Archive for the ‘Proverbs 28’ Category


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 28:20 “A faithful man will be richly blessed, but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished.”

Blessings are the product of honest labor. Just as Abraham was rich in gold, silver, and cattle because he was blessed of God, God will bless you abundantly if you have the faith of Abraham. Abraham was saved and blessed by faith. We are blessed and saved by; faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Someone in a hurry to get rich is taking short cuts. His ways are not pleasing to God, because they are not honest. God will hold him responsible for the way he made his money. Wealth in itself is not evil. Our attitude toward the wealth can be very evil.


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 28:22 A stingy man is eager to get rich and is unaware that poverty awaits him.

Greed will distort your vision. You will see temptations other men miss, and you will eye everything as a means for gain. Chasing riches is bad enough, but pursuing them hastily is a recipe for disaster. Ambition, covetousness, and greed are ingredients of financial ruin (Pr 28:20; I Tim 6:7-10). A wise man is content with his wages and lets God make him rich; he will not pursue damning and elusive wealth, either slowly or hastily.

Haste to be rich is the impatient lust for more of a greedy person. He is frustrated by an ordinary job and discontented with ordinary wages. He believes he deserves better; he envies successful men; he covets what they have; he believes others owe him; he allows lustful thoughts. This greed for gain perverts his vision. He measures others by how much he might gain by them rather than how much they could gain from his service to them.

His heart and eyes are obsessed with getting ahead financially. He is constantly thinking of squeezing more money out of every transaction. He wants to buy below market, but he wants to sell above market. He begrudges any activity that does not pay. He hates giving charity, but he loves receiving it. In all his thoughts about money, he overlooks one great consideration – God and good men will take this covetous wretch down to poverty.

Greed for gain corrupts a man’s view of life. He is stingy in giving. He is unthankful in receiving. He is overbearing in transactions. He measures relationships financially. He defrauds his family. He overworks. He underpays. He resents taxes. He may consider bribes. He is angered by acts of God that cost him money. He is easily deceived by get-rich-quick schemes. He despises patient saving. He envies the successful. He is unhappy.

But a wise man scatters his money, knowing it leads to prosperity; he knows miserly thinking leads to poverty and resentment (Pr 11:24-26). A wise man considers the poor and gives quickly (Pr 19:17; Ps 41:1). He knows that a little with fear of God, peace, and righteousness is better than wealth without these things (Pr 15:16-17; 16:8; 17:1; 28:6; Ps 37:16). Generous men have a good eye – they see life’s priorities correctly (Pr 22:9).

Tax collectors and occupying soldiers often have evil eyes – using their jobs for greed, but John the Baptist taught precise accounting and contentment with wages (Lu 3:12-14). Even when buying something, you must hate greed and pay a fair price for it (Pr 20:14).

Heretics, like the mega-church gurus of today, profess gain to be godliness. But they are to be rejected for Jesus Christ’s pure doctrine – godliness with contentment is great gain (I Tim 6:3-10). Wise men despise riches and willingly give to others (I Tim 6:17-19).


Under Gods Command 

Proverbs 28:3 A ruler who oppresses the poor is like a driving rain that leaves no crops.

Poverty does not make men charitable, noble, or virtuous. Solomon observed poor men being cruel and stingy to other poor men, which he considered a perverse practice. And he saw also poor men given authority or riches becoming merciless tyrants in abusing their power over former peers. This is vanity and insanity. He, who ought to remember his former state and show tender kindness, grinds the poor instead for his arrogant greed.

There is no virtue in poverty. In fact, poverty generally indicates a base mind, foolish heart, and/or lazy body. All other things being equal, the reason one man is poorer than his neighbor is due to a foolish life. Apart from the overriding blessing or judgment of God, diligence and wisdom bring success, and slothfulness and folly bring poverty (Pr 10:4; 11:24; 12:24; 22:29). To believe otherwise is to make failure the reward of wisdom!

