-Hardening the neck after much reproof will suddenly make one broken beyond remedy. When the righteous increase, there is much rejoicing, but when the wicked rule, people groan. A lover of wisdom makes a glad father, but the man who keeps company with harlots wastes his wealth. The advice for leaders continues by stating how the king gives stability to the land by justice. But, a man who takes bribes overthrows a nation. “A man who flatters his neighbor is spreading a net for his steps (Proverbs 29:1-5).”
-Transgression ensnares an evil one, but the righteous sing and rejoice. I think this speaks of a heart of worship unto the Almighty. The righteous are concerned with the rights of the poor, but the wicked do not understand such concern. This speaks to having a generous-compassionate heart. Scorners set a city aflame with their disdaining words, but the wise turn away anger. When there is controversy between the wise and foolish, the foolish generally either get angry in rage or mock in laughter, both of which give no rest to the situation. People of bloodshed hate the blameless, but the upright are concerned for life. This reminds me of the horrible abortion issue that still stains the United States. Be pro-life. Only a fool always loses his temper, but a wise person holds it back having self-control as a fruit of God’s Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). “If a ruler pays attention to falsehood, all his ministers become wicked (Proverbs 29:6-12).”
-The LORD gives light to the eyes of both the poor man and the oppressor. If a king gives judgment to the poor with truth, his throne will be established forever as a proverbial-general truth. The rod and reproof give wisdom to a child, but children getting their own way eventually bring shame to their mother. When the wicked increase, transgression increases along with them, but the righteous will live to see their fall. Evil is only temporary. Correct your son, and he will give your soul comfort and delight. “Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, but happy is he who keeps the law (Proverbs 29:13-18).”
-Slaves are not instructed by words alone; often they will understand, but still give no response. Have you ever seen a person hasty in their words? There is more hope for a fool than for these types of people. The person pampering their slave from childhood will in the end find him to be a son, or daughter. Angry people stir up strife, and a hot-tempered person abounds in much transgression. Pride will bring one low, but a humble spirit will obtain honor (Proverbs 29:19-23).
-If one partners with a thief, they hate their own life in reality. I can think of several modern movies that play out this theme. They hear oaths, but tell nothing. “The fear of man brings a snare, but he who trusts in the LORD will be exalted.” Many seek the favor of rulers, but ultimate justice comes from the LORD of Heaven and earth. “An unjust man is abominable to the righteous, and he who is upright in the way is abominable to the wicked (Proverbs 29:24-27).”
-*Application* Righteous conduct in the LORD’s sight obtains His favor. This is a long-run strategy that we would be wise to consider. Don’t bank on temporary fixes in this world that have no hope of fulfilling their lying promises. Trust in the LORD, and follow His ways. This is where true success abides.
Verses to Memorize: Proverbs 29:5, 8-9, 11, 15, 18, 23, 25