Tuesday, May 6, 2014

SIH’s Think On These Things: Proverbs 28:15-16

He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous (Prov 2:7)

Our Relationship To The Law Of God: The Laws Of Man Can Be Abusive: Proverbs 28:15-16

15) [As] a roaring lion, and a ranging bear; [so is] a wicked ruler over the poor people.
16) The prince that wanteth understanding [is] also a great oppressor: [but] he that hateth covetousness shall prolong [his] days.

In this chapter, Solomon directs our attention to having the proper relationship to the moral laws of the Lord (this would include the 10 commandments and the other manifold laws of God that are based upon His person and His character.  As such, these laws are in effect for all time periods and peoples...

In this devotion, we will be taught that the laws of man can be abusive…

15) [As] a roaring lion, and a ranging bear; [so is] a wicked ruler over the poor people.
1.  As a growling, hungry young lion and a bear seeking food;
2.  so is an unlawful man who holds authority over the needy people

An immoral, wicked man will use his position of authority for his own personal gain, even when it is at the expense of those who are needy and destitute.  This involves multiple sins: 
a.  selfishness and a lack of love for others (putting himself over those under his authority)
b.  coveting worldly riches
c.  misusing a blessing from God (his position of authority)
d.  abuse of the poor and defenseless
e.  and being unfaithful in the responsibilities God has given to him (unfaithful in his role as leader).

This reminds me of the text that tells us And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not [himself], neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many [stripes].  But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few [stripes]. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.   (Luke 12:47-48)

When a person is put in a position of authority over others, they are held accountable for how they use that great blessing.  They are held responsible to work for the good of those under their authority and they are expected to place them first above themselves.   This principle applies in positions of authority that is held in church, government, family and the workplace.

[Is] not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?  [Is it] not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?   (Isaiah 58:6-7)

16) The prince that wanteth understanding [is] also a great oppressor: [but] he that hateth covetousness shall prolong [his] days.
1.  The governor who is destitute of discernment will place overflowing pressure upon those under his authority
2.  But the person that rejects taking unlawful gains by force will lengthen his life on earth.

For those who rule over others the choice is plain… the abuse of others will only reap a loss of blessings and, in many cases, a shortened life on earth; or, by using their authority for the good of their subjects, they will be blessed of God and enjoy a more pleasurable longer life on earth. 

The key is to look beyond the short-lived gain that comes with selfishness and abuse of others, and recognize the long-term effects of our actions.

Your iniquities have turned away these [things], and your sins have withholden good [things] from you.  For among my people are found wicked [men]: they lay wait, as he that setteth snares; they set a trap, they catch men.  As a cage is full of birds, so [are] their houses full of deceit: therefore they are become great, and waxen rich.  They are waxen fat, they shine: yea, they overpass the deeds of the wicked: they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge.  Shall I not visit for these [things]? saith the LORD: shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?  (Jeremiah 5:25-29)


When we are placed in positions of authority by the Lord, out of appreciation, love and obedience, we are to use our authority for the good of those over whom we rule and reap both temporal and eternal blessings from the Lord.

By God’s grace, let us all study these proverbs diligently, giving them the value that they deserve.

May the Lord bless us as we receive this sound wisdom and then “Think On These Things”.

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