The purpose and profit of rain is to nourish the earth for growing food. And it does this wonderfully, when it falls gently and steadily. But when rain comes in a violent storm, it can easily wash away topsoil and the seeds contained in it by a flood of water. It can also flatten and soak growing plants and ruin them for food. In both cases, the very thing that ought to be for the profit of a field and its owner becomes a cruel and destructive force.

A poor man, whether still in poverty or given some authority or success, ought to have pity on his poor brethren. He should remember his previous condition. But it is a fact that poor men can be very critical of other poor men, which Solomon had observed in his study of human existence. If you exalt or honor a foolish poor man, you will likely create a monster that will trample on those that he should pity and protect (Pr 30:21-22).

Is your memory good? Or do you despise those that are what you were? Father, do you pity children by remembering your folly at their age? Businessman, do you recall difficult days in your career enough to comfort those having them now? Supervisor, are you compassionate to employees, having been one last year? Student, can you pity a younger sibling as he struggles with what confused you a few years ago? Grandparent, do you remember past difficulties and help your children or grandchildren facing them now?

Christian, you were the poorest of the poor. Depraved, destitute, and damned! You were a criminal destined for hell. But Jesus Christ gave His life to redeem you from sin and death and make you a child of God with an eternal inheritance. Glory! Can you remember your vile history and the great forgiveness you were freely given and forgive those who sin against you (Matt 18:21-35)? Or are you like a sweeping rain leaving no food?

The Lord Jesus Christ went from the poverty of a lowly carpenter’s son to the Prince of the kings of the earth (Rev 1:5). Does He remember and pity you in your weak condition and hard trials? Indeed! (Ps 103:13-14; Heb 2:17-18; 4:14-16.) David wrote of Him, “He shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain” (II Sam 23:4).


Under Gods Command 

Proverbs 28:19 He who works his land will have abundant food, but the one who chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty. 

Do you want financial success? Then do a basic job well, day after day, obeying the economic wisdom in Proverbs. It will work! God and Solomon guarantee it! Stop going to promotional meetings, hating to work for others, listening to too-good-to-be-true investment ideas, or daydreaming about a better life. Make pleasure and rest your last thoughts (Pr 21:17,20). Consistent hard work at a needed job will work. Following the lying promises of promoters will not work. Learn wisdom: love work: hate distractions!

Men by nature are greedy and lazy. They want more of the good things of life than others have, but they want to exert themselves less than others to get them. Therefore they are tempted by two economic sins – to resent their basic jobs and/or listen to pipe dreams. Learn wisdom: love work: hate greed! Because Solomon had observed these temptations destroying men’s financial lives, he repeated this proverb in similar language (Pr 12:11).

Who in the world wants to be a farmer, when he could be a real estate tycoon driving a sports car and making deals on his cell phone of houses purchased with no money down? Who would choose to be a nurse, when she could be an international photographer for an Internet news magazine? Why be a factory slave, when you could use multilevel marketing of a mineral substitute for Viagra made from sea salt to live on a yacht by 30?

Farming was not the only job in Solomon’s day. But it best illustrated the lesson of this proverb. Farming required hard work, planning, patience, and repetition. It was the most basic of jobs – using the earth to produce food and/or to use the food to raise cattle or other animals for various products. But tilling a field behind oxen became boring and stupid when you heard fantastic rumors of network marketing riches in clothes soap!

The tortoise beats the hare financially. While the tortoise plods forward an inch at a time toward his economic goals, the hare runs at full speed from distraction to distraction, some costing him precious capital, and all costing him valuable time. When they come to the day of reckoning, the faithful labors, sound investments, and patience of the tortoise have given him a comfortable estate. The hare is exhausted, frustrated, and broke!

