The Expository Files

  Solomon's Editorial On Immature Leaders

Ecclesiastes 10:16-20

16 Woe to you, O land, when your king is a child, And your princes feast in the morning!
17 Blessed are you, O land, when your king is the son of nobles, And your princes feast at the proper time; For strength and not for drunkenness!
18 Because of laziness the building decays, And through idleness of hands the house leaks.
19 A feast is made for laughter, And wine makes merry; But money answers everything.
20 Do not curse the king, even in your thought; Do not curse the rich, even in your bedroom; For a bird of the air may carry your voice, And a bird in flight may tell the matter.

In this section of Ecclesiastes, Solomon returns to the subject of men who govern -- practical politics -- and he addresses something he saw that is bad; perhaps we have seen this too.

It is especially tough to live in a nation which is governed by an immature leader. I don't think this necessarily means a young man - I believe this is about a man who has never grown up! He may be fifty or older -- but in some ways, he still acts like a teenager, or a little boy. This is a bad thing; it is especially hard to live in a place which is governed by an immature leader ...

And one problem is - his immaturity, his worldly, carnal approach to life is reflected - not only by his behavior, but also by those in his administration. His immature habits and practices filter down into the whole realm and affect the people under him. So, they eat at all hours of the day and spend less time ruling, and more time playing!

On the other hand, the wise king; the mature leader surrounds himself with responsible men, who feast at the appointed times, and not just to get drunk! You see, Solomon saw this and wrote to us about it: A LAND WITHOUT A WISE AND MATURE LEADER IS IN TROUBLE. The nation with a child as its ruler and whose princes are given only to satisfying their own desires is destined for destruction -- Rulers should eat and drink to obtain strength, not to indulge in revelry and drunkenness. Where there is a party-animal life style in high places - and rulers act like teenagers indulging their fleshly desires... THAT'S BAD FOR THE WHOLE NATION.

It is like a building which is destroyed through slothfulness. It is bad when rulers are involved in sex, parties and indulgence -- and think that money can by a cover-up. "Woe to you, O land, when your king is a child, and your princes feast in the morning." Pray for our nation.

(Based on thoughts found in STUDIES IN ECCLESIASTES by David Posey
Folsom, California Revised, September, 1996.


By Warren E. Berkley
The Final Page
From Expository Files 5.12; December 1998