This week, Time With God is finishing our study of the book of Proverbs. Although we will read an entire chapter each day, the study questions in Digging Deeper will focus on select verses addressing a specific topic.
Most of us are skeptics at heart. If someone tells us they are trustworthy, then we want to see some evidence that proves it. If you have ever applied for a job, then you know most employers ask for a list of references. Why? Because they want to know if you are really who you say you are. They want people to testify to your character, skills, and work ethic. With that being said, God doesn’t just say things that are true about himself; he has a track record to prove it. There are generations of people who have testified to his faithfulness, love, justice, patience, kindness, steadfastness, goodness, glory, peace, wisdom, etc. In today’s passage, we are going to see a contrast between someone who understands who God is and submits to him versus someone who has a hardened heart toward God and lives in rebellion.
- What is your view toward God? Why?
Read the Word
Proverbs 28 (ESV)
28:1 The wicked flee when no one pursues,
but the righteous are bold as a lion.
2 When a land transgresses, it has many rulers,
but with a man of understanding and knowledge,
its stability will long continue.
3 A poor man who oppresses the poor
is a beating rain that leaves no food.
4 Those who forsake the law praise the wicked,
but those who keep the law strive against them.
5 Evil men do not understand justice,
but those who seek the Lord understand it completely.
6 Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity
than a rich man who is crooked in his ways.
7 The one who keeps the law is a son with understanding,
but a companion of gluttons shames his father.
8 Whoever multiplies his wealth by interest and profit
gathers it for him who is generous to the poor.
9 If one turns away his ear from hearing the law,
even his prayer is an abomination.
10 Whoever misleads the upright into an evil way
will fall into his own pit,
but the blameless will have a goodly inheritance.
11 A rich man is wise in his own eyes,
but a poor man who has understanding will find him out.
12 When the righteous triumph, there is great glory,
but when the wicked rise, people hide themselves.
13 Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper,
but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.
14 Blessed is the one who fears the Lord always,
but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity.
15 Like a roaring lion or a charging bear
is a wicked ruler over a poor people.
16 A ruler who lacks understanding is a cruel oppressor,
but he who hates unjust gain will prolong his days.
17 If one is burdened with the blood of another,
he will be a fugitive until death;
let no one help him.
18 Whoever walks in integrity will be delivered,
but he who is crooked in his ways will suddenly fall.
19 Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread,
but he who follows worthless pursuits will have plenty of poverty.
20 A faithful man will abound with blessings,
but whoever hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.
21 To show partiality is not good,
but for a piece of bread a man will do wrong.
22 A stingy man hastens after wealth
and does not know that poverty will come upon him.
23 Whoever rebukes a man will afterward find more favor
than he who flatters with his tongue.
24 Whoever robs his father or his mother
and says, “That is no transgression,”
is a companion to a man who destroys.
25 A greedy man stirs up strife,
but the one who trusts in the Lord will be enriched.
26 Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool,
but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.
27 Whoever gives to the poor will not want,
but he who hides his eyes will get many a curse.
28 When the wicked rise, people hide themselves,
but when they perish, the righteous increase.
(Today’s questions focus on verses 9, 13-14, and 18.)
- What is the difference between the one who conceals sin and the one who confesses sin, in verse 13?
- What is the difference between the one who walks with integrity and the one who is crooked, in verse 18?
- How do you view sin? Is it a big deal or not really? Do you fear being found out or fear the sin itself?
- What does it mean to fear the Lord (vs. 14)? How does it impact the way you live?
- Do you view obedience to God as an obligation or an opportunity to continue trusting? How do you see this played out in your daily life and your relationship with him?
Respond to God
Obedience is an opportunity to continue living by faith. A.W. Tozer wrote, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” With that being said, how we view God matters because it determines how we live our life. When we look back at the cross, it is evident that God is for us and trustworthy. Furthermore, how we view sin matters because it determines how we engage with it. When we understand that sin only leads to death and destruction, then we will do everything we can to avoid it. In today’s passage, there is a stark contrast between someone who has a hardened heart toward God and sin, and someone who has an accurate view of God, sin, and repentance. Let us be a people who not only hear the Word but apply it because we understand that God’s way is better than ours.
- Pray for a desire to abide in the Word of God.
- Pray for a desire to submit to the Word of God.
- Pray for a desire to be faithful to the Word of God.