Solomon despised get-rich-quick schemes. He saw poor men make good income, but foolish ideas wasted it (Pr 13:23). Diligent labor in a basic job brings success (Pr 27:18). Talking about financial fantasies makes men poor (Pr 14:23). Getting distracted from the job at hand is terrible (Pr 27:23-27). Increase is by strength and leverage, not scheming (Pr 14:4). He saw financial exceptions destroying fools looking for a free lunch (Pr 1:32).

Vain persons are everywhere, especially with radio, television, telephones, magazines, newspapers, the Internet, and email. They promote the rich and famous, though they are only 1 out of 10,000. They offer impossible returns to steal your savings for themselves. Governments offer lotteries that are nothing but a tax on the poor and stupid. And liars flaunt the extravagant lifestyle of multilevel marketing “successes,” while ignoring the 98% that bought the overpriced product to pay for the “success.” The net result of these and all other financial “shortcuts” is always negative – you lose! Going down?

Why do any listen to such nonsense? Why would anyone consider lies from a person trying to fleece them of their hard earned money? There are only a few reasons. All of them are sins. Two have been given – discontentment with your job and covetousness for a different life. In addition, some do not like submitting to other men, which is simply pride and rebellion. And last, some through willful ignorance do not examine things with a critical and pessimistic eye to avoid lying snakes (Pr 14:15; 15:22; 27:12; I Thess 5:21).

This generation is obsessed with ease and pleasure – amusement, games, recreation, sports, and relaxation – but these things ruin men financially. If you love pleasure, you are going to be poor (Pr 21:17). If you love sleep, you are going to be poor (Pr 20:4,13). You will learn to despise work, because it is not as much fun to you as riotous living and sleeping in (Pr 19:15). You will waste your money on foolish amusements (Pr 21:20; Luke 15:13). And this childish lifestyle will take you down (Pr 23:21).

Your safety is in God’s word. Hard work works (Pr 10:4; 13:4; 22:29).  Haste makes financial waste (Pr 19:2; 28:20,22). Believe nothing without proof, especially testimonials or “results” above market rates (Pr 13:11; 14:15; 22:3). Taking the easy road will ruin you economically (Pr 6:9-11; 24:30-34). Only one document in the world is totally true – the Bible. Everyone and everything else are liars (Rom 3:4). Obey this proverb; love your job; do it well each day; thank God for success. If you scoff at or neglect this proverb, you will wake up poor with a hardworking neighbor ruling over you.

The proverb’s lesson applies to religious pursuits as well. There is no get-spiritual-quick seminar or television offering that can compete with daily prayer and Bible reading and listening carefully to the preaching of God’s word (II Tim 3:6-7; 4:1-4). Do not follow the vain religious personalities that offer their seductive road to God and heaven. They are liars just like the financial hucksters. There is only one door and Shepherd of the sheep, and the abundant life is obtained by obeying Him and His words (John 10:1-18).

 

 

 

 

 


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 28:23 He who rebukes a man will in the end gain more favor than he who has a flattering tongue.

True friendship and esteem depend on your contribution to others’ lives. Those who flatter others may have some superficial friends or foolish companions, who enjoy the empty praise. But those who correct and teach others the way of God more perfectly will have devoted and thankful friends for the profit they obtain for their souls and lives.

What does it mean to rebuke? It means to reprove or reprimand another person for some action or trait that is not acceptable. It is telling another person they are wrong and they need to change. It means to point out their errors and express strong dislike of them.

What does it mean to flatter? It means to praise or compliment unduly or insincerely. It is telling another person positive things merely to make them happy and desirous of your friendship. It means to play on a person’s vanity and cheer them without a good basis.

The proverb does not compare two good things and suggest one is better than the other. Rebuke is a very good and holy thing, for it stops sin in others’ lives and directs them to righteousness. Flattery is an evil thing, for it comforts and encourages men to continue in a course of sin merely for a superficial relationship (Pr 20:19; 29:5; Job 17:5; Ps 12:2-3).

