7 Proverbs Every Voter Should Read
- Dawn Wilson Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
- 2016 7 Sep
Wise King Solomon was said to have written more than 3,000 proverbs. Many of them can help us as we evaluate candidates for elected office.
1. “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” (Proverbs 14:34)
We hear a lot of campaign slogans these days, like “Make America Great Again” and “If We Stand Together, We Will Rise Together.”
But slogans don’t deal with sin. The writer of Proverbs says it is only righteousness before God that brings honor to a nation. And if we stand together in sin, we will fall, not rise.
If the foundations are destroyed, the Psalmist said, “what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3). The foundations of our nation are crumbling because the sins of the nation are multiplying at a record pace.
We no longer blush over sin; we rename, defend and promote it! Sadly, even in the church.
Sin only brings shame and weakness. God repeatedly says “return to me” (Zechariah 1:3; Joel 2:12-13), but first He calls His people to “turn from their wicked ways” (2 Chronicles 7:14). “Draw near to God,” James says, but also, “cleanse your hands… purify your hearts” (4:8)
2. “For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers.” (Proverbs 11:4)
We may be voting—and that is our responsibility as good citizens—but ultimately it is the all-wise and sovereign God who sets up leaders and deposes them (Daniel 2:20-21); He will give wisdom and knowledge regarding elections and voting if we ask Him (James 1:5; Proverbs 2:6).
Then, once we have elected leaders, we can pray others will come alongside to advise them well. No leader, no matter how skilled, leads alone.
We live in an often chaotic, dangerous world. As we intercede for our elected officials, we must pray for people of influence who can help guide the nation wisely and well.
3. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.” (Proverbs 9:10)
Look for wisdom when you evaluate candidates. Those who truly seek the Lord, the Holy One, will desire to live prudent lives. It’s a crucial need for those in leadership (Proverbs 8:14-17).
Looking around at the culture, it’s not hard to see foolish thinking in a number of areas and at every level: in education, in finance, in the judiciary, in entertainment, in social constructs, in homes, and so on. Fools despise godly wisdom and instruction (Proverbs 1:7).
If we want godly wisdom and insight, we must rebuild the foundations of our country, and the writer of Proverbs says it all begins with fear of the Lord.
Paul, in describing the unrighteous, says, “There is no fear of God before their eyes” (Romans 3:18). If we truly feared the Lord—reverenced and obeyed Him—we would hate pride, arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech. These are things we see throughout our culture, an evidence of our lack of godly fear.
4. “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” (Proverbs 16:25)
One of the reasons we need to seek God and His wisdom before we vote is this: We are so easily fooled! Think back to a time when you did not seek the Lord before an important decision, and you only discovered later the destructiveness of that choice.
We may think we have things all figured out, but maybe we’re missing something the Lord is trying to tell us. Our hearts are “deceitful” (Jeremiah 17:9) and we need the mind of Christ in all things—even elections!
The mind of Christ stands in sharp contrast to the wisdom of man (1 Corinthians 2:5-6), but the mind of Christ, revealed through the Spirit of God (v. 10-12) can give us discernment in spiritual matters (v. 15). And friend, even voting can be a spiritual matter.
We need to seek the Lord in His Word before we ever arrive at the voting station. He may be asking us to vote in entirely different ways than our neighbors.
5. “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.” (Proverbs 11:2)
One of the things that breaks my heart during election seasons is the disgraceful pride both in candidates and in their supporters. In the competition for office, it’s often “put downs” and character assassination—and it all stems from pride.
The writer of Proverbs advises us to put away crooked speech and devious talk (4:24). It really isn’t necessary. It’s distracting from the issues and degrading to others created in the image of God.
A more sane discourse for candidates is to simply but powerfully share what they would like to accomplish and how they plan to do so. Even in times when self-promotion is necessary, it can be shared in a humble way. In fact, Proverbs 27:2 suggests, “Let another praise you, and not your own mouth…”
Look for signs of humility before you go to the voting booth, and by all means, show some humility in interactions with other voters.
6. “There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.” (Proverbs 6:16-19)
When we think about voting, this is a power-packed passage!
Character counts in leaders, and we should do our best to find candidates with strong character. Because cultural mores change, it’s always best for Christ-followers to go “back to the Book.” What does the Lord value? What does He condemn?
There are no perfect candidates. But we can get a sense of their character through their words and behavior. They are not likely to speak or act any differently once in office.
7. “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” (Proverbs 16:3)
On the surface, this verse looks like it is saying, “Give God everything you do and what you want will come true.” But actually, in the original Hebrew this verse pictures a man rolling a heavy burden onto the shoulders of another, asking for help. We can transfer our burdens to our strong God who is well able to carry them.
Pertaining to voting, this means when we are confused about what to do—when we are frustrated and upset and maybe even fearful about the future—we can roll this burden over onto the Lord by faith.
We can vote the best we know how, given all the information we can gather, and leave the results to the Lord. No matter who wins the election, God Almighty is still in charge, guiding the affairs of men.
Dawn Wilson and her husband Bob live in Southern California. They have two married sons and three granddaughters. Dawn assists author and radio host Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth with research and works with various departments at Revive Our Hearts. She is the founder and director of Heart Choices Today, and also publishes LOL with God and Upgrade with Dawn and writes for Crosswalk.com. Dawn also travels with her husband in ministry with the International School Project.
Publication date: September 7, 2016