What is disturbing regarding the civil leadership of our nations is the lack of clear, mature thinking. Over and over, we are left to question the thinking of those in positions of responsibility. Not just in political circles, but perhaps because of the media’s intense politicization, we tend to hear more from that quarter.
In short, it appears that the world is losing its mind.
We would immediately think of Isaiah’s prophecy that strong leadership would be removed and replaced with children and babes (Isaiah 3:4). The English word “babes” provides some insight into the mental capacity but does not fully capture all that the Hebrew implies. Let the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament explain:
“This word speaks of relationships. It is used to indicate the exercise of power over another person, generally in a bad sense, hence meaning ‘to maltreat.’ It signifies some great achievement, generally malevolent.”
The result of this kind of leadership is that the people will be oppressed (Isaiah 3:5). As the margin points out, “babes” can mean “capricious ones.”
Lack of clear, mature thinking is certainly hurting and oppressing people today. As Solomon pointed out:
“Woe to you, O land, when your king is a child …” (Ecclesiastes 10:16).
People hurt under poor leadership, but can thrive under strong, mature leadership. This is a principle God’s people need to pick up on because God is training righteous leaders for His Kingdom.
“When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice …” (Proverbs 29:2).
Being disturbed by what is going on around us should goad us to want to be righteous leaders. And we can be!
The same Hebrew word is used in Psalm 141, verse 4.
“Do not incline my heart to any evil thing, to practice wicked works with men who work iniquity…”
The practice of wicked works is connected to the heart. The righteous are to recognize that wicked (capricious) works originate in the heart and are brought forth by the mouth. The encouragement of verse 3 is to guard the mouth and watch our lips. In other words, deal with the heart because out of it the mouth speaks (Luke 6:45).
We must recognize that we have the ability to address the heart, whereas our civil leaders do not.
God has given His people the ability to internalize His law – the law which defines His nature and character.
“Let my heart be blameless regarding Your statutes, that I may not be ashamed” (Psalm 119:80).
All of this is behind Paul’s statement to Timothy that we have the ability to have sound minds.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).
A sound mind is a disciplined mind that exercises self-control. God’s Spirit is the extra power that enables our self-control.
We have God’s Spirit, so let’s use it to be blameless regarding God’s statutes and develop the righteous leadership this world needs.