True love will rebuke sin in friends. In fact, loving your neighbor requires you to rebuke them for sin. If you do not rebuke them, you hate them (Lev 19:17). If you love someone, you want to help perfect him by pointing out the things that are wrong in his life (Pr 27:5-6; Rom 15:14; I Thes 5:14). You will risk the relationship in order to hopefully help him.

The rebuke under consideration here is the reproof or reprimand of sin, as measured by the word of God. This proverb has nothing to do with matters of liberty, because neither God nor good men care what you think in matters of liberty. No man has any right to judge in matters that God has not judged in the Bible. Personal opinion is just that!

Consider the value of rebuke. There can be no progress without change, and there can be no change without correction, and correction means rebuke for doing something the wrong way. Disciplinarian fathers will be loved more in the long run than pampering fathers; and athletes generally appreciate severe coaches for getting the most out of them.

Flattery, no matter how cheery, positive, or vain, does no one any good. It merely wastes the earth’s oxygen and creates noise pollution. You leave such a person worse for the experience, no matter how pleasant the flattery sounded at the moment. Eventually a righteous person will avoid flatterers, for they truly prefer rebuke (Pr 27:9; Ps 141:5).

Great men and women are trees of life – they nourish others with wisdom (Pr 10:21; 11:30). But most people are quite worthless, because they never contribute to the profit or perfection of others. They are too fearful to help. They are too ignorant to help. They are too selfish to help. Instead of being trees of life, they are merely rotting fence posts!

The value and vitality of a church depends on the practice of this proverb. There are two great benefits. If church members fulfilled their roles of rebuking one another for sin, a church would grow in grace and holiness (Rom 15:14; Eph 4:16; I Thess 5:14; Heb 3:12-13; 10:24-25). And, look again at the proverb. The church would grow in love and true esteem for one another by the benefit gained from the wise and godly rebukes. Glory!

Most churches are little more than superficial social clubs. After a short session of a form of godliness, which they call a worship service, they engage in idle chitchat and inane bantering. Then they go home backbiting and slandering one another. God forbid! They ought to be soberly confessing their faults to one another, exhorting one another to greater godliness, and rebuking any known sins (Gal 6:1; Eph 4:29; Jas 5:16,19-20).

Why do most Christians never correct or rebuke anyone in matters of godliness? Because they reject the truth of this wisdom! They assume the way to obtaining and maintaining friends is flattery, comfortable chitchat, and foolish talking. They fear losing friends and their favour – the very opposite of God’s wisdom – so they never reprove others for sin.

What is the reward for rebuking others? God is pleased you have fulfilled your role and kept His instruction, and the man you rebuked will love you for it (Pr 9:7-9). However, he may not love you at the moment of your rebuke! And for this you must be prepared. Remember the proverb. It says he will love you “afterwards.” Children will obey strict training when they are old, though maybe not that week (Pr 22:15; Heb 12:11)!

The Lord Jesus Christ, the preeminent example, was always correcting, rebuking, and instructing those He met in life, whether disciples or enemies. And Paul did the same thing, spending his life to correct and reprove the sin he found in lives. Righteous men and women loved them both, for they appreciated the holy efforts to perfect their lives.

If a person were properly convicted about the coming Day of Judgment, there would be little time for anything else but perfecting others by wise rebukes and instruction. For once you stand before the King of kings, you will very strongly wish others had rebuked you more, and others will very strongly wish you had rebuked them more. Why make it the great Day of Regret? Gently and wisely rebuke sin where you see it today.


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 28:26 – He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom is kept safe.    

For many people, the rugged individualist is a hero. We admire the bold, self-directed men and women who know what they want and fight for it. They are self-reliant, neither giving nor asking advice. What a contrast to God’s way. A person can’t know the future and can’t predict the consequences of his or her choices with certainty. And so the totally self-reliant person is doomed to failure. The wise person depends on God.

You are your own worst enemy. You have inside you a voice that is dearer than the voice of God or any angel or man. This voice can comfort and convince you against any teaching or warning. This voice is with you twenty-four hours a day, and it always tells you what you want to hear and believe. It helps you make most decisions. You are a fool!

