16 March 2006

a kingly oracle

a kingly oracle

More from the "A Proverb a Day" blog:

For Thursday, March 16, 2006
Proverbs 16:10

An oracle is on the lips of a king;
his mouth does not sin in judgment.

From time to time we all find ourselves in a position of authority where we have to form a judgment, discerning the best way forward or settling a dispute: parents with children, teachers with students, managers with employees, pastors with parishoners. And we wonder how our decision will be received. With reluctance or begrudingly? Or might it be rejected entirely?

Today's proverb suggests that a wise leader will speak judgment without sin and, in doing so, his word will be received as if it were an oracle from God. Matthew Henry suggests, therefore, that the proverb can be taken as both precept and promise.

As a precept, it exhorts all who lead to seek God's will, cultivating wisdom and prudence, in order that they may truly be recognized as God's appointed servants for good and their word received in good faith as the very leading of God.

As a promise, the proverb assures leaders that, if they inquire diligently of the Lord, relying upon his wisdom and counsel, he will grant them whatever guidance they need to carry out their duties effectively and without sin.

The Lord Jesus Christ is, in these respects, a true King, for only he embodies this proverb perfectly - discerning all things without sin and whose every word remains an oracle from God. As we lead others in our various callings, we should seek to be like our Lord who ruled by becoming the servant of all. And in so doing, may we more and more be leaders worthy of those whom God has placed into our care.