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Bible Commentaries
Proverbs 28

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-28

Chapter 28


The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are as bold as a lion ( Proverbs 28:1 ).

The contrast of the wicked and the righteous. We had an awful lot of that early in the proverbs.

For the transgression of a land many are the princes thereof: but by a man of understanding and knowledge the state thereof shall be prolonged ( Proverbs 28:2 ).

When the land is bad, there's many changes of dynasties, governments. When evil existing. But a man of understanding and knowledge, the state, his position will be prolonged.

A poor man that oppresseth the poor is like a sweeping rain which leaves no food. They that forsake the law praise the wicked: but such as keep the law contend with them. Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the LORD understand all things ( Proverbs 28:3-5 ).

This calls to mind the second chapter of Corinthians, First Corinthians, where Paul declares that, "The natural man understandeth not the things of the Spirit, neither can he know them. They are spiritually discerned. But he which is spiritual understands all things, though he is not understood of men" ( 1 Corinthians 2:14-15 ). So evil men understand not the judgment, but they that seek the Lord, God gives to us an understanding, an oeidus, an intuitive knowledge of things.

Better is the poor that walketh in his uprightness, than he that is perverse in his ways, though he be rich ( Proverbs 28:6 ).

An honest poor man much better than a perverse rich man.

Whoso keepeth the law is a wise son: but he that is a companion of riotous men will bring shame to his father. He that by usury and unjust gain increases his substance, he shall gather it for him that will pity the poor ( Proverbs 28:7-8 ).

God will take it away from you and distribute it among the poor.

He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be an abomination ( Proverbs 28:9 ).

Prayer at some times in some places is an abomination. Now, we look at prayer as really the highest function of a Christian duty or experience. You know, a man in prayer, you see that as the highest form of the communion of a man with God. But it is possible that even our prayers can be an abomination. And if I if I'm not regarding the law of God, if I turn away my ear from obedience to the law of God, my prayers are useless. The Bible says that, "God's hand is not short, that He cannot save; neither is His ear heavy, that He cannot hear. But your sins have separated you from God" ( Isaiah 59:1-2 ).

The psalmist said, "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord hears me not when I pray" ( Psalms 66:18 ). So my prayer becomes almost deceitful. It's an abomination. I say, "Well, I know I'm not so good. I know I'm not doing what I should but, I still pray." Well, hey, if your hands are filled with blood and you raise those bloody hands to God in prayer, God's not going to hear you. Your sin has separated between you and God. It isn't that God can't hear you; He won't hear you. So prayer becomes an abomination. It becomes a deceitful thing. I think, "Well, I'm not too bad because I still pray." But yet my prayers are worthless. They're an abomination.

Whoso causeth the righteous to go astray in an evil way, he shall fall himself into his own pit: but the upright shall have good things in possession. The rich man is wise in his own conceit; but the poor that hath understanding searcheth him out. When righteous men do rejoice, there is great glory: but when the wicked rise, a man is hidden. He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy ( Proverbs 28:10-13 ).

A lot of people seeking to cover their sins. Try to cover your sin, you're not going to prosper. "Be sure your sins will find you out" ( Numbers 32:23 ), God said. But whosoever will confess them and forsake them. In John we read, "If a man says he has no sin, he's only deceiving himself, the truth is not in him. But if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" ( 1 John 1:8-9 ). Just confess and forsake your sins. God will be merciful to you. And it shows you the folly of going on and trying to cover your sin. You're not going to prosper. You're not going to get away with it. The best thing as far as sin is the confession and the forsaking, because then you can have and find mercy. Until you confess and forsake, you're going to have to answer for them.

Happy is the man that reverences always: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief. As a roaring lion, and a ranging bear; so is a wicked ruler over the poor people. The prince that wanteth understanding is also a great oppressor ( Proverbs 28:14-16 ):

That is, the prince who lacks in understanding will be a great oppressor of the people.

but he that hateth covetousness shall prolong his days. A man that doeth violence to the blood of any person shall flee to the pit; and let no man stop him. Whoso walketh uprightly shall be saved: but he that is perverse in his ways shall fall at once. He that tills his land shall have plenty of bread: but he that follows after vain persons shall have poverty enough. A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent. To have the respect of persons is not good: for, for a piece of bread that man will transgress ( Proverbs 28:16-21 ).

James rebukes us for having respect of persons in our assemblies. And he points out how that if a person comes in in rags, you have a tendency to push him off in the corner. But if a guy comes in flashing diamonds and everything else, "Oh, come on down here, take this place of honor." He says, "Hey, you have respect of persons. That's not good. God is no respecter of persons. And for us to have respect of persons is not good. A person who has the respect of persons, for a piece of bread he'll transgress."

He that hasteth to be rich ( Proverbs 28:22 )

The get-rich-quick schemes.

has an evil eye, and considers not that poverty shall come upon him ( Proverbs 28:22 ).

There are a lot of get-rich schemes, or I should say get-rich scams that are all over the place today. If you haste to be rich, you're looking for a get-rich scam, you're going to lose your shirt. So many people trying to go to Vegas to get rich quick. Because every once in a while, some person hits the jackpot down there. And when they hit the jackpot, they make news. The papers publish the fact that this guy hit the jackpot on the dollar machine; he's won $287,000. And everybody around the country hears it. They don't tell you about the 280,000 that went away from Las Vegas selling their watch to the service station attendant in Barstow to get enough gas to get home. For every one winner, there's a thousand losers. He that hastes to get rich, he who's looking for a get-rich scheme is going to end up in poverty.

He that rebukes a man, afterwards shall find more favor than he who flatters with a tongue ( Proverbs 28:23 ).

That is, he who rebukes a man, afterwards he'll find more favor than the man who was flattered with his tongue.

Whoso robs his father or his mother, and says, It's no transgression; the same is a companion of the destroyer. He that is of a proud heart stirs up strife: but he that putteth his trust in the LORD shall be made fat ( Proverbs 28:24-25 ).

Oh, I love that. I've determined that we have an ungodly obsession with skinniness. I don't find any scriptures that talks about the blessing of skinniness.

He that trusts in his own heart is a fool ( Proverbs 28:26 ):

Now that's interesting, isn't it? Why? Because the scripture tells us in Jeremiah that, "The heart is deceitful and desperately wicked" ( Jeremiah 17:9 ). You don't really know it. So if you trust your own heart, you're a fool.

but whoso walketh wisely shall be delivered. He that gives unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hides his eyes [that is, from the poor] shall have many a curse. When the wicked rise, men hide themselves: but when they perish, the righteous increase ( Proverbs 28:26-28 ). "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Proverbs 28". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/proverbs-28.html. 2014.
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