Proverbs in 365 Devotions
Proverbs 22:22 Do not rob the poor, because he is poor, or crush the afflicted at the gate, 23 for the Lord will plead their cause and rob of life those who rob them. 24 Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man, 25 lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare.
Hanging With Villains
Solomon teaches us not to selfishly take advantage of the vulnerable and easy targets in society. Of course we should not relate to anyone in this fashion… but I think it’s usually those who are poor in some area that are singled out as a victim. Poor in money, reputation, poor in friendships… those who cannot defend themselves against corruption posed towards them. And then Solomon says not to enjoy friendship with an angry person or a person who takes out their frustrations on others; or else we may become like him.
So in these verses we find a few villains. One robs the poor; one subdues the afflicted; another is full of anger and the last mentioned is a wrathful man. These are all brothers… or at the least close relatives in the family of villains.
For those who take advantage of the poor and afflicted… Gods word is clear… God will deal with them firmly. Believe it.
Proverbs 23:11 10 Do not move an ancient landmark or enter the fields of the fatherless, 11 for their Redeemer is strong; he will plead their cause against you.
Here is just a small clip of Gods related word to Israel:
Exodus 22:21 “You shall not wrong a sojourner or oppress him, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt. 22 You shall not mistreat any widow or fatherless child. 23 If you do mistreat them, and they cry out to me, I will surely hear their cry, 24 and my wrath will burn, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall become widows and your children fatherless.
So yes, God is serious about taking advantage of others.
What about the angry and wrathful man? In today's passage Solomon does not mention their judgment. the truth is that God will deal with them as well. Solomon has a way of presenting things so that one who ponders the wisdom he shares can see links between all truth. Its pretty cool if you ask me! All truth is connected and ultimately Jesus is the way truth and the life… But yes, God will deal with the angry and wrathful person.
Colossians 3:5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you:b sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming. 7 In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. 8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.
So God will deal with the one full of anger and the one who shows his anger practically with wrath. The believer will receive discipline with the love of a Father toward his children while one who rejects the free gift of the love of God in his only Son Jesus… will actually receive the full force of the anger and wrath of God.
Romans 2:8 but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.
In closing Solomon tells us how we become like those we make friendships with... those we love to fellowship with and admire… We hang around them and enjoy their company and begin to emulate them. This is the dark side of the principal of associated glory.
Proverbs 13:20 says: Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.
And the Apostle Paul agrees in 1st Corinthians 15:33 saying: Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”
As I said this is the dark side of the principal of associated glory. May we not hang out with the family of villains lest we become like them.
Even as believers we may tend to think that if we do not hang out with the major sins that plague mankind like murder and adultery or theft… if these are not our friends… we are good. WRONG!
In the letter to the church in Laodicea John writes this from Jesus:
Revelation 3:16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.
I think a good thing to ponder is this: Who do you make your friendships with? Not only speaking of people but passions… Who did you hang out with last night? What movies did you watch? Where did you go on your smart phone? What sites did you ponder on the internet? Who are you making friendships with? The Bible has clearly shown us that we will become like these.
On the other hand Gods word says… even the same thing that Moses ask of God in Exodus 33:18 ... “Please show me your glory.”
Paul connects how God showed Moses his glory in the next chapters to 2nd Corinthians 3:18 which says: And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.