Proverbs 28

Proverbs 28
By Pastor David Groendyk

It’s difficult to see at first, but verses 2–12 form one whole section that give a picture of a just society. The overwhelming message is that each individual in a society must fear the Lord and love his law; or, to put it another way, it is impossible to have a good society if the individual citizens are unjust. What does a godly society look like? Here are some of the ideas that are repeated throughout this section:
• Treat the poor with dignity and compassion and do not abuse them (vv. 3, 8)
• Love the law with all your heart and mind (vv. 4, 7, 9)
• Make sure you know the difference between right and wrong, and make sure you are leading other people on the right path rather than the wrong one (vv. 5, 10)
• Beware seeking individual riches; a mind that is set on riches is ripe for temptation (vv. 6, 11)
Sometimes we think, “Well, I’m just one person; what difference can I really make?” It might be true that just a single person won’t do much, but, according to Proverbs 28, a whole lot of single persons make all the difference in the world. Don’t give up on the secular society around you, but keep striving for justice and to do good to those around you.

Another common theme among these verses is to be careful of your heart attitude towards money and wealth. You can find a lot of references to money here (vv. 3, 6, 8, 11, 20, 21, 22, 25, 27). As another study Bible sums it up, “Greed spreads conflict, while generosity spreads friendship.” The greedy person is discontent with what God has given him and will do whatever it takes to anybody in order to get more. The content and generous person happily gives away for the sake of helping others. What a weighty call to imitate our own Savior! “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich” (2 Cor. 8:9). It’s also only through the grace of Christ that any of us could have the ability or power to imitate him and be sacrificially generous.

Linking this idea of generosity with the previous idea of a just society, we see that humanity flourishes when we are all selfless towards each other. Not-so-coincidentally, that’s exactly what God’s law commands of us humans. Praise God and ask him for more grace to keep and obey all his laws that make us holy and help us to flourish!