Wednesday, September 15, 2010


4 If the spirit of the ruler rises against you,
Do not leave your post;
For conciliation pacifies great offenses.
5 There is an evil I have seen under the sun,
As an error proceeding from the ruler:
6 Folly is set in great dignity,
While the rich sit in a lowly place.
7 I have seen servants on horses,
While princes walk on the ground like servants.
(Ecclesiastes 10:4-7, New King James Version)


What do we expect from a ruler? Are our expectations realistic? These are interesting questions to think about. Often we expect more from our rulers, whether they be political rulers or our bosses at work, than we expect of ourselves.

Solomon gives us some interesting advice in verse 4, which is better explained by understanding verses 5-7. What do we often see in a ruler? Some rulers (and we have all seen them) are filled with folly, raising up the foolish and ignoring the ones who are rich in wisdom. We have even seen circumstances where the servants are riding on horses and the princes are treated as the servants.

Why is this? Sometimes it is due to the foolish ruling of the prince; other times it is due to the jealousy of the servants who rise up and overpower their king. Knowing this to be true, let us look again at Ecclesiastes 10, verse 4.

If the spirit of the ruler rises against you,
Do not leave your post;
For conciliation pacifies great offenses.

I put this in the perspective of the command to try, if at all possible, to live peaceably with all men. The spirit of the ruler may very well rise against us. What is the proper response of the Christian?

Understand the weakness of all mankind because of their sin nature. Therefore, rather than take great offense toward the ruler, saying, "I'll just go some other place," do not leave your post. The better action is to seek conciliation with the ruler, for conciliation pacifies great offenses.

In the end, we must examine our own expectations. Do we expect our rulers to live on a standard different than our own? Even more, do we treat fellow believers like this, too? Do we expect more from them than others (even ourselves)?

Let us, by the grace of God, seek to live peaceably with all men, and be long suffering toward the offenses of our rulers.

God Bless You,

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