Proverbs 29:26

ESV Many seek the face of a ruler, but it is from the LORD that a man gets justice.
NIV Many seek an audience with a ruler, but it is from the LORD that one gets justice.
NASB Many seek the ruler’s favor, But justice for mankind comes from the Lord.
CSB Many desire a ruler's favor, but a person receives justice from the Lord.
NLT Many seek the ruler’s favor, but justice comes from the Lord.
KJV Many seek the ruler's favour; but every man's judgment cometh from the LORD.

What does Proverbs 29:26 mean?

When searching for justice, it's common to look first to human leaders. Governments, rulers, judges, and others were put in place for the purpose of enacting justice (Romans 13:2–5). Yet those figures are fallible. Sometimes, they are corrupt. It is not wrong to "seek the face" of leaders or hope they will do the right thing. Still, the ultimate source of all justice is God. His judgment, not the actions of anyone on earth, will be the ultimate righting of all wrongs (Romans 12:17–19; Revelation 20:11–15).

Believers are encouraged to approach God in prayer, in part because He promises to provide help in hard times (Hebrews 4:16). In 2 Timothy 4:14 the apostle Paul commented about being mistreated by Alexander the coppersmith, yet he expressed confidence God would be the one to repay Alexander for that harm. Every believer receives a degree of persecution, but the Lord is faithful to be with us and to ultimately bring all things to justice (Hebrews 4:12–13; 13:5; 2 Corinthians 5:19–21; 2 Peter 3:9–13). Jesus said, "In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world" (John 16:33). Paul writes in 2 Timothy 4:18: "The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom." In James 5 we read that the Lord knows the injustice believers suffer at the hands of unscrupulous unbelievers, and James points out that the Lord will judge the offenders. He counsels: "Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord" (James 5:7).
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