Your heart has a strong opinion on most any topic, whether you know anything about that topic or not. Your heart reacts in an instant against criticism or reproofs, and it controls you with passionate desire for something it wants. Your heart can lull you to sleep about matters it says are unimportant, and it can keep you from sleeping out of envy or hate.

Solomon used heart in this proverb as a metonym for your affections, inclinations, and thoughts. It is your internal set of desires and needs that affects your decision-making. This is not your conscience. This is your anti-conscience! This is the set of passions that drives most men and women. God has spoken about your heart. He said, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jer 17:9).

If you listen to your heart, you are a fool! If you follow your heart, you are a fool! If you make decisions even partially influenced by your heart, you are a fool! You are submitting to the most deceitful, depraved, and dangerous source of information on earth. Your heart has gotten you into more trouble in the past than all your enemies combined. You are your own worst enemy. Wisdom is the power to choose truth against your heart.

Adam died in the Garden of Eden the day he ate the forbidden fruit, according to God’s promise and warning (Gen 2:17; 3:6-8). Since he physically died 930 years later, what happened to him the day he took the fruit from Eve and ate it (Gen 5:5)? What died? Not his intellect. He was as intelligent after sin as before sin. Not his power of observation. He could perceive naturally as well after sin as before sin. He was still mentally sane.

But his affections for God and spiritual inclinations died. He was then morally corrupted without any desire to seek God, please God, or obey God. Rather than beg for forgiveness, he made aprons of fig leaves. Rather than repent, he hid in the garden. Rather than confess his sin, he blamed God and Eve for the mess. He was now motivated by selfish impulses that were dead toward God and others (Ps 14:1-3; Rom 3:9-18).

Adam became totally depraved, as theologians call it. Though his brain still functioned intelligently with logical connections based on observations and perceived consequences, his affections and desires were totally different – they were anti-God, anti-truth, anti-wisdom. He hated God and godliness; he loved all the sinful lusts of body and mind now in him. He was now an eager follower of the devil – spiritually dead in sins (Eph 2:1-3).

You were conceived and born this way – dead in sins, hating God, loving the world, obeying the devil, and fulfilling your lusts in every choice. This is the reality of humanity. This is the truth about all men and women, boys and girls. Without a second birth, one by the Spirit of God, they remain in this state of spiritual death and enmity against God. You must be regenerated by God with a new spiritual life to do any good.

Any doctrine of salvation must deal with this fact. Evangelism must deal with this fact. There are no means to influence a person in this dead condition (John 8:43-47; Rom 8:7-8; I Cor 2:14; Luke 16:31). He or she must be given life first; they must be born again first; they must be regenerated before they can or will believe (John 1:13; 3:8; 5:24; 6:44,63; 17:3; Acts 16:14; I Cor 1:18,22-24). Any other doctrine of salvation is false.

Today it is totally acceptable to trust and follow your heart. In fact, you are taught that your heart can decide what is right for you. One man will leave a church and say, “I did not feel right in my heart there.” A man will leave his wife and children for a younger woman, saying, “My heart was not in my marriage any longer.” A man will quit his job and become a homeless loafer by saying, “I am going to follow my heart.” All are fools!

The primary method of teaching today, even at the university level, is to trust your heart. After the professor presents several contradictory views of capital punishment, he asks the bright-eyed little students, “What do you think?” This is not teaching! This is corrupting youth by flattering the idiocy and pride of their hearts. This is conditioning them to think that their opinions are worth considering. This leads to hating anyone that criticizes or opposes them, especially a Bible preacher without a university degree!

Teenagers defy parents because their wicked hearts tell them they are right and their parents are wrong. Adulterers pursue other women because their profane hearts tell them they deserve it and no one will be hurt. The self-righteous leave a church because their hearts tell them their pastor had no right to criticize them like that. Pornography addicts justify another look based on their hearts excusing such an innocent thing.

