February 06, 2023 – Monday
Proverbs 28:1 NIV
1 The wicked flee though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.
It was not my plan to write on this, but while visiting Sharon’s Mother, Ruth, at Hospice of Dayton on Saturday, I ended up talking with a young man and ended up mentioning this verse. It has long been a favorite verse of mine but I have never looked at it in any depth. Today I wish to do that.
When I first read this verse and committed it to memory, I was thinking how we have Christ’s righteousness imputed to us once we believe and repent. In particular the following verse comes to mind from Romans 1:17, 17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is from faith to faith, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” The last part is from Habakkuk 2:4c, the righteous person will live by his faith.
Before looking at other verses, let’s go back to Proverbs 28:1 where we find the following two comments in Guzik’s commentary, 1) “The proverb implies that the wicked, prompted by a guilty conscience or a fear of judgment, become fearful and suspicious of everyone.” (Ross) and 2) “God sends a faintness into the hearts of the wicked, and the sound of a shaken leaf frightens them. In arithmetic, of nothing comes nothing, yet they fear where no fear is.” (Trapp) This can be applied to the most mundane of things, like speeding on any roadway. The wicked (me at one time) are always speeding but fearing being caught. The sound of any siren sends them into a frenzy of looking about to see if they are about to be caught.
Wait a minute you might ask, “What about the righteous?” Once again two comments from Guizk’s commentary, 1) “The straightforward man, like the lion, has no need to look over his shoulder. What is at his heels is not his past but his rearguard: God’s goodness and mercy (Psalm 23:6).” (Kidner) and 2) “Adam knew no fear until he became a guilty creature. But if guilt brings fear, the removal of guilt gives confidence.” (Bridges) Again let’s look at the mundane example of speeding, if the righteous is speeding, he or she is more than willing to be pulled over and pay the price for their excess speed. Truth be known, they seldom speed and certainly not excessively without good reason when it is with lights on and the horn blowing. But how often does that occur? Rarely, very rarely.
The Benson Commentary is very concise in s its comments. The wicked flee when no man pursueth — Because a consciousness of their guilt excites in them a continual expectation and dread of God’s judgments; but the righteous are bold as a lion — Are courageous and resolute, having the testimony of a good conscience, and assurance of the divine favour and protection, and the supports and consolations of the Holy Ghost. Within the Pulpit Commentary I found the following, On the cowardice of sinners St. Chrysostom says well, “Such is the nature of sin, that it betrays while no one finds fault; it condemns whilst no one accuses; it makes the sinner a timid being, one that trembles at a sound; even as righteousness has the contrary effect How doth the wicked flee when no man pursueth? And then, But the righteous are undismayed in the presence of danger, because their conscience is at rest, they know that God is on their side, and, whatever happens, they are safe in the everlasting arms (see Psalm 91).
Bottom Line: I love the promise in Romans 5:17, 17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ! This righteousness does not make me arrogant or proud, but humble that such an incredible gift would be given to one such as me.
Prayer: Almighty God, Heavenly Father, Your gift of righteousness through Your Son to those of us who will believe, repent, and turn from lives of sin is a gift of incredible mercy and love. We are so thankful. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton