Archive for May 10th, 2019

Proverbs 28:24-28

In Proverbs 28:24-28 Solomon begins by making it clear that taking advantage of one’s parents is not an acceptable form of behavior. There are some who have little conscience about stealing from their parents. Out of some sense of entitlement, they rob them and then say, “It is no transgression.” Some may rationalize that they are eventually going to get it anyway, but that doesn’t change God’s perspective on honoring our parents. “Whoever robs his father or his mother and says, “That is no transgression,” is a companion to a man who destroys.”  Despite whatever sense of entitlement the thief may have, they are right next to a destroyer, someone who spreads and even loves destruction.

Staying on the money trail, Solomon brings up the impact of greed. Waltke wrote “The greedy person’s insatiable appetite brings him into conflict with others, for he transgresses social boundaries. Not content with his portion, he becomes disruptive and destructive, and whose person and property he violates fight back.” “A greedy man stirs up strife, but the one who trusts in the Lord will be enriched.” In contrast, when we put our trust in the Lord money is not nearly as important. That’s because God owns it all anyway. To trust in the Lord is presented as a contrast to the greedy heart. That person should expect to prosper, as they humbly trust God and give up their focus on accumulating more.

Next he reminds us that we just can’t trust what we know if we want to walk in wisdom. There is a strong urge—promoted to us by the world, the flesh, and the devil—to trust our own heart and to “follow our heart” instead of receiving our values, morals, and wisdom from God’s word. This trusting in our own heart leads one to be a fool. For answers, values, and guidance we should not look within, but look to the Lord. “Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.” In contrast to trusting our own heart, we should walk wisely in God’s ways. Instead of operating on the basis of how we feel, we should direct ourselves to wise living in what we do following His direction.

Giving is one way to turn on God’s blessing. When we share with those less fortunate, God notices and responds. God promises to bless the generous heart, and one way that generosity should be expressed is to give to the poor. “Whoever gives to the poor will not want, but he who hides his eyes will get many a curse.”  Pretending not to notice is not an excuse that will work. God will not bless the one who ignores the troubles of the poor and needy. In a similar but different way, wickedness needs to be addressed. They may cause good to hide and protect themselves. When wicked men come to places of prominence and rule, it is bad for the community.  But God doesn’t run. “When the wicked rise, people hide themselves, but when they perish, the righteous increase.” When the wicked and their influence pass, the righteous increase, along with their influence. This is a blessing for a community or a nation.

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