At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore (Ps. 16: 11)
Delight is not seemly for a fool; Much less for a servant to have rule over princes (KJV).
Luxury is not fitting for a fool, much less for a servant to rule over princes (NKJV).Proverbs 19:10
We are accustomed to the word egalitarian because of our debates about headship and submission within marriage, and because of the broader question of sex roles within the church. And almost all conservative Christians know and understand that the Scriptures are not egalitarian when it comes to marriage—the husband is the head of the wife (Eph. 5:22-24). And they also understand that a woman is not permitted to teach or exercise authority over men in the church (1 Tim. 2:12-15).
But what many do not understand is that the Bible is not egalitarian anywhere, and this proverb provides us with a good illustration of that.
All societies have various social strata—in our setting, we have the homeless, the urban poor, the blue collar workers, white collar workers, the independently wealthy, and then the billionaires. In some societies, these strata are assigned by tradition, and if that tradition is hard and inflexible you have a caste system. If it is more attractive to us, you have might have a scene out of Pride & Prejudice, where the nameless servants get all the work done, and are less obtrusive than your smart phone notifications are. In that kind of society, there is some mobility. In ours, there is quite a bit of traffic between the strata, but the principle is still one that applies.
So luxury is not fitting for a fool. We all know what happens when a redneck wins the lottery. Pretty much everything that will happen could be filed under the heading of “not fitting.” And a hired hand should not be given authority over someone who is a genuine aristocrat (as opposed to a faux-aristocrat).
This is not because wealth is bad, and it is not because authority is bad. Rather, the point is that both wealth and authority are things that require years of training to handle properly. If you come into wealth suddenly, then bad things happen. If you come into authority suddenly, then bad things happen.