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September 15

Pastor’s Note

We find convicting words today in Proverbs, which remind us that “Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, but those who keep the law strive against them” (28:4), and “A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back” (29:11). In 2 Corinthians 7 we read what may be the best biblical explanation of repentance—its characteristics and components.

— Pastor Mike

Proverbs 28-29

28:1 The wicked flee when no one pursues,
 but the righteous are bold as a lion.
When a land transgresses, it has many rulers,
 but with a man of understanding and knowledge,
 its stability will long continue.
A poor man who oppresses the poor
 is a beating rain that leaves no food.
Those who forsake the law praise the wicked,
 but those who keep the law strive against them.
Evil men do not understand justice,
 but those who seek the Lord understand it completely.
Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity
 than a rich man who is crooked in his ways.
The one who keeps the law is a son with understanding,
 but a companion of gluttons shames his father.
Whoever multiplies his wealth by interest and profit [1]
 gathers it for him who is generous to the poor.
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; [2]
 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 [3] 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.
29:1 He who is often reproved, yet stiffens his neck,
 will suddenly be broken beyond healing.
When the righteous increase, the people rejoice,
 but when the wicked rule, the people groan.
He who loves wisdom makes his father glad,
 but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth.
By justice a king builds up the land,
 but he who exacts gifts [4] tears it down.
A man who flatters his neighbor
 spreads a net for his feet.
An evil man is ensnared in his transgression,
 but a righteous man sings and rejoices.
A righteous man knows the rights of the poor;
 a wicked man does not understand such knowledge.
Scoffers set a city aflame,
 but the wise turn away wrath.
If a wise man has an argument with a fool,
 the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet.
10 Bloodthirsty men hate one who is blameless
 and seek the life of the upright. [5]
11 A fool gives full vent to his spirit,
 but a wise man quietly holds it back.
12 If a ruler listens to falsehood,
 all his officials will be wicked.
13 The poor man and the oppressor meet together;
 the Lord gives light to the eyes of both.
14 If a king faithfully judges the poor,
 his throne will be established forever.
15 The rod and reproof give wisdom,
 but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.
16 When the wicked increase, transgression increases,
 but the righteous will look upon their downfall.
17 Discipline your son, and he will give you rest;
 he will give delight to your heart.
18 Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, [6]
 but blessed is he who keeps the law.
19 By mere words a servant is not disciplined,
 for though he understands, he will not respond.
20 Do you see a man who is hasty in his words?
 There is more hope for a fool than for him.
21 Whoever pampers his servant from childhood
 will in the end find him his heir. [7]
22 A man of wrath stirs up strife,
 and one given to anger causes much transgression.
23 One’s pride will bring him low,
 but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.
24 The partner of a thief hates his own life;
 he hears the curse, but discloses nothing.
25 The fear of man lays a snare,
 but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.
26 Many seek the face of a ruler,
 but it is from the Lord that a man gets justice.
27 An unjust man is an abomination to the righteous,
 but one whose way is straight is an abomination to the wicked.

2 Corinthians 7

7:1 Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body [8] and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.

Paul’s Joy

Make room in your hearts [9] for us. We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have taken advantage of no one. I do not say this to condemn you, for I said before that you are in our hearts, to die together and to live together. I am acting with great boldness toward you; I have great pride in you; I am filled with comfort. In all our affliction, I am overflowing with joy.

For even when we came into Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were afflicted at every turn—fighting without and fear within. But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, and not only by his coming but also by the comfort with which he was comforted by you, as he told us of your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced still more. For even if I made you grieve with my letter, I do not regret it—though I did regret it, for I see that that letter grieved you, though only for a while. As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us.

10 For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. 11 For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, but also what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what punishment! At every point you have proved yourselves innocent in the matter. 12 So although I wrote to you, it was not for the sake of the one who did the wrong, nor for the sake of the one who suffered the wrong, but in order that your earnestness for us might be revealed to you in the sight of God. 13 Therefore we are comforted.

And besides our own comfort, we rejoiced still more at the joy of Titus, because his spirit has been refreshed by you all. 14 For whatever boasts I made to him about you, I was not put to shame. But just as everything we said to you was true, so also our boasting before Titus has proved true. 15 And his affection for you is even greater, as he remembers the obedience of you all, how you received him with fear and trembling. 16 I rejoice, because I have perfect confidence in you.

Footnotes

[1] 28:8 That is, profit that comes from charging interest to the poor
[2] 28:17 Hebrew until the pit
[3] 28:22 Hebrew A man whose eye is evil
[4] 29:4 Or who taxes heavily
[5] 29:10 Or but the upright seek his soul
[6] 29:18 Or the people are discouraged
[7] 29:21 The meaning of the Hebrew word rendered his heir is uncertain
[8] 7:1 Greek flesh
[9] 7:2 Greek lacks in your hearts

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