At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore (Ps. 16: 11)
“It is an abomination to kings to commit wickedness: For the throne is established by righteousness.”Proverbs 16:12
We already know—or should know, at any rate—that sin is bad. We already know that wickedness is evil, and that evil is abominable. But this proverb provides us with a little bit more insight. Evil is not just wrong, it is also stupid.
Sin is counterproductive. Notice how this proverb runs. It is an abomination for kings to do wicked things. And why is that? Because a throne is established (made secure, firmed up) by righteousness. One of the things that we can safely say about thrones is that kings like to sit on them. Kings like it when thrones stay put so that they can sit on them.
Solomon here says that a throne is established by righteousness.
But this is not pragmatism, that view that substitutes carnal “wisdom” for the law of God. Pragmatism evaluates everything on the basis of what works or not, and so this is a good reason for rejecting pragmatism. Pragmatism is hoist on its own petard; pragmatism doesn’t work. If a king turns from his own pragmatic wisdom, and turns instead to the law of God, his throne will be established.
Impudent rebellion on the part of a ruler does nothing but destabilize his own rule, really. We have seen a great deal of this on the part of our own rulers these last several years. They are doing what seems right in their own eyes, and everything seems calculated to aggrandize their own power, and yet everything they have been doing is causing their moral authority to evaporate like dew on a hot summer morning.
Pragmatism is a sin. Power tripping is a sin. Grabbing at authority is sin. Tyranny is a sin. And so when rulers try to grasp more authority by such means, the effects are the opposite of what they wanted. God gives authority to those who don’t want authority in the wrong way.