Righteousness exalts a nation

"Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people," Proverbs 14:34.

"When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked bear rule, the people mourn," Proverbs 29:2.

It is perhaps necessary I begin this meditation with a couple of definitions from Merriam Webster defining first a "democracy" and secondly a "republic."

These two words are frequently interchanged. According to Merriam Webster, a republic is a power in which the extreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by elected officers and representatives responsible to them and governing according to law.

Merriam Webster defines a democracy as a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and is exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held elections.

When considering the previous definitions, we conclude our American government places tremendous responsibility on its citizens.

We as citizens can argue all we want about corruption in government, but the fact remains where corruption exists it is there because we as the people placed it there. We have a tremendous responsibility to elect men and women of "righteous" character.

The late Adrian Rogers frequently heard on the radio program "Love worth Finding" often said: "Without righteousness, our republic cannot work."

We need to define "righteousness." A short but sufficient definition is right character according to God's will revealed in his word, the Bible.

I am convinced one cannot teach proper principles of character without referring to the word of God. It was a sad day in our land when it was decided the Bible and prayer should have no place in public education.

It is clear if our form of government is going to work we must have righteous citizens and righteous representatives elected by those righteous citizens.

We have the example of ancient Israel all throughout the Old Testament proving this principle that righteousness (righteous people and righteous leaders) is essential to a nation continuing to be blessed of God.

God has established three institutions to promote righteousness throughout the land.

The first institution established was "the home" (Genesis 2 and 3); the second "government" (Genesis 9 and Romans 13); and the third "the church" (Acts 2 and revealed all through the New Testament).

The best step each of us as citizens can take to save and secure our nation is to personally live Godly lives, teach our children to live such lives and elect leaders who will manifest righteous character.

Rev. Jim Davis is pastor of the Pilgrim Holiness Church of Strattanville.