Proverbs Chapter 28
Proverbs 28:1 “The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.”
A guilty conscience is a terrible thing, but is a prerequisite for confident living and spiritual boldness. We can see in this that the wicked flee because they are guilty of sin and they know it. Their fear comes from being found out and punished for the things they have done.
They are constantly looking over their shoulder, because they know punishment is coming. They just do not know when, or from where. Their guilty conscience has boldness to face everyone.
Their worst fear is fear of death and hell.
The righteous are such a drastic opposite. They have no fear of things of this earth because they are assured that greater is He that is within them than he that is in the world. God is on their side, and who can be against them.
They have no fear of death, because they are promised eternal life. Death of the body on the earth to them is like stepping through a door into all of eternity.
Proverbs 28:2 “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.”
This is just saying that when evil prevails in a land, the rule will change real often. Good kings, such as David, reigned for many years. In fact, Saul, David, and Solomon each reigned 40 years.
Unrighteousness in a nation produces political instability with many who are vying for power, thus the tenure of each leader is shortened. Wisdom promotes social order and long rule.
Proverbs 28:3 “A poor man that oppresseth the poor [is like] a sweeping rain which leaveth no food.”
You would think the poor would be sympathetic to someone in the same predicament. Perhaps the selfishness of this poor has brought on his poverty.
The Lord Jesus taught “give and it shall be given unto you”. Selfishness and greed bring poverty. This “sweeping rain” spoken of here, could be an unwanted heavy rain just as the seed is in the grain and washes away the chance for it to grow.
When the poor come to power and oppress their own, it is as bad as a destructive storm washing the fields clean instead of watering the crops.
At any rate, it does away with the prospect of food. Be sure the Lord will find you out. A selfish person, whether rich or poor, will not be blessed of God.
Proverbs 28:4 “They that forsake the law praise the wicked: but such as keep the law contend with them.”
In Romans 1:32 we read, “Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”
We see not only a sinner, but a lover of sin, as well. There are only 2 sides you can be on. One side loves God and keeps His commandments. The other side loves the world and the wickedness it brings. The spirit (good), and the flesh (evil), are continually at war, and will be until Jesus returns.
Proverbs 28:5 “Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the LORD understand all [things].”
Evil men (as we said in the verse above), have chosen to follow Satan instead of God. Seeing, they will not see; and hearing, they will not hear; because God has closed off their understanding.
Those who seek the Lord will find Him. The Holy Spirit of God reveals the secrets of God to those who seek God. The Holy Spirit is our teacher and our guide. Understanding is for those who seek God.
Proverbs 28:6 “Better [is] the poor that walketh in his uprightness, than [he that is] perverse [in his] ways, though he [be] rich.”
The poor man here is speaking of being poor in things of this world, but rich toward God. The things of this world are temporary. There is no lasting value connected with earthly wealth.
We are cautioned to be rich in good works, storing up treasures in heaven where rust doth not decay the riches.
Those who are rich in this world, those who have accumulated by their evil dealings, have no rewards stored in heaven. If they did, someone else would have to use it because their home will be in hell.
Proverbs 28:7 “Whoso keepeth the law [is] a wise son: but he that is a companion of riotous [men] shameth his father.”
We see that a father of the wise is proud of his son and proud of the way he has raised him, as well. The keeper of God’s law and man’s law are usually one and the same. They respect authority.
“Riotous” means glutton (as we learned in Proverbs chapter 23:21).
Proverbs chapter 23:21 “For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.”
An evil man’s parents are ashamed. They are ashamed that their son has failed, and ashamed that they did not do a better job raising him. The pride of parents is all gone when the son goes bad.
Proverbs 28:8 “He that by usury and unjust gain increaseth his substance, he shall gather it for him that will pity the poor.”
Usury was interest on loans exacting too much interest. In fact, Israelites were not to charge each other interest at all. Usury in our day would be to charge 30% interest when interest rates are really 10%. Unfair interest is always usury. It is usually charged to the people who can least afford it. They must pay whatever someone asks, because their credit is no good.
