28 The wicked flee when no one pursues,
but the righteous are bold as a lion.
When a land transgresses, it has many rulers,
but with a man of understanding and knowledge,
its stability will long continue.
A poor man who oppresses the poor
is a beating rain that leaves no food.
Those who forsake the law praise the wicked,
but those who keep the law strive against them.
Evil men do not understand justice,
but those who seek the LORD understand it completely.
Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity
than a rich man who is crooked in his ways.
The one who keeps the law is a son with understanding,
but a companion of gluttons shames his father.
Whoever multiplies his wealth by interest and profit
gathers it for him who is generous to the poor.
If one turns away his ear from hearing the law,
even his prayer is an abomination.
Whoever misleads the upright into an evil way
will fall into his own pit,
but the blameless will have a goodly inheritance.
A rich man is wise in his own eyes,
but a poor man who has understanding will find him out.
When the righteous triumph, there is great glory,
but when the wicked rise, people hide themselves.
Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper,
but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.
Blessed is the one who fears the LORD always,
but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity.
Like a roaring lion or a charging bear
is a wicked ruler over a poor people.
A ruler who lacks understanding is a cruel oppressor,
but he who hates unjust gain will prolong his days.
If one is burdened with the blood of another,
he will be a fugitive until death;
let no one help him.
Whoever walks in integrity will be delivered,
but he who is crooked in his ways will suddenly fall.
Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread,
but he who follows worthless pursuits will have plenty of poverty.
A faithful man will abound with blessings,
but whoever hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.
To show partiality is not good,
but for a piece of bread a man will do wrong.
A stingy man hastens after wealth
and does not know that poverty will come upon him.
Whoever rebukes a man will afterward find more favor
than he who flatters with his tongue.
Whoever robs his father or his mother
and says, “That is no transgression,”
is a companion to a man who destroys.
A greedy man stirs up strife,
but the one who trusts in the LORD will be enriched.
Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool,
but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.
Whoever gives to the poor will not want,
but he who hides his eyes will get many a curse.
When the wicked rise, people hide themselves,
but when they perish, the righteous increase.
Proverbs 28 Commentary
by Hank Workman
Leadership is no easy thing. It’s ironic how many desire such a role but the responsibility of being a leader holds many tough decisions and acts of integrity in how we interact with others. It is no easy task.
As Solomon was king he had all the roles of a world leader expected as well as leading his family and personal relationships. It’s a given that many of his proverbs can be directed toward such a role. Thus far he’s spoken of the good and bad of it.
The qualities of good leadership are sheer diligence to the task laid before. It is not penalizing people in their integrity, listening before giving an answer and able to discern the truth of the matter being faced. Solomon was one who listened to both sides of the story before he made a decision – which is imperative. But also thinking about character, adversity will come – and usually does in wave upon wave. A good leader must stand firm under such difficulties as well as to be able to stand under praise so their ego does not inflate and pride takes over.
He also mentions traits that secure the position of a bad leader. Those who fit this category of leadership are more concerned for themselves than the ones they’re responsible for; if their minds are not in the game and only looking out for themselves they can often honor the wrong people. This always backfires as people will despair. Support will wane. Because a bad leader can be self-absorbed they often enlist “yes people” around them who may not give the most sound advice or counter with a differing point of view.
The responsibilities of a leader are far more than these thoughts. But it is a reminder that if we find ourselves in such a position, as a Believer this is a position God has brought us to. We must be mindful of our faults and willing to admit them. Good leaders lead in humility. We must rely on the Holy Spirit to direct us in our decisions and pray diligently for wisdom and discernment. We must be ready to act upon our decisions only after we have had our own time before the Father and sought His will and instruction.
Proverbs 28 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
“The one who conceals his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them will find mercy.”Proverbs 28:13 HCSB
This phrase is mirrored in the NT with James 5:16…
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The urgent request of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect.”James 5:16 HCSB
What I find interesting about the James passage is that it adds “to one another.” It’s easy to confess in private to God and keep the sins concealed from others. Often we justify this behavior because it’s done within the context of our relationship with God. That’s great. But if we aren’t careful, it can lead to a false sense of security. It can lead us into a pattern where we think we are being spiritual by confessing to God but continue on the see-saw of sin without any real, tangible growth.
This is why the Proverbs passage notes that it’s easier to conceal. The fear is that when we confess, we will find shame and guilt. We fear being embarrassed in front of our friends and family, and even worse, what they will think about us afterward. The truth is, if we are confessing to a believer saved by grace, we should be met with a combination of grace and truth.
The confessing is not where it stops though as we are encouraged to also pray for one another through this confession. This is key. When we only confess to God, we do not surround ourselves with like-minded individuals who will go to battle with us in prayer. God wants a relationship with us, but He created us to live in community with other believers. If we are not confessing to others, we will not reap the powerful prayers of God’s people.
I think it goes without saying that pride is what stunts our confession. So, have you been confessing your sins to trusted, like-minded believers? Why not? Could it be that your pride won’t allow it?
This is a great reminder for those of us who are battling personal issues (who isn’t right?) day in and day out. We need to draw close to others, not push them away. We are called to walk together, confess together, and pray together. In that, we will find everything we need to live a holy and productive life through Christ Jesus.