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                         "THE BOOK OF PROVERBS"

                       Wisdom Regarding Authority

INTRODUCTION

1. Throughout life, we must deal with the matter of authority...
   a. Sometimes we find ourselves in positions of authority (boss,
      parent, elder, president)
   b. Most of the time we find ourselves having to submit to authority
      (employee, child, citizen)

2. Wisdom regarding authority is a virtue often lacking...
   a. People with authority frequently do poorly, even abusing their
      authority
   b. People under authority don't always handle it gracefully, making
      their situation worse

3. In Proverbs, we find wisdom regarding authority...
   a. Mostly spoken in terms pertaining to the rule of a king or prince
   b. Which can easily be applied to other areas involving authority
      (work, family, church)

[In this study, we shall seek to summarize what is said in Proverbs
about the subject of authority, beginning with some...]

I. WISDOM FOR THOSE IN AUTHORITY

   A. THEIR DUTIES...
      1. To make judgments - Pr 16:10; 25:2
         a. Those in authority are often called upon to make decisions
         b. Decisions that affect those under their authority
      2. To administer justice - Pr 20:8,26; 29:4a,14
         a. Such is the responsibility of those in authority
         b. Not for their personal benefit, but for those under their
            authority
      -- Whether one is a king, a company CEO or manager, an elder, or a
         parent, God expects them to exercise authority with justice

   B. THEIR QUALITIES...
      1. They must be righteous - Pr 16:10,12
         a. Necessary to administer justice
         b. To judge righteously and fairly
      2. Free of evil influence - Pr 25:4-5
         a. Such as covetousness, the love of material things - Pr 28:
            15-16
         b. Such as bribery, the tool of many 'lobbyists' - Pr 29:4
         c. Such as women and alcohol, bane of many politicians and
            businessmen - Pr 31:1-5
      3. They must be fair and merciful - Pr 31:8-9
         a. For those unable to speak for themselves
         b. For those who are poor and needy
      -- Those in authority need the qualities that will ensure
         righteous and merciful judgment

[In other words, the same sort of judgment they would want if they
themselves were not in positions of authority!  Now for some...]

II. WISDOM FOR THOSE UNDER AUTHORITY

   A. THEIR DUTIES...
      1. To honor those in authority - Pr 24:21-22
         a. To fear (reverence, respect) them like we do the Lord
         b. Avoid those given to 'revolution', who often bring calamity
            on themselves
      2. To gain their favor, when possible and appropriate - Pr 16:15;
         19:12; 20:2
         a. For such favor can be a blessing
         b. And their wrath can be a curse
      -- Those in authority deserve our respect - for the position if
         not the occupant

   B. THEIR QUALITIES...
      1. Wise conduct, not shameful - Pr 14:35
      2. Righteous speech - Pr 16:13
      3. Purity of heart and graceful lips - Pr 22:11
      4. Excellence in one's work - Pr 22:29
      5. Self-control of one's passions and appetites - Pr 23:1-3
      6. Humility - Pr 25:6-7
      7. Patience and gentleness - Pr 25:15
      -- Such are the qualities that gain the favor of those in
         authority

CONCLUSION

1. If such wisdom regarding authority were commonplace...
   a. In nations
   b. In businesses
   c. In churches
   d. In families

2. Where those in authority...
   a. Fulfilled their duties with justice
   b. Were men and women of righteous conduct

3. Where those under authority...
   a. Respected those over them
   b. Gained the respect of those over them through their own conduct

Then how wonderful it would be!  With the aid of such wisdom as that
found in Proverbs, it can happen...
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