Like a roaring lion or a charging bear
is a wicked ruler over a helpless people.
Scary isn’t it. A wicked ruler is like a charging bear. One of things about proverbs is that while this proverb is directed at rulers, its general enough to be applied much more broadly. You don’t have to be a ruler to be able to gain wisdom from this proverb. One easy application is as a parent or as a boss or leader of some sort.
The mention of ‘helpless’ ones turns me straight to my kids; not that they’ll be helpless forever. But in these early years, my anger has the same effect that this charging bear would. Now I don’t see my self as a wicked ruler. Yet, because of sin, I inhabit some of the traits of a wicked ruler. Thus, while parts to my anger that are probably right, not all of it is. There’s always some frustration and impatience mixed in as well – hence wicked ruler-esque.
This proverb has similar themes to Proverbs 28:3. In a previous post I majored on more subtle forms of wicked leadership. In this post, I have in mind a more obvious kind. The kind of ruling (hear parenting or some other form of ruling i.e., being the boss) that instils a more localised fear. This type of ruling instils fear not from a wearing down from high expectations year after year, but from a sudden and often unexpected outburst. Just like a charging bear is often unexpected and localised. This proverb gives us a glimpse into the effect of our own actions, particularly that of anger, for me. It should help us realise our sin and to make amends before God and before those who we charge at. I want to be able to say, ‘Bye-bye beary’.