but the righteous are bold as a lion.
When a land transgresses, it has many rulers,
but with a man of understanding and knowledge,
its stability will long continue.
A poor man who oppresses the poor
is a beating rain that leaves no food.
Those who forsake the law praise the wicked,
but those who keep the law strive against them.
Evil men do not understand justice,
but those who seek the LORD understand it completely.
Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity
than a rich man who is crooked in his ways.
The one who keeps the law is a son with understanding,
but a companion of gluttons shames his father.
Whoever multiplies his wealth by interest and profit
gathers it for him who is generous to the poor.
If one turns away his ear from hearing the law,
even his prayer is an abomination.
Whoever misleads the upright into an evil way will fall into his own pit,
but the blameless will have a goodly inheritance.
A rich man is wise in his own eyes,
but a poor man who has understanding will find him out.
When the righteous triumph, there is great glory,
but when the wicked rise, people hide themselves.
Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper,
but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.
Blessed is the one who fears the LORD always,
but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity.
Like a roaring lion or a charging bear
is a wicked ruler over a poor people.
A ruler who lacks understanding is a cruel oppressor,
but he who hates unjust gain will prolong his days.
Proverbs 28:1-16 ESV
A very appropriate set of proverbs for our generation here in the United States. What strikes me about this is that the responsibility for living just and holy lives falls not only on politicians, but also on the private citizen—especially Christians who know God and have experienced His transforming power. The children of God must lead and influence culture not only by our rhetoric, but also by our example. That's almost as important as a November election ... maybe more so.
How are we to be salt (a preserving and seasoning agent) and light (a source of truth)—a city set on a hill? It is through our good works (words and acts of courage, justice, grace, kindness and humility) that we accomplish this and bring glory to God. Any nation will falter and further lose its way when the people of God play the part of the chameleon and blend in with the rest of the culture.
“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet.
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
Matthew 5:13-16 ESV