2.         Plundering the poor - Isaiah 3:14

            D.        Kings are placed on thrones to do justice - I Kings 10:9

                        1.         They act on behalf of God - II Chronicles 19:6

                        2.         Israel had rulers who abhorred justice - Micah 3:9-12

            E.        This is why bribery is condemned, it interferes with justice

                        1.         Willing to destroy for money - Ezekiel 22:27

            F.        Nor are rulers to use alcohol - Proverbs 31:4-5

                        1.         Drinking led to the downfall of Israel - Jeremiah 51:57

V.        A Ruler Punishes Evil - Romans 13:3-4

            A.        To do this, a king must reign in righteousness - Isaiah 32:1

            B.        If a ruler accepts lies, corruption spreads - Proverbs 29:12

            C.        Destruction follows those who accept evil - Isaiah 1:23

                        1.         It was a cause of Israel’s fall - Hosea 4:18; 7:3-7

VI.      If you want to enjoy peace and prosperity, look for good rulers

            A.        We might not always get one. God might have other plans.

            B.        But more importantly, we need to cultivate a society that desires and produces good leaders – that means teaching God’s word, spreading the gospel, rebuking sin, and advocating morality.

            C.        It has to start somewhere, why not with you?