King Solomon obviously knew a lot about ruling a nation; he grew up a prince in a powerful kingdom, likely learned the history of that land growing stronger and falling apart under different leadership styles, and became a ruler who would be well-known for his interactions with different territories. As such, King Solomon used one of the final chapters in Proverbs to address the effect a ruler, whether a good one or a bad one, has on the success and unity of a nation. There are many warnings against allowing the wicked into power — their people go into hiding, but thrive after the wicked depart. These wicked leaders are compared to driving rains that bring no crops, which kill what they are supposed to nurture, and to lions or bears, which can’t be reasoned with and are naturally dangerous. Meanwhile, a discerning and knowledgeable ruler brings about the opposite; she maintains order, inspires elation, and enjoys a long reign.
Verse 1: “The wicked flee though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.”
Verse 7: “A discerning son heeds instruction, but a companion of gluttons disgraces his father.”
Verse 14: “Blessed is the one who always trembles before God, but whoever hardens their heart falls into trouble.”