How is Your Walk? – Proverbs 28:18

“Proverbs 28:18 “Whoso walketh uprightly shall be saved: but he that is perverse in his ways shall fall at once.”

How is your walk?  Do you walk upright or is there something down right wrong about your walk?

To walk uprightly means to live blamelessly, to live in truth, to live righteously, and to exude virtue not only in our relationship with God, but also in our relationships with others.  This is not uprightness that brings spiritual salvation, but saves one now from the consequences of sinful choices.

According to AMG’s Complete Word Study Dictionary the Hebrew word for “upright” is used more than 50% of the time in context of describing the animal without blemish God’s people were to offer Him (Exodus 29:1; Leviticus 4:3, 14:10).  These facts should cause us to ask ourselves, “Would my heart, spiritually speaking, be a spotless offering to God?  Am I withholding any of my life or desires back from Him?  Am I whole-heartedly presenting my body as a living sacrifice to God (Romans 12:1-2)?  The upright’s walk is a lifestyle of living blamelessly before God.  It is having the attitude of King David in Psalm 139:23-24.  “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:  And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

Having this attitude means keeping a short list of sins (1 John 1:9, Mat. 5:23-24).  This requires being sensitive to God’s leading and confessing our sins quickly to the Lord and others.

Psalm 66:18 says, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:”  An easy working definition of “iniquity” is “iniquity is having my own way.”  Do I want my own way or God’s way?  If I choose my own way, I will fall.  If I choose God’s way, I will be saved, and God will hear my prayers (1 Peter 3:12).  I will be delivered, safe, and have the victory.  There is no safer place than being in the center of God’s will.  Yes, it will be hard (2 Tim. 3:12), and though God’s will may require suffering for doing what is right, our hearts and minds will be free in Christ (1 Peter 3:17, Acts 5:40-42).

The second half of this Proverb is a complete contrast.  H. A. Ironside in his commentary on this verse says that, Daniel and Jonah are perfect illustrations of the couplet of this verse.  Daniel was obedient to the Lord and was delivered from the lions.  Daniel was a top official in two world empires.  You would have thought the conquering armies of the Medes and Persians would have killed him, a high ranking Babylonian official.  His testimony of uprightness and wisdom was so strong that he was also a high ranking Persian governor during  the Persian Empire.

Then we have Jonah, a prophet given the command to preach God’s coming judgment to the Ninevites.  Our modern equivalent of the Ninevites  would be ISIS.  Instead of obeying, Jonah attempted to flee from God and God’s will for him.  Jonah fell quickly.  A fierce storm rose on the Mediterranean in route to Joppa as a direct result of Jonah’s disobedience.   Jonah told the crew his disobedience was the reason for the storm.  In order to save the ship and its crew, Jonah advised the crew to throw him overboard, so the storm would cease.  However, God wasn’t done with Jonah.  After being thrown overboard, Jonah was swallowed by a fish, spent three nights in the fish, somewhat repented during his stay, and was vomited by the fish onto dry land.  Jonah finally obeyed God and preached of God’s coming judgement on the Ninevites.  Much to his dismay the city repented and God had mercy on them.  Once again Jonah demonstrated he did not have the attitude that God wanted him to have.  Jonah would have rather drowned than see the Ninevites saved.  His attitude was crooked and perverse.

 

Every moment we have the choice to walk uprightly, or to have a perverse heart.  Know for certain, you will not get away with a perverse or crooked heart.  Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall (Prov. 16:18).  You do not know better than God.  The ultimate fruit of your actions will prove just that.  Character is destiny.  Will you fall or be saved?  It’s your choice.  How is your walk with God and others?

What God Thinks About Human Life – Proverbs 28:17

"A man that doeth violence to the blood of any person shall flee to the pit; let no man stay him." Proverbs 28:17

Blood (H1818) – bloodshed, slaughter, the guilt of murder. This Hebrew word is used 360 times in Scripture and can be divided into the two following categories:

a. The violence of shedding blood usually resulting in death such as in war or murder

b. Shedding blood while making a sacrifice to God which always resulted in death and was a picture in the OT of Jesus’ death on the cross as the spotless Lamb of God for the everyone’s sin.

Lexical Aids to the Old Testament, The Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible

Violence (H6231) – to press upon, oppress, defraud, violate, deceive, do wrong.

