15 ¶ As a roaring lion, and a ranging bear; so is a wicked ruler over the poor people.
Saddam Hussein, Robert Mugabe, and other tin horn despots have ruled over miserable people, impoverished by the outright theft their leaders have perpetuated on them and the corruption their families and cronies have been allowed to perform.
The roaring lion is said to have found his prey.
Amos 3:4 Will a lion roar in the forest, when he hath no prey? will a young lion cry out of his den, if he have taken nothing?
There is great symbolism here as a lion and a bear figured well into David’s introduction to King Saul.
1 Samuel 17:34 And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: 35 And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him. 36 Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God.
Some commentators insist this is a prophetic reference to the Beast of Revelation, the end time ruler that is commonly called The AntiChrist, although that is a reference in the letters of John to anyone who denies Christ’s divinity and is not found in the Book of Revelation.
So, from a prophetic point of view the verses in 1 Samuel and this Proverb would be like saying that David, a type of Christ, kept God the Father’s flock, as in the believers, safe from the lion and the bear, two types of Satan.
John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and my Father are one.
This has been the subject of a great many sermons, I am sure. But, back to the literal take on these verses. Rulers who make their people poor, who rule over them like wild predators, are wicked. People in the halls of governments that strip the prosperity from an inventive and industrious people by deals made with other countries and outright theft of their own, padding their pockets and the pockets of their wealthy corporate friends whom they intend to work for once their days of tax supported plunder are over are wicked rulers. Since the world is under the operative control of Satan (2 Corinthians 4:4) until Christ returns to take over the kingdoms of the world (Revelation 11:15) it is highly unlikely that any UN sanction or threat from the World Bank is going to change that, especially as those entities are part of a greater wickedness, where predatory men and institutions have a global reach.
One way, then, of viewing this Proverb, in light of current events, is to see how our global governors; giant international corporations and world reaching global institutions are like wild predators who will eventually carry the plunder until they rule over a world of grey mush; a mass of poor people, slaves pleased with any crumb thrown their way, compliant and fearful. At least, until the Prince of Peace returns, it will be that way.