When it goeth well with the righteous, the city rejoiceth: and when the wicked perish, there is shouting.
King Solomon’s political observations and wisdom reveal that cities and nations prefer policies that benefit godly men more than those that benefit wicked men. Exceptions to this general rule do not matter. Support for godly leaders and policies will cause joy, and when wicked leaders, policies, or men die, there is also good reason for celebration.
There are two ways to improve the spirit of a political entity or an organization. Either favor the cause of righteousness by helping and protecting good men, or punish the way of wickedness by exposing and destroying evil men. Any person in authority must remember both rules to enact and enforce policies that help the righteous and hurt the wicked.
Should good people celebrate the destruction of the wicked? Should they rejoice at the promotion of the righteous? Yes, and yes! The difference between righteous and wicked men is enormous, and even citizens with little nobility or religion can appreciate the difference. But God’s people know the difference even better and celebrate accordingly.
A nation’s citizens appreciate a benevolent, faithful, and wise ruler; they mourn a foolish, oppressing, and selfish ruler (Pr 29:2). Egypt rejoiced to have Joseph, and Babylon to have Daniel. Shushan, the capital of Persia, mourned when wicked Haman was promoted, but they rejoiced when Mordecai replaced him (Es 4:15; 8:15). Israel celebrated their great blessings to have David and Solomon as kings (II Sam 6:14-19; I Kgs 4:20-25).
When King Asa initiated a revival in Judah, many left their homes in Israel and moved to be under such a good king (II Chr 15:8-19). It was the same under good King Hezekiah (II Chr 30:21-27). Therefore, wise citizens will pray for their leaders, for in the prosperity of good rulers they will obtain their own blessing (Jer 29:4-7; I Tim 2:1-2).
Vengeance is the Lord’s; He will repay (Rom 12:19). Both destruction and promotion come from the Lord (Ps 75:6-7; Is 13:6). Those who fear the God of heaven know there are no accidents, coincidences, or acts of nature. They know He uses whirlwinds, hurricanes and tornadoes, and He uses waves, tsunamis and hurricane surges (Nah 1:3).
When calamities and disasters strike the enemies of God, the people of God rejoice. Israel danced at the Red Sea, when the bodies of Pharaoh and his army washed up on shore (Ex 14:30-31; 15:1-21). The psalmist wrote about the happy event of seeing Babylon’s small children dashed against rocks (Ps 137:8-9). And the apostles and prophets of God also rejoice over the destruction of spiritual Babylon (Rev 18:6,20).
Godly men make a difference between personal enemies and God’s enemies. You have no right to rejoice when a personal enemy is in trouble (Pr 24:17-18; Job 31:29-30; Ps 35:11-14). Instead, you should pray for him and do what you can for him (Matt 5:43-48; Rom 12:17-21). You can only justify hating God’s enemies (Ps 52:6-7; 139:22-23).
Is there cause for joy in any ruler today? Forget your province or nation! Jesus Christ after His resurrection and ascension into heaven was promoted over all angels, devils, and men in the universe for the benefit of His church (Eph 1:20-23). Those in the kingdom of God have the greatest ruler ever as Saviour and Friend. Celebrate! Rejoice!