Sin Is Destructive
Text: Proverbs 28:14-29:1
You ought to have some fear to be cautious and keep out of sin. Stubborn people walk into disasters (Proverbs 16:18). Thus, some sins are personally destructive.
The combination of a wicked ruler and poor people is highly destructive. The people have no defenses and the ruler has no restraint. Consider Herod as an example (Matthew 2:16).
A ruler who can’t reason tends to oppress others, using them to make himself wealthy. A person who hates greed tends to live longer. (Remember Proverbs 28:2?) The contrast shows that the greedy tend to be oppressive as well. A lack of covetousness becomes a needed requirement in a ruler (Exodus 18:21; Ecclesiastes 10:16).
The first line of Proverbs 28:17 says, “A man oppressed by the blood of life ...” Thus, a man’s action, in this case murder, ends up oppressing himself with the guilt of his violent deed. Murderers will be trapped in guilt and eventual death. They should get no sympathy or be rescued from the consequences of their deeds (Genesis 9:6).
Salvation comes to the one who lives blamelessly or in integrity. But the one who pursues crooked ways finds sudden problems and sudden falls (Psalms 125:5). Similar proverbs are Proverbs 10:9; 17:20.
Working in advance brings prosperity. A farmer must till the ground before planting his seed. Skipping this step heavily effects his later produce. People who chase after empty things will have plenty of poverty. They don’t use their time to do the essential things. Instead, they chase after whatever appeals to them at the moment, which is never work. Similar proverbs are Proverbs 12:11 (which answers why); Proverbs 10:4-5; 20:4.
- Give examples of frivolity that distracts from work.
- Does this mean we can’t ever have fun?
A trustworthy person has blessings (happiness), but a man who rushes to become wealthy will be punished (I Timothy 6:9). Rash behavior leads to poor, and often sinful, decisions. By implication he becomes someone you cannot trust. Similar proverbs are Proverbs 13:11; 20:21.
We cannot be biased in our judgments. When people start compromising their values, then even a seemingly small advantage will throw justice out the window. An example of it happening is found in Ezekiel 13:19.
Envy (miserly, stinginess) drives a man to greed and he doesn’t realize the instability of his position. Notice that this too causes people to make rash decisions. An evil eye refers to looking at something with greed or envy ( Proverbs 23:6; Matthew 20:15). In contrast, a good eye is someone who is generous (Proverbs 22:9). Similar proverbs are Proverbs 18:5; 24:23.
People appreciate rebukes more than flattery after some time has passed (Psalms 141:5). It is only when you see the results and realize who was right that you can truly appreciate what they did for you.
A person who thinks there is no wrong in robbing his own parents is destructive. Two laws are broken against stealing and honoring your parents (Exodus 20:12,15). Children are apt to consider their parent’s property as their own; and thus, think nothing of doing as they please with it.
A proud person causes strife. The description of the man is literally someone who is “wide of soul.” It can also be translated as greedy, covetous, or arrogant. A person who trusts in God, rather than himself or in things, prospers (literally “made fat”, generous - Proverbs 11:25) (Isaiah 58:11). Pride brings strife (Proverbs 13:10; 21:24). A similar proverb is Proverbs 27:5-6.
You are a fool if you trust your own wisdom (Proverbs 12:15). But a person who actually practices wisdom will be protected. You emotions are deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9). Emotions change constantly. But God’s wisdom is constant and truth does not change. Similar proverbs are Proverbs 3:5, 7; 14:16.
A generous man will not come to want. People will love him for what he has done and will take care of him if he has a need. A person who ignores the needs of others will be strongly hated ( Deuteronomy 15:7). When he has a need, people will not be willing to help him. See also Proverbs 19:17; 22:9.
When the wicked come to power, people hide. When the wicked are gone, righteousness increases. This gives hope that the damage caused by wicked rulers can be reversed. Righteousness is never totally destroyed. Similar proverbs are Proverbs 11:10; 28:12; 29:12.
A stubborn person who requires frequent rebukes will eventually come to destruction. An example of this is Israel (II Kings 17:14; II Chronicles 36:11-17; Nehemiah 9:29; Jeremiah 7:26; 17:23; 19:15). The motivation behind reproof should be love for the person (Proverbs 3:11-12). Reproof is to save a person from harm (Proverbs 6:23). Similar to Proverbs 1:24-32; 6:15.
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