Rich, Wise Rulers

Proverbs 28:9–17 (NKJV)

9 One who turns away his ear from hearing the law,
Even his prayer is an abomination.

10 Whoever causes the upright to go astray in an evil way,
He himself will fall into his own pit;
But the blameless will inherit good.

11 The rich man is wise in his own eyes,
But the poor who has understanding searches him out.

12 When the righteous rejoice, there is great glory;
But when the wicked arise, men hide themselves.

13 He who covers his sins will not prosper,
But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.

14 Happy is the man who is always reverent,
But he who hardens his heart will fall into calamity.

15 Like a roaring lion and a charging bear
Is a wicked ruler over poor people.
16 A ruler who lacks understanding is a great oppressor,
But he who hates covetousness will prolong his days.

17 A man burdened with bloodshed will flee into a pit;
Let no one help him.

If you do not hear the law, your prayers are useless.  If you lead others astray, you will fall into your own pit.  The blameless will inherit the goodness of the Lord.  Rich people think they are smart, but poor people with understanding will outpace them.  When good people succeed, people celebrate.  When evil rises to power, people hide from them.  Sin hidden from others will not allow you to prosper, but if you confess and repent, you will receive mercy.  Reverence for God leads to happiness, but hard hearts lead to trouble.

Wicked rulers who oppress the poor are like wild animals charging after prey.  Rulers who lack discretion oppress, but righteous leaders live long and prosper.  Those who shed much blood will hide in a pit.  Do not help them.  Give God glory in all you do, and you will lead well.  Know His word, His laws, and His will, and you will live well.

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