At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore (Ps. 16: 11)
For the transgression of a land many are the princes thereof: But by a man of understanding and knowledge the state thereof shall be prolonged.Proverbs 28:2
Scripture teaches us that there is an ethical interaction between the rulers of a land and those who are ruled. When the wicked rule, the people mourn (Prov. 29:2), but it is also the case, as we see here, that when the people are wicked, the rulers mourn.
More specifically, lack of integrity in the populace results in instability, and that instability extends upwards to the princes of the land. Inability to hold a government together is the result of a land’s transgressions. When there is an earthquake, the top floors of the skyscrapers would be the more exciting places to be. When high winds come, that is not the moment for climbing to the top of a tree.
This is why, when a state is in turmoil, repentance is appropriate everywhere. A radically unbiblical way of thinking is to say something like “don’t blame me, I voted for the other guy.” When judgment falls, it falls on the entire nation. The nation of Judah was taken into exile for their sins, but Daniel—a godly young man—was included in it. And then, as an old man, when it came time to pray for the return from exile, Daniel offered up a prayer of repentance that did not exclude himself.
The flip side of the proverb is that a man of understanding and knowledge can head such a disaster off. One prince after another is a prelude to collapse, but a man of understanding knows what it will take to prolong the days of a nation. And when a people is caught in the grip of various follies and frenzies, as we most certainly are right now, the prayer of the godly should be for God to raise up a Dutch uncle, who will talk sense to us.