Pathways Through Proverbs
July 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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The wording of today's verse seems to be contradictory. How can a person who is fearful ever hope to be happy? The answer, of course, is that he fears the Lord. If a man is afraid of his circumstances, or of other people, or of the future, then he will never have a joyful life. However, when a man chooses to have a fear and respect for God, true happiness will be his.
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Solomon has already told us that it is the fear of the Lord that begins to bring about wisdom (Proverbs 1:7). A foolish man will never be happy, but a wise man will, for he is making correct decisions that bring about the blessings of God. A man who fears the Lord will not choose a sinful lifestyle, which, in turn, will keep him from receiving punishment from God. A man who fears the Lord will maintain a Biblical home. Both his wife and his children will bring him joy, and this will certainly make him happy. The man who fears the Lord will set his goals on spiritual things, and will walk down the path that God has set for him. Since Christ's desire is that we have joy (John 15:11), following God's leading will bring a person to to a place of spiritual and emotional blessing.
The man who hardens his heart does not receive this promise. He is in rebellion against the Lord, and has rejected His reproof. Thus, he has put himself in a position where he is going to ruin his life. He will not have the blessings of God, nor the enjoyment of a Biblical family, nor the joy that comes from being under the control of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22). He will only reap the results of a misspent life, and the eventual chastening of the Lord.
Do you want to be happy? It is not contingent upon your circumstances. It depends upon your relationship with and obedience to the Lord.
Pastor Mark J Montgomery