-Leadership principles to abide by continue in this chapter. The wicked flee even when no one is pursuing them, but the righteous are courageous, as bold as a lion. Transgression in a land leads to chaos and large turnover in leadership, but by understanding and knowledge a land endures with stability. Poor people who oppress the lowly are like a driving, terrible rain that leaves no food (Proverbs 28:1-3).
-Now, some words on keeping the law. Those who forsake the law end up praising the wicked, but those who abide by the law strive (garah- contend with, wage war, fight against) with evil. Evil men, and women, do NOT understand justice, but those who seek after the LORD understand ALL things. It is better to be poor and walk in integrity than to be crooked and rich. Those who keep the law are discerning sons, but those who hang out with gluttons are a humiliation to their fathers. The person who increases their wealth by interest and usury, gathers it for those who are gracious to the poor. “He who turns away his ear from listening to the law, even his prayer is an abomination. He who leads the upright astray in an evil way will himself fall into his own pit, but the blameless will inherit good (Proverbs 28:4-10).”
-Rich people are wise in their own eyes, but the poor who have understanding, or discernment, see right through them. When the righteous are triumphant, there is great glory, but when the wicked rise, people hide themselves in fear and trembling. Confessing and forsaking transgression will lead to attaining compassion. Concealing, or hiding, transgression (sin) will lead to NOT prospering. Blessed is the man, or woman, who fears (the LORD) always, but the one who hardens their heart will fall headlong into calamity. A wicked ruler over poor people is like a roaring lion and a rushing bear. They are relentless in their vain pursuits. Any leader who is a great oppressor lacks understanding, but the one who hates unjust gain will prolong days (Proverbs 28:11-16).
-A man laden with the guilt of human blood will be a fugitive till death; let no one support him. The one who walks blamelessly will be delivered, but the one who is crooked will fall all at once. The farmer who tills his/her land will have plenty of food, but those who follow empty pursuits (like gambling, get-rich-quick schemes, etc.) will have plenty of poverty. A faithful man, or woman, will abound with blessings, but hasty, get-rich-quick pursuits will NOT go unpunished by God. Showing partiality is NOT good and leads people to transgress. A person with an evil eye hastens after wealth, but does not know what will come upon them (Proverbs 28:17-22).
-A person who rebukes another will afterward find more favor than the person who flatters with their tongue. One robbing his/her father, or mother, and maintaining that it is not a transgression, is the companion of a person who destroys. Arrogant people stir up strife, but those who trust the LORD will prosper. Anyone trusting in their own heart is a fool the Bible says here, but those walking wisely in His ways will be delivered. Those giving to the poor will never want as a general truth, but those who shut their eyes to the needy will find many curses upon them. “When the wicked rise, men hide themselves; but when they perish, the righteous increase (Proverbs 28:23-28).”
-*Application* Successful leadership, whether it’s in the home, work, community, or church, is contingent on following God’s good and perfect law with obedience and consistency. The LORD has outlined in His Scriptures everything we need for a fully functioning and healthy society based on loving Him and each other as much as ourselves. If we look closely, we will see how everything listed here in this chapter falls into these two categories. Even when we fail in these pursuits, His grace is sufficient through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ to overcome all our mistakes when we trust in Him (review Proverbs 28:25-26).
Verses to Memorize: Proverbs 28:1, 9, 13, 23, 25-27