Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Rare Wisdom of (First) Kings

More and more I am disappointed by politicians and world leaders. Martin Luther was also really disappointed by the way "christian" rulers led their kingdoms. He always remembered that all people are no-good-rotten liars--even the best of us. This is what he said about the subject (my translation from French):
"The Prince should look after his subjects and do it with all his heart. This is what he does while he turns all of his thoughts toward how he can be useful to them and serve them, and not think like this: the country and and people belong to me, I will do whatever pleases me. But on the contrary: I belong to the country and to the people and I have a duty to do what is useful and good for them. I shouldn't seek how I might raise myself up and dominate them, but how they could be given shelter and protected in peace. You might say: Who would still want to be a Prince? Because with principles and duties like these the Prince would be the most miserable person on the earth, and would count on hardships, difficulties, and displeasure! What would become, then, of the royal entertainment, of dances, of hunting, gaming, and other mundane pleasures?"

Then just tonight I read Solomon's request for wisdom from God (1 Kings 4:8-10):
"'And now, O LORD my God, you have made your servant King in place of David my father, although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in. And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, too many to be numbered or counted for multitude. Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?'

It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this."

If only every ruler had this same humility and desire to govern his people well!