‘A Great Ruler Protects And Provides For The Poor’
‘As a roaring lion, and a ranging bear; so is a wicked ruler over the poor people. Proverbs 28:15’
Authority or power must not be used to hurt the poor. God ordained offices of authority to protect the helpless or weak. When civil rulers oppress the poor, they are like wild and ravaging beasts. They do great damage by cruel and insensitive abuse of power.
Leaders and rulers that do not take care of the poor are wicked. A great duty of authority and rule is to conscientiously provide for those unable to defend or help themselves. When a wicked man gets into power and oppresses the poor under his rule, it is a frightening evil. But there is a God in heaven, Who will punish such rulers (Eccl 5:8).
Here is an inspired simile based on God’s wisdom and Solomon’s observations. A roaring lion is a dangerous and threatening lion (I Pet 5:8). A ranging bear is a hungry bear that has gone outside its normal haunts to search for food. These two proverbial examples from the animal kingdom illustrate the brute and savage character of a wicked ruler who oppresses the poor in his kingdom. These cruel beasts have none of the kindness and mercy that characterize godly and noble rulers.
A great ruler protects and provides for the poor, and he will reign for a long time (Pr 29:14). Mercy and truth uphold a king, not oppression and greed (Pr 20:28). Nations prosper and rejoice under righteous rulers (Pr 29:2). But when a covetous and selfish man becomes a ruler, his greed for gain makes him an oppressor, as the context shows (Pr 28:16). It is better to be dead or never exist than to suffer under such a tyrant (Eccl 4:1-3).
Consider further, if you think this proverb is merely about political science. Employers must take good care of their employees, especially the poor at the bottom (Lev 25:39-43). Ministers must never neglect the poor in their congregations, for the Lord Jesus Christ hates partiality (I Tim 5:21). Though endowed with authority from heaven, ministers are to be like nurses (I Thess 2:7-8).
There is only one perfect ruler, and He sits on the throne of glory over the entire universe – He is the Lord Jesus Christ (Heb 1:8-9). God chose the poor of this world to be His children, and He has assigned their care to the Lord Jesus Christ (I Cor 1:26-31). He has promised to not lose a single one of them – every one will spend eternity with Him in heaven (John 6:37-39).