Proverbs constantly shows us that life is not as complicated as we often make out; rather it is comprised of two categories of people: the wise and the foolish, the righteous and the wicked. As Jesus reminded us, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.” (John 3:36)

Righteousness is not our own; we are made righteous through the sacrifice of Christ. But it is outworked through how we live and has an impact on society: “when the righteous triumph, there is great elation, but when the wicked rise to power, men go into hiding.” (Prov 28:12)

Prov 28:7 reminds us that “he who keeps the law is a discerning son, but a companion of gluttons disgraces his father.” The chapter reminds us that rebuke is better than false flattery (Prov 28:21) and that relying on one’s own resources is not wise: “he who trusts in himself is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom is kept safe.” (Prov 28:26). It’s a very human tendency to put our trust in wealth, but ultimately wealth is not the criterion by which we will be judged: “a rich man may be wise in his own eyes, but a poor man who has discernment sees through him.” (Prov 28:11)

The contrast between the two kinds of people is shown right at the start of the chapter:
“The wicked flee though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.” (Prov 28:1) Sometimes we have a picture of the wicked as all-powerful, with the righteous timid and fearful. This view was sometimes propagated in the hymns sung in churches: ‘Hold the fort, for I am coming’, William Sherman’s hymn says, ‘See the mighty host advancing, Satan leading on/ Mighty ones around us falling, courage almost gone!’ This is not the picture that the Bible paints of God’s people. Rather, it is the righteous that are as bold as a lion and the wicked who flee, though no one pursues.

How can this be? If we feel isolated in our Christian walk, perhaps the only Christian in our family or in our workplace, how can we have a right view of who we are in Christ? We need to soak ourselves in the truths of God’s Word so that we see the invisible and understand the majesty and power of the Almighty God. Throughout Proverbs, we are assured of God’s care and protection (‘he who walks in wisdom is kept safe’ Prov 28:26) as well as of His forgiveness and mercy (‘whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy” Prov 28:13)

Matt Redman says about his song ‘We Could Change the World’:
“A big view of God is a cure for so many of the things in life that would stand in our way or slow us down in ministry. When we really grasp the heights of who He is, and the depths of His heart for us, and the strength of His power in us, we can live a whole different kind of life. The way we view God will radically affect how our lives operate… We must see and believe Him as big enough, kind enough, real enough and strong enough to move in power in our everyday lives – no matter what we’re facing. The first step for a worshipper is to confidently get to grips with just how magnificent and mighty He is. The next step is to let that confidence in God seep into the very depths of our hearts and minds, forming a holy confidence on the inside of us. When that truly happens, we will dream bigger dreams and live brighter lives.”

That’s why I believe it’s so important to guard what we watch and what we listen to and sing, why we must soak ourselves in the Bible each day to find out what God says about our everyday situations and His almighty power, so that we can become those bold lions, confident in our God and Saviour!