August 02, 2020 | Books of the Bible | Proverbs by Jason Hall
The one who keeps the law is a son with understanding, but a companion of gluttons shames his father.
Proverbs 28:7 is actually in the middle of an extended series of proverbial sayings with a common theme: Oppressing the poor for one's own gain and profit will lead to destruction. This series of sayings begins in 28:3 and continues through 28:11. I would encourage you to take a minute and read that series of verses, perhaps even making notes about recurring words, phrases, and teachings that you see.
Like many other societies throughout human history, ancient Israel struggled with taking care of its poor. Themes of oppression, greed, and abuse dominated especially the pre-exilic era of Israelite history, such that injustice was a key reason God cited for sending His people into Assyrian and Babylonian captivity.
The remedy for such widespread societal unfaithfulness was reasonably straightforward: Pay attention to God's law carefully. This is true for us as believers in Jesus as well. If we carefully walk in obedience to the commands of Christ, we'll demonstrate our love for God, and our love for God will show itself in our love for others.
At first glance, the contrast in verse 7 is strange: The son who keeps God's law is set against the one who is a companion of gluttons. But under the surface, this distinction makes sense: The one who ignores the law quite naturally chooses bad friends, and thus brings disgrace to his father. Then, the law is the common theme within the life of one who trusts God, treats others fairly, chooses companions with wisdom, and brings peace and blessing to his family.
- Do you see God's Word as the final authority in every area of your life? Does your choice of friends reflect that conviction?
- Lord, give me the grace to see how your Word guides me in everything, and give me a passion for putting it into practice.