At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore (Ps. 16: 11)
When it goeth well with the righteous, the city rejoiceth: And when the wicked perish, there is shouting. By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted: But it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.Proverbs 11:10–11
Most of the time, individual proverbs take up one verse. There are others that are more extended, but most of the time it is one verse to a proverb. Then there are other times, like perhaps this one, when two individual proverbs address the same basic theme, such that they can be addressed together, which is what I am going to do here.
Poor governance is a trial to the people, and when the rulers are righteous, it is a cause for rejoicing in the city. When the righteous are doing well, the city rejoices. In the next verse, when the upright are in a position to bless, the city is exalted as a result.
When wicked rulers are thrown down, there are shouts of jubilation. There is, as our saying would have it, dancing in the streets. But when a city is under the chastisement of God, He permits them to be overthrown through the lies of the wicked.
If we put all this together, we see that when the people listen to liars, it goes ill with them. But when the people listen to the righteous, and heed the upright, the city is prosperous. It is unfortunate, but this is a lesson that must usually be learned in the school of hard knocks. When the people vote in scoundrels, miscreants, charlatans, and socialists, they soon enough begin to feel the hurt. Then when these arrogant rulers are toppled from their places, the people breathe a sigh of relief, and go out into the public square to celebrate.
But prior to the shouts of jubilation, and after the groaning that comes with oppression, the people need to learn the foundational lesson in all of this. Heed and heed carefully those who will tell you the truth. Turn a deaf ear to the blandishments of liars.