Pathways Through Proverbs
June 28, 2008
Today's Reading - Proverbs 28
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Following Scripture Verses
- The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.
- For the transgression of a land many are the princes thereof: but by a man of understanding and knowledge the state thereof shall be prolonged.
- A poor man that oppresseth the poor is like a sweeping rain which leaveth no food.
- They that forsake the law praise the wicked: but such as keep the law contend with them.
- Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the LORD understand all things.
- Better is the poor that walketh in his uprightness, than he that is perverse in his ways, though he be rich.
- Whoso keepeth the law is a wise son: but he that is a companion of riotous men shameth his father.
- He that by usury and unjust gain increaseth his substance, he shall gather it for him that will pity the poor.
- He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.
- Whoso causeth the righteous to go astray in an evil way, he shall fall himself into his own pit: but the upright shall have good things in possession.
- The rich man is wise in his own conceit; but the poor that hath understanding searcheth him out.
- When righteous men do rejoice, there is great glory: but when the wicked rise, a man is hidden.
- He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.
- Happy is the man that feareth alway: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief.
- As a roaring lion, and a ranging bear; so is a wicked ruler over the poor people.
- The prince that wanteth understanding is also a great oppressor: but he that hateth covetousness shall prolong his days.
- A man that doeth violence to the blood of any person shall flee to the pit; let no man stay him.
- Whoso walketh uprightly shall be saved: but he that is perverse in his ways shall fall at once.
- He that tilleth his land shall have plenty of bread: but he that followeth after vain persons shall have poverty enough.
- A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent.
- To have respect of persons is not good: for for a piece of bread that man will transgress.
- He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him.
- He that rebuketh a man afterwards shall find more favour than he that flattereth with the tongue.
- Whoso robbeth his father or his mother, and saith, It is no transgression; the same is the companion of a destroyer.
- He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife: but he that putteth his trust in the LORD shall be made fat.
- He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.
- He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse.
- When the wicked rise, men hide themselves: but when they perish, the righteous increase.
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No one enjoys receiving a rebuke. Thus, most of us do not like to be the ones who have to give a rebuke to someone else. The natural tendency of a man is to want to be liked. We want everyone to love us, and we want to get along with everyone, so we often choose to not offer correction to someone who is in error even though they really need to hear it. In fact, instead of reproof, we often flatter. We tell people how wonderful they are in spite of their sins. We tell them how much we understand why they transgressed, and tell them that we would probably have done the same thing if we had been in their situation. Then, when the conversation is over, the sinner feels good about himself and we feel good about ourselves. However, nothing good has been accomplished.
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According to Solomon, it may be more difficult to give rebuke than flattery at the moment of need, but in the end the reproof will be much more appreciated. This may happen regardless of whether the reproof is accepted or not. If the man thinks about it for a while, and comes to the realization that he was indeed in the wrong and that his friend has helped him by rebuking him, he will certainly be thankful that the correction occurred. If the man chooses to reject the rebuke, eventually his poor decisions will catch up to him, and he will make a mess out of his life. At that point, he will wish that he had listened, and will be grateful, even though it is too late, that someone attempted to show him the right path.
Ultimately, the man who is willing to risk friendship in order to offer a necessary rebuke will be honored by God. We have been instructed to restore those who have faults (Gal. 6:1) and reconcile transgressors to God (II Cor 5:18). If we obey, even though men don't respond, God will be pleased, and He will bless.
Pastor Mark J Montgomery