Where does following your heart lead? To destruction, which is understood in this proverb by comparison to the parallel clause. Fools will be hurt and punished, for their decisions are based on the feelings, lusts, and arrogance of their own hearts. What felt so good in the beginning becomes painfully destructive in the end (Pr 14:12; 16:2,25; 21:2). But the wise man, who follows God’s wisdom rather than his heart’s lies, will be saved.

True wisdom is learning to mistrust your heart, reject its voice, and make all decisions on the basis of absolute and objective truth. Where is the source for such fabulous decision-making? In the inspired words of the living God recorded in the Bible. It is by learning God’s words and training yourself to make decisions based on them that you can be wise and saved from the deceitful impulses of your depraved heart (Ps 19:7; 119:130).

The purpose for ministers is to make war against your heart. They are to cast down all your imaginations and thoughts and bring them into captivity to the obedience of Jesus Christ (II Cor 10:4-6). You do not have a right to your thoughts; you have a responsibility to right thoughts! But most contemporary Christians are obsessed with their hearts and thoughts. They measure everything by how well it matches up with their hearts. Fools!

How wise are you, reader? Ready for a test? Whom do you have a grudge against? Is it right in the light of God’s word? If not, what will you do about it? If you are a Christian woman, do you always dress in modest apparel with discreet accessories and conservative makeup? If not, what will you do about it? The degree of your wisdom is the degree to which you can crush your heart to submit to the words of God in the Bible.

If you learn to walk wisely by the directions of God’s commandments, He will deliver you from all the pitfalls and obstacles that clobber and confuse your heart-following neighbors. If you will trust Him and not lean toward your own understanding, He will direct your paths in good ways. Your future happiness, prosperity, and success depend on your efforts to hate your vain thoughts and love the truth of His words (Ps 119:113,128).


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 28:25  A greedy man stirs up dissension, but he who trust in the LORD will prosper.

Pride causes fighting, but faith brings prosperity. Here are two rules of wisdom – one saves you from conflicts and disagreements, and the other brings blessing and success. These are opposites: proud men do not trust the LORD, and those who have faith in the LORD are not proud. You cannot be both. Are you a proud man or a man of faith?

A man with a proud heart will always be in conflicts – with most everyone at different times. Pride will not let matters drop, for he must avenge himself. Until he feels he has got the last word or act in on a disagreement, he will continue to push, fight, and disagree. Pride will not overlook minor offences; pride will not admit error or ignorance.

Pride will not easily forgive those who seek it; pride will not easily say, “I am sorry”; pride does not want to be corrected, and it resents those who make an attempt to do it. Pride resents the advantages of others, and it seeks to grab whatever honor or position is at stake. Pride does not have sympathetic appreciation for the pain of others.

When a person has pride in his heart, he will not have peaceful relationships with others. A proud husband will not forgive his wife for her minor failures. A proud wife will not submit and obey the husband she chose to be her leader. Proud children will not honor and obey parents in rules that encroach on their freedom or pleasure. Proud employees resent difficult assignments; proud church members resent pastoral rebukes.

Humility can end any conflict by giving in and seeking peace. When a person is at peace with God and themselves, they can overlook the offences of others, they can forgive easily, and they can take correction. They know they are not important, so they do not continue fighting. Submitting and seeking peace is more important than winning the day.

There is another way to live than by pride. Wise men, godly men, put their trust in the LORD. They do not have to protect themselves – the LORD will protect them. They do not have to resent correction, oppose others, and fight to get ahead. The LORD rewards their faith by blessing them by His power. The humble man who trusts the LORD will always outstrip the proud man who puts his confidence in himself. Always!

Fat is good, when it means God’s blessings of peace and prosperity. And the man who believes God will take care of him, without any fighting on his part, will become fat. He will have the blessing and protection of the LORD on his side. He will enjoy peace and safety, while the LORD rewards him for laying down his pride and trusting Him alone.