Proverbs 28 has Solomon giving us some strong words around integrity. Integrity is what you do when no one else is around to watch. It’s what you do as a default action. Solomon makes it clear that integrity matters. “Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity than a rich man who is crooked in his ways….Whoever walks in integrity will be delivered, but he who is crooked in his ways will suddenly fall”. Integrity isn’t optional. It is God’s standard for how we are to live.
Our influence on others is also important. “Whoever misleads the upright into an evil way will fall into his own pit, but the blameless will have a goodly inheritance”. We have the opportunity to impact others and how they live. That happens whether we necessarily intent to do that or not. The outcome though is something God cares about. If we set an example that leads people to walk in God’s ways, to live a righteous and godly life, good things happen – Solomon calls it a goodly inheritance. If we fail to lead people in the right way, there is a price for that as well.
We have been told often in Proverbs that we must fear the Lord as it is the beginning of wisdom. Solomon gives us another warning about that here. “Blessed is the one who fears the Lord always, but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity”. The only reason you would not fear the Lord is you have a total misunderstanding of what God’s requirements are, and the reality that failing to meet them will lead to eternal separation from Him. God is in control. He is in charge. We need to fear Him and live God’s way.
God is paying attention to how we live. “A faithful man will abound with blessings, but whoever hastens to be rich will not go unpunished”. If we walk with Him faithfully, we will be blessed. If we follow our own hearts, we will be punished. It’s a pretty simple if/then situation. Living God’s way will yield a good result. Doing it our way not so much. We have to learn to walk in His ways – following His wisdom. “Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered”. We have to walk with God in His ways. That’s the only way to achieve His blessing!