Proverbs 14:35 (ESV)

35 A servant who deals wisely has the king’s favor, but his wrath falls on one who acts shamefully.

Joseph, Daniel, and Mordecai are examples of men who won the favour of unbelieving rulers through their wise actions. Daniel’s enemies, on the other hand, were eventually thrown to the lions (Daniel 6:25). Likewise, Haman lost his life when he planned to have the Jewish people wiped out.

This proverb does not only apply to important people. Even ordinary men can come into the favour of those highly placed: “Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve before kings; he will not serve before obscure men” (Proverbs 22:29). Of course, Scripture also knows of exceptions to this rule (see Ecclesiastes 9:13–16; Ecclesiastes 10:6). But in the end, what is of ultimate importance is the pleasure that Jesus Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords, has in each of his servants who keeps his Word and commands (Luke 19:11–27).