Ethics and government – Solomon’s request

Sometimes today ethics is seen as a very personal thing. Autonomy is emphasized and morality is about a person making the best decision for his or her circumstances.  Solomon’s request when God told him to ask for whatever he wanted reminds us that ethics undergirds the ability to govern well.  Solomon’s response to God in 1 Kings 3:9 was “give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?”  He reminds us that governing well is based on being able to discern what is right and wrong (ethics).  If those who govern choose to believe that there are no objective values and that everyone must do as they see best then it will be difficult to govern well.

May God help those who govern to remember that governing well is based on ethics and being able to discern what is right and wrong.