Proverbs 16:13

The Delight of Kings


1. In this section Solomon speaks about kings; what a king in the theocratic kingdom OUGHT to be…

2. He ought to be an authoritative spokesman for God (vs.10)

3. He ought to hate dishonesty in business. (vs.11)

4. He ought to hate wickedness wherever it is found… whether it emanates from the throne itself or one of his subjects. (vs.12)

5. He ought to love righteousness, especially righteous lips. (vs.13)

6. This is Solomon’s ideal king. These things were also true of the Messiah THE ideal King of kings!

13a Righteous lips are the delight of kings;

1. Righteous: justice; fairly deciding what is right in a legal case, without prejudice, that which is proper according to a standard, and not deviant in any way.

2. Righteous lips:

a. The lips are used as a symbol of speech here. (mouth; tongue; etc.)

b. Solomon is speaking about speech that is true, accurate, and honest, without prejudice; words that reflect fairness, equity, and justice.

c. Deut. 16:19-20 – in the earthly kingdom, the Israelites were to put judges and officers in positions of authority who were men of justice… who strictly followed justice.

d. Deut. 1:16 – judges were to judge “righteously.”

e. Men in positions of leadership must have righteous lips…

f. Kings were to see to it that men with righteous lips were given such positions of authority…

g. Jer. 23:5-6 – the Messiah will be such a king. He will rule and reign in justice and righteousness. Righteous sentences shall flow from His lips. Righteousness is His character!

h. This was the requirement for kings in the Old Testament. They should love righteous lips.

3. Prov. 29:12 – IF a ruler does NOT hate righteous lips, he destroys his throne.

a. Here Solomon speaks of a king who hearkens to lies.

b. He listens to them… pays attention to them… he responds to them.

c. By doing so, he ENCOURAGES others to lie as well… other will see that lies are effective… lies get the job done… lies enable them to promote their own agendas…

d. In effect, by listening and paying attention to liars, the foolish king is inadvertently rewarding such behavior, and thus enabling corruption to flourish in the land.

e. The king virtually PROMOTES unrighteous speech by tolerating it. Soon ALL his servants will be wicked!

f. This will destroy his throne… cause him to lose credibility… and eventually undermine his power and position as a king

g. Dishonest, self seeking, self promoting, men ABOUND.

h. They flock to kings and to those in authority like bees to flowers… to advance themselves, their business, their programs, and their agendas.

i. Their wicked intentions are often covered in flowery words of flattery to the king…

j. A shallow, vain king will be taken in by their lies.

k. A wise, discerning king will chase them away!

l. Prov. 20:28 – A king that sitteth in the throne of judgment scattereth away all evil with his eyes.
• He makes it clear to ALL that he will not tolerate wickedness… lies… deception… evil intent…
• Fathers would do well to scatter evil in their own homes this way… by making it crystal clear to the kids that evil is not tolerated there!
• If you scatter it away with body language… (eyes; tone of voice; demeanor) then you don’t have to use the rod as often!
• Kings shouldn’t tolerate lies and deception; neither should fathers!

4. Prov. 25:5 – the king should love righteous lips and righteousness because it establishes His throne.

a. Prov. 16:12 – His throne is established by Righteousness. This was another reason he should hate wickedness… because it UNDERMINES his throne. Righteousness establishes it.

b. Thus, the ideal king should tolerate no dishonesty in business practices (vs.11).

c. The ideal king should not tolerate wickedness or unrighteousness in any form in the kingdom. (vs.12)

d. The ideal king should also love righteous lips… honest speech. This too establishes his throne.

e. This is the character of God Himself! (Prov. 12:22) He hates lying lips too!

f. Dishonesty and lies build a dynasty for a while… but it is established like a house of cards. It is not strong and stable…

g. And when the people discover they have been lied to… and cheated… treated unfairly… dishonestly… they will overthrow that government the first opportunity they are given.