Pit (H953) – The Hebrew word for pit is used figuratively here for the grave or death. The Hebrews thought of death as a giant pit (Psalm 28:1, 30:3, 88:4; Isaiah 38:18). – Lexical Aids to the Old Testament, The Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible

Stay (H8551) – to sustain, maintain, to help, support.

Thus a murder, should not be put in jail for twenty years, he needs capital punishment.

This verse is a great support for capital punishment. To clarify, this verse does not mean that anyone in the armed forces that kills someone in war should be put to death. There is a difference, one is fighting in defense of his country and against oppression. The murder kills for his own selfish end.

I find it interesting that putting someone in jail is not a Biblical punishment. Nowhere in Scripture did God command His people to use prison as a tool of punishment, He only planned on using it on Satan and his angels (Mat. 25:41, Rev. 20:7) . In God’s law for Israel, certain crimes required the death penalty such as for murder, kidnapping, witchcraft, adultery, and rape (Gen. 9:6; Ex. 21:16, 22:18; Lev. 20:10, Deut. 22:25). For other crimes, the offender made restitution, received a beating, or sometimes loss a limb or eye (Exodus 22:1-5; Lev. 6:1-5; Deut. 19:16-21; 25:1-3, 11-12). A nation implementing these laws would be much better off. It would certainly solve the problem of overcrowded jails.

So why is capital punishment good? It upholds the value and sanctity of life. Mankind was created in God’s image. Someone violently taking away an innocent person’s life deserves to die (Gen. 9:6). That includes people murdering babies in the womb. God gave the death penalty to anyone who hurt a pregnant woman and caused her baby to die in the womb (Exodus 21:22-23). Human life is extremely valuable. If we do not have God’s perspective on the value of human life, we need to take some time to read and meditate on His Word. The references already mentioned in this ProWisdom Text would be a great place to start. Based upon God’s Word, do you value human life as God values it? We have His image stamped upon us. Consider how much God valued your life.

Just thinking about this verse, makes me realize the awfulness of our sin. I am so grateful that though God gives an idea of what His justice demands, He was showed us His marvelous grace and love. He sent Jesus to die on the cross, though it was our sin that nailed Him there. We were His murderous executioners through our sin. COME TO GRIPS WITH THIS FACT! PERSONALIZE IT. “I was Christ’s murderous executioner; it was my sin that nailed Him to that cruel cross. I did not kill someone just made in the image of God, but God Himself! Yet Jesus love me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so! As Jesus was dying that most horrible death invented in my place, He cried out to His Father, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." (Luke 23:34) Praise God He did not stay dead and rose bodily from the dead three days later, and one day because I have accepted by faith alone the forgiveness Christ offered on the cross and continues to offer today, I will thank and praise Him in heaven for all eternity. Praise God for His grace and mercy! Christ took the capital punishment I deserved and justice demanded on the cross!”

O Lord, help us each individually to value human life as You do, by sharing Your Gospel with everyone we can!

Blessed or Cursed? – Proverbs 28:27

Proverbs 28:27 “He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: But he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse.”

Two options exist. There is no middle ground. You will either give or hide, share or hoard. Giving is often a matter of faith because funds are often tight. While hiding and hoarding for ourselves is natural, this Proverb rebukes such tendencies.  It poses a fundamental question which must be answered, “What are the purpose of riches?”  There are two types of riches, temporal and eternal.  Temporal riches are essential,  but their accumulation are not the goal of life. Ecclesiastes reminds us, “As he came forth of his mother’s womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and shall take nothing of his labour, which he may carry away in his hand.” (Ecclesiastes 5:15)

Temporal riches are most valuable when invested in those less fortunate than yourself. Paul told Timothy “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.” (1 Timothy 6:17–19) May we be faithful stewards of the riches God has given us by investing them in others.

Christians are not only to be good stewards of their earthly riches , but even more importantly of their spiritual riches . All around us are spiritually destitute people, who do not even understand their need. In Christ you have ALL wisdom and riches. What are you doing to reach out to a poor and dying world going headlong into a Christless eternity?

On judgment day will others be cursing you and pointing their fingers at you saying, “Why didn’t you tell me about Jesus,”

Today let us consider our giving both materially and spiritually. Are our family and friends the only recipients of our giving? God forbid. Jesus said,  “when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.” (Luke 14:13–14)

I am praying God increases our fervency for good works. (Titus 2:14)