Proverbs 28 – The Principals of the Kingdom 天國的法則
Tuesday, 27th June 2023
Sister Emily Huang
Section One V1-18 Blessed are Those in Awe of God 敬畏神的人是有福的
V1-2 ‘The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion. Because of the transgression of a land, many are its princes; but by a man of understanding and knowledge right will be prolonged.’ We work hard to earn lots of money or to receive respect from others, but at the end, we will never really be satisfied, because when we seek the things of this world, we can be easily moved by this world. Whereas when we true fear God, to be in awe of God, then we will receive this eternal blessing. Let us be willing to rely on God, and we can be bold like a lion. We don’t need to be afraid of anything and anyone, we know who we are and where we are.
V3-5 ‘A poor man who oppresses the poor is like a driving rain which leaves no food. Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, but such as keep the law contend with them. Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the Lord understand all.’ What do we really seek? Not to satisfy ourselves but to come close to the heart of God, to be the righteous person, who always follow the Will of God, everything we do should be out of a heart in awe of God, not simply to satisfy our own desires. God knows our hearts, we only need a heart of willingness, to trust in God and to enter the inheritance God prepares for us.
V6-9 ‘Better is the poor who walks in his integrity than one perverse in his ways, though he be rich. Whoever keeps the law is a discerning son, but a companion of gluttons shames his father. One who increases his possessions by usury and extortion gathers it for him who will pity the poor. One who turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination.’ What is inside our heart when we pray? Do we really mean what we pray? Or do we only pray to ‘check off’ the to do list as a Christian? When we pray for forgiveness, do we turn around and continue to hold our grudges against other people?
V10-13 ‘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. The rich man is wise in his own eyes, but the poor who has understanding searches him out. When the righteous rejoice, there is great glory; but when the wicked arise, men hide themselves. He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.’ When we know our mistakes, what is our response to God and to people? Do we try to fight for our right, do we try to find excuses for ourselves, or do we make more mistakes to cover our previous one? On the other hand, when we really admit our mistakes, when we really humble ourselves and change our wicked ways, then God will give us strength to overcome our sins. God will also lead us into His prosper and blessings.
Section Two V19-28 Those who Work Diligently will Receive Abundance 殷勤工作的人必得豐盛
V19-20 ‘He who tills his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows frivolity will have poverty enough! A faithful man will abound with blessings, but he who hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.’ We know we are made righteous in faith, and we know we cannot receive salvation with our own hard work because it’s given to us freely by grace. But it doesn’t mean that we don’t need to work hard. God wants to us partnership with Him in the inheritance He has given to us for us to manage. Not only the responsibility we have in our hands, but also our hearts, it’s our responsibility to manage our heart and how we can nurture the seed of Gospel inside our hearts.
V21-22 ‘To show partiality is not good, because for a piece of bread a man will transgress. A man with an evil eye hastens after riches, and does not consider that poverty will come upon him.’ We might not see much progress in our spiritual life, but do we know that when we continue to seek God and to do what pleases God, then His blessings will come to us naturally. On the other hand, the more we focus on what we want to receive, the more likely we will walk astray from the path God created for us.
V27-28 ‘He who gives to the poor will not lack, but he who hides his eyes will have many curses. When the wicked arise, men hide themselves; but when they perish, the righteous increase.’ It’s a contract here between the people, who follow God and the people, who follow their own ways. Even a lot of time, we will have to use our own time, money, effort to help those in need, but God pleases with our willing heart, and He will not let us be in lacking.
We often feel like we are working on something that does not seem to bear fruits, we might think that there are not results no matter how hard we try to follow God. But He knows every good deed and every hard work we have done for His Kingdom. His eternal blessings and abundance will be with us.