Unjust gain is any worth a man gets unfairly. Sometimes it is legal but not moral. Many times, it is against the law as well. God will not bless those who take advantage of others. In the long run, they will lose everything. God blesses those who help others. Give and it shall be given unto you.
In the providence and justice of God, such wealth will be forfeited to someone who treats the poor fairly.
Proverbs 28:9 “He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer [shall be] abomination.”
God wants our obedience to His law. God’s law is not grievous. It is actually to help us. God blesses those who keep His law.
In Isaiah, we see that God doesn’t want to hear our prayers unless you are willing to stop sinning.
Isaiah 1:15 “And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.”
Verse 16 tells us what to do for Him to listen.
Isaiah 1:16 “Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;”
As we learned (in 15:8), external acts of worship, though according to biblical prescription, are repulsive to God when the heart of the worshiper is wicked.
Proverbs 28:10 “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.”
(Here in verse 10), we see those who are blinded to Biblical truth leading others who are blind in the same way and both falling into the pit. Those who are righteous (in right standing), should be doing the leading and should not be led astray.
The attempted corruption of the righteous is a wicked sin.
So many false teachers are getting into the churches today and are teaching things that people want to hear, not the truth. Many are led away not recognizing the lust of their own flesh causes them to sin.
The good things the upright have are love, peace, joy, happiness, holiness, and many other spiritual gifts. They can rest at night having no fear of tomorrow. They have the best wealth there is: wisdom from God, a clear conscience, the grace of God, and the greatest possession of all-eternal life.
Proverbs 28:11 “The rich man [is] wise in his own conceit; but the poor that hath understanding searcheth him out.”
We see many times the rich are self-centered. They have been told so many times how great they are, that they have come to believe it themselves. The rich man has a hard time coming to God, because he feels self-sufficient. To come to the Lord, we must first humble ourselves, and that is very difficult for a conceited man to do.
It is easy for him to fall into the “New Age” movement which teaches man is his own god. He thinks too highly of himself and this is very dangerous. Wisdom and godliness cannot be purchased with money or fame.
Riches are not always possessed by the unrighteous and wisdom by the poor, but, more often than not, this is the case due to the blinding nature of wealth.
Proverbs 28:12 “When righteous [men] do rejoice, [there is] great glory: but when the wicked rise, a man is hidden.”
This seems to be a victorious rejoicing. Everyone is thrilled when the righteous does well; but when the wicked take rule, everyone feels like running and hiding because of the evil intents. Or, when wicked people come into power, the righteous shout, (11:28), groan, (29:2), and hide (28:28).
This evil man who takes power would just want more power and wealth. No one would be safe. His rule would be one of terror.
Proverbs Chapter 28 Questions
- Why do the wicked flee when no one pursues?
- The righteous are bold as a ____________.
- What is meant by transgression of the land?
- Who helps the land to last by rule?
- A poor man who oppresses the poor is like what?
- A heavy rain at seed time does what?
- They that forsake the law praise whom?
- What is worse than being a sinner?
- What 2 things are in constant warfare?
- Who understand all things?
- Who have evil men chosen to follow?
- Who reveals secrets of God to believers?
- Who is better than the rich with perverse ways?
- In verse 7, who is a wise son?
- He that is companion of riotous men shameth whom?
- What are 2 evil ways to gather money?
- Who is their wealth stored for?
- What is usury?
- Who is always the one who has to pay usury?
- Whose prayer shall be an abomination?
- God’s law is not grievous; it is actually for what?
- In Isaiah 1:16, what does God tell us to do so He will hear our prayers?
- What happens to those who cause the righteous to go astray?
- Who should be leading?
- Name some of the things the upright have.
- The rich man is wise in his own _________.
- Why does a rich man have trouble coming to God?
- What happens when a good person rejoices?
- What happens when an evil ruler takes over?
- What one word describes the rule of the evil?