Proverbs 28:  Get Rich Slow

The wicked flee when no one pursues, But the righteous are bold as a lion. Proverbs 28:1

 

The upright shall have good things in possession.

 

28 1  The wicked flee when no one pursues, But the righteous are bold as a lion.

28:1 Conscience, like one’s shadow, cannot be escaped. The wicked flee when there is no cause because of guilt and the fear of getting caught that goes with it.

2  Because of the transgression of a land, many are its princes; But by a man of understanding and knowledge Right will be prolonged.

3  A poor man who oppresses the poor Is like a driving rain which leaves no food.

4  Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, But such as keep the law contend with them.

5  Evil men do not understand justice, But those who seek the Lord understand all.

28:4,5 When a person abandons God’s law, he or she loses all sense of right and praises the wicked (see Rom. 1:28-32).  And since true justice is from God, the ungodly have trouble understanding it.  This is why the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

6  Better is the poor who walks in his integrity Than one perverse in his ways, though he be rich.

7  Whoever keeps the law is a discerning son, But a companion of gluttons shames his father.

28:7 To be a companion of gluttons is to break God’s law.  This is why Jesus’ enemies charged Him with associating with gluttons: such accusations were attacks on His faithfulness to God (see Matt. 11:19).

8  One who increases his possessions by usury and extortion Gathers it for him who will pity the poor.

28:8 Profit taken by usury is unjust.  God will help the poor eventually, at their exploiters’ expense.

9  One who turns away his ear from hearing the law, Even his prayer is an abomination.

28:9 A refusal to listen to God’s Word disqualifies our prayers, where trying and failing will not.

10  Whoever causes the upright to go astray in an evil way, He himself will fall into his own pit; But the blameless will inherit good.

11  The rich man is wise in his own eyes, But the poor who has understanding searches him out.

12  When the righteous rejoice, there is great glory; But when the wicked arise, men hide themselves.

13  He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.

14  Happy is the man who is always reverent, But he who hardens his heart will fall into calamity.

28:14 Happy is the man is a beatitude (see Ps. 1:1) about the person who is in awe of God.  The person who never thinks of God faces calamity.

15  Like a roaring lion and a charging bear Is a wicked ruler over poor people.

16  A ruler who lacks understanding is a great oppressor, But he who hates covetousness will prolong his days.

17  A man burdened with bloodshed will flee into a pit; Let no one help him.

18  Whoever walks blamelessly will be saved, But he who is perverse in his ways will suddenly fall.

19  He who tills his land will have plenty of bread, But he who follows frivolity will have poverty enough!

28:19 Tills his land is a call to hard work, a promise of reward, and a warning against frivolity or overindulgence in fun.

20  A faithful man will abound with blessings, But he who hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.

28:20 A faithful man succeeds.  That is, faithfulness to God, not greed, determines success in life.

21  To have respect of persons is not good, Because for a piece of bread a man will transgress.

28:21 To exercise partiality (literally “to recognize faces”) means to judge on the basis of favors or bribes instead of what is right.

22  A man with an evil eye hastens after riches, And does not consider that poverty will come upon him.

23  He who rebukes a man will find more favor afterward Than he who flatters with the tongue.

28:23 Flattery may win quick acceptance, but honesty wins another’s trust.

24  Whoever robs his father or his mother, And says, “It is no transgression,” The same is companion to a destroyer.

25  He who is of a proud heart stirs up strife, But he who trusts in the Lord will be prospered.

26  He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, But whoever walks wisely will be delivered.

28:25, 26 One of the main causes of strife is pride; trust in God leads to blessing.  Walks wisely:  Security can only come by trusting God, not by relying on oneself.

27  He who gives to the poor will not lack, But he who hides his eyes will have many curses.

28  When the wicked arise, men hide themselves; But when they perish, the righteous increase.

 


** A truly rich person doesn’t need to flaunt his/her wealth.  But, even when we are not rich yet, saving a little at a time to see our money grow gives us joy.  It’s like a farmer seeing his crops grow each day.  He knows his work will be rewarded at the time of harvest. 

The upright may be poor, but the promise of God is that he shall have good things in possession (Prov. 29:11).  It is wise to invest in what God promises.  It’s enough to have our basic needs covered in this life plus to be from the fear of death.  But God says, the faithful will succeed way beyond that.  That won’t be a bad thing either.  A promise spoken through the mouth of Solomon that we can go to bank with.