Cursing Kings in Your Bedroom

Text: Ecclesiastes 10:20

Solomon gave instructions about what we say about those in power (or in positions of influence). We live in a time of unpopular leaders, social media, and technology that allows for the monitoring of private conversations and communications. Therefore, this verse is an important one to remember. There are three points we will consider from this verse.

Not to Curse the King

  • Not only was this good advice, this was part of the old law (Exodus 22:28) – means to despise, to treat with contempt, to consider insignificant
  • OT examples of this principle of not despising wicked rulers or viewing them with contempt – David refusing to kill Saul because he was “the Lord’s anointed” (1 Samuel 24:1-7); Daniel and his friends in Babylon who, despite captivity and unfair treatment, conducted themselves in such a way that the king knew he could trust them (Daniel 1:3-7, 19)
  • NT instruction regarding our responsibility toward rulers – honor the king (1 Peter 2:17), pray for those in authority (1 Timothy 2:1-2), submit to those in authority (Romans 13:1-2; 1 Peter 2:13-14; cf. Acts 5:29)
  • It is important to note that there is a difference between cursing and pointing out sin/abuse – example of John the Baptist with Herod and pointing out his personal sin (Mark 6:17-18); example of Paul with the rulers in Philippi and calling them out for failing to act according to the law (Acts 16:35-40)

Be Righteous in Public and in Private

  • One’s bedroom is a place of privacy – but it is not a place of moral impunity
  • It is possible to live righteously in public and still be condemned – example of the Pharisees (Matthew 23:25-28); God sees what is done in secret (Matthew 6:3-4, 6; Hebrews 4:13)
  • God wants us to be consistent – daily (Luke 9:23); publicly and privately (2 Corinthians 1:12)
  • This does not mean that all communication should be public – some things are, and should be, confidential (Proverbs 11:13; 12:23; 1 Timothy 5:13); we must be wise with our discussions; but we are not to accept private sin

What Is Private Often Does Not Remain Private

  • Jesus spoke about this after condemning the Pharisees for hypocrisy (Luke 12:1-3) – they were not the same in public and private; what is hidden will be revealed
  • This could be the result of gossip – the Bible condemns gossip (Romans 1:29); while the gossip itself would be wrong, that does not change what we said; the impact will be the same (Proverbs 11:9; James 3:2-5)
  • Today, it could be the result of a misuse or failure of technology – emails, social media, relative anonymity online, communication that can be recorded/intercepted by authorities, etc.; even in “private,” we must not say/share what is unlawful or unwise
  • If nothing else, all that we do is open to the Lord (Hebrews 4:13) – we will be judged, even the secret things in our lives (Romans 2:16)

Conclusion

  • These words from Solomon from almost 3,000 years ago are important for us to remember today
  • Whether in public or private, we must be the type of people that God wants us to be

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