As the book of Proverbs counts down to the end, King Solomon continues to instruct his readers on the responsibilities of rulers, especially to ensure justice. This maintains the previous chapter’s encouragement for fair and righteous leaders, who allow their followers to prosper. Solomon directs everyone, whether an employer or a judge, to bring about justice for those who trust in them, especially the poor (verse 7). Again, Solomon provides checklists so that his readers can more easily determine the type of people they are following; the best leaders bring stability through justice, turn away anger, bring calm, judge with fairness, and detest the dishonest. This becomes a challenge to Solomon’s readers — are you following one who meets this criteria? Alternatively, as a leader, do you meet this criteria?
Verse 18: “Where there is not revelation, people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction.”
Verse 20: “Do you see someone who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for them.”
Verse 23: “Pride brings a person low, but the lowly in spirit gain honor.”