Text: Pro. 29:1-4INTRODUCTION: At the last Nigerian Baptist Convention 105th Session held at Ndele, Rivers State our Theme was “MOVING FORWARD: BUILDING A GREAT NATION THROUGH EFFECTIVE PARTICIPATION” and the scriptural passage is Proverbs 29:2.  Today, I want to preach from the same text as we consider the topic, “WHEN THE RIGHTEOUS ARE IN AUTHORITY.” The first response to this statement is that the people rejoice and the opposite is that the people groan. No doubt there is a lot groaning in the land today. There is economic groaning leading to the exodus of many of our people to other countries like US, Canada, UK, Libya, Israel etc. Of recent, a 56year old man would have ran away while traveling with us to Israel if not due to the due diligence of the screening officers. Just recently, I was told of a serving military officer who absconded with a government group. Many businesses have collapsed and some are only managing to survive. On the other hand, there is still religious groaning in the land. Many are being slaughtered because of their faith by wicked men who remain elusive to the law enforcement agencies. The problem of Boko Haram, wicked herdsman and others of the like are indeed making many to groan both religiously and socially. May the Lord have mercy on our land and bring a new era. But this can only happen when the righteous are in authority. According to our passage, if we are going to rejoice again, we must bring more righteous men into authority. In the context of our topic, I want to briefly address the following, Who are the Righteous, The Righteous in Authority, When Shall The Righteous Be Authority and How The Righteous can be in Authority.1. WHO ARE THE RIGHTEOUS- The Righteous are those who have surrendered their lives to Jesus, the King of righteousness as Lord and Saviour and who are living for Him. They are not righteous because they bear bible names or go to church, but people who are living under the fear of God having been washed by the blood of Jesus from all forms of self righteousness. To be truthful is not the same as being righteous.2. THE RIGHTEOUS IN AUTHORITY. One truth our passage reveals to us is the possibility for the righteous to be in authority. While many of us see politics as dirty business, the word of God reveals to us that God has not designed it for wicked men. But when good people abstain from government, the nation will be left with the only option of the rule of the wicked, the looters and the killers. Therefore, the righteous can also be in authority to make the people rejoice.3. WHEN SHALL THE RIGHTEOUS BE IN AUTHORITY.
No doubt, God wants the righteous to be in authority, this is not happening because of the apathy of the righteous to politics. So the righteous will only be in authority when the righteous join politics, engage in godly political activities, obtain their Personal Voters Card and vote according to their conscience and not on sentiments or empty party promises.4. HOW SHALL THE RIGHTEOUS BE IN AUTHORITY.
When we all work together to vote them in. It takes the righteous to vote the righteous into authority. As God’s children, we can no longer watch and give flimsy excuses. It is time we did our best to support one another and vote into authority people we know that are walking in the fear of God.  Only those who walk in the fear of God will rule with the fear of God. ( Exo. 18:21-22, Exo. 29:4)

CONCLUSION: The big question is, do we want the people to rejoice? Then, let us bring the righteous to Power. Do we want the groaning to stop, let us pray and work towards this in the next election. This has nothing to with party affiliation, but God affiliation. Righteousness must reign in Nigeria and Nigeria must be exalted in righteousness. (Pro. 14:34) Let me close with a revelation I got last night from God’s word. The Hebrew word translated “in authority” is “rabah” which can also be translated become many, become numerous, multiply, grow great or increase. This why some translations render it, “When righteous people increase, the people of God rejoice, but when a wicked person rules, everybody groans.” (GW) This means we must make frantic efforts to increase the number of righteous people in government. The increase must begin with me and you as we both choose to be one of the righteous and we actively participate in the political affairs of our nation. When the righteous form the majority of those in authority, the change we all desire will manifest. The time to prepare for the change is now. Nigeria will soon rejoice. Amen.

Rev. Israel Kristilere.(PhD)

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