5. But a king NEEDS his advisors to tell him the truth.

a. The truth isn’t always pleasant… and therefore, many royal advisors were inclined to tell the king what he wanted to hear rather than what he NEEDS to hear: the truth.

b. The ideal king will DELIGHT in hearing the truth… so that he can deal with it in a wise manner…

c. Prov. 28:23 – the wise king will appreciate the servant who may even have to REBUKE him… point out his error.
• Flattery feels good up front, but in the long run can be dangerous.
• But the one who dares to say something negative but necessary, may not be appreciated up front, but will be in the long run.
• A wise king should DELIGHT in the righteous lips which speak forth the truth… unpleasant as it may be. Truth is needed!

d. We too should DELIGHT in righteous lips… even when the truth spoken hurts… or is costly… or isn’t what you wanted to hear.

e. VALUE those brave and faithful enough to speak the truth…

13b And they love him that speaketh right.

1. The ideal king hated wickedness in the land and loved truth and righteous lips.

2. Therefore, he would seek men of like mind to serve with him in his royal court… and to serve as judges in the land, men who are honest, speak truth, and are fair and just.

3. David was such a king. (Psalm 101:6-8)

a. Here David tells us of the character he was looking for in candidates to serve with him in his royal court.

b. He will rid himself of evil men (vs.4)

c. He will cut off slanderers… backstabbers.

d. David knew that those who slandered others behind their backs would also be slandering him behind his back!

e. David knew human nature well enough to know that all kinds of evil plots, schemes, rebellions, coups, and conspiracies go on behind closed doors… to destroy the king.

f. David knew this first hand… his own son Absalom!

g. II Sam. 15:1-2 – behind king David’s back, Absalom prepared royal parades for himself.

h. He was tall, dark, and handsome, and he smooth talked the people…

i. II Sam. 15:3 – he was a yes man to the people, and implied that his father was not doing his job… was not treating them fairly… was not paying attention to their plight… but he would!

j. Vs. 4 – then he lamented how he wished he were put in a position of prominence so that he could bring justice to all these dear folks!

k. Vs. 5 – he ingratiated himself to them all… to the point of being sickeningly sweet…

l. Vs. 6 – He stole the hearts of the people…

m. Behind the king’s back, Solomon deceived the people into shifting their allegiance from David to him.

n. He ended up chasing his father out the throne and out of the land… humiliating his own father publicly.

o. God used that time period to chasten and teach David… and David learned his lesson… and God brought him BACK to the throne after Absalom’s death.

p. Now David writes a psalm about the KIND of men… the character of the men he wants with him in his court.
• David didn’t want wicked men in his court!
• No slanderers, backstabbers!
• Psalm 101:6 – he was looking for faithful men to serve with him… those who walk in a perfect way.
• Vs. 7 – he would not tolerate deceitful men and liars. They will not tarry in his sight.
• He will cut off wickedness in the land… by first cutting it off in the city of the Lord… the royal city… where his royal business was conducted.

4. Thus, David, and other kings… and others in positions of authority should seek men of integrity to serve… to work with them.

a. Look for men who are honest… truthful… righteous lips…

b. Those qualities are as valuable in the long run as their skill, experience, and talent.

c. If a person in authority HAS such a person serving with him, he should DELIGHT in that person… and LOVE those who are such.

5. We are not likely to be called upon to appoint folks to the royal court of a kingdom… but we can certainly applythese truths to lots of other areas of life.

a. Those responsible for hiring new employees… those responsible for accepting or rejecting applicants… those responsible for determining who gets the company award… who gets the raise… who gets the promotion…

b. Don’t just look at the bottom line; don’t just look at the achievement statistics; don’t just consider the raw number of sales, scores, test grades, etc.

c. There are some valuable intangibles mentioned in this proverb that need to be considered… something that won’t appear on any financial ledger, test score, or in other means of storing data about employees or workers: HONESTY!

d. Think of how much DAMAGE is done to a country, a company, a school, a family, a church… by lying, unrighteous, deceitful tongues!

e. This damage is all done behind closed doors… but undermines the foundation of that institution.

f. But ultimately, righteous lips—truthful lips—faithful lips—lips that build up instead of tear down—can be more immeasurably beneficial to that home, school, family, church, country, or business… priceless!

g. They should be VALUED. The ideal king values them.

h. Unrighteous lips, deceitful lies and slander corrupt, tear down and eat away as doth a canker.

i. Righteous lips establish the throne… build up… make solid and firm… they do the same for a home, a school, a company, and a church!

j. Solomon’s ideal king values righteous lips. Wise believers today should value them too! Good leaders surround themselves with good men.

k. Pray for our president… that he would get good advice from his counselors… honesty… truth… that our country might be strong… and firm.