Ever wonder why people are so critical of the Bible? Why they claim it causes divisions, hatred, and violence? Why they say it’s rules on capital punishment are ridiculous? Well, it’s not because they have a true sense of justice or fairness. Many of those same people who rattle on about such things have no problem arguing in favor of giving even the most hardened murderers life in prison instead of the death penalty they deserve. There are even some of them who believe there is no need to have prisons. They may also argue in favor of allowing women to murder their unborn babies in spite of the fact science proves the babies are 100% human and in spite of the brutality that has come to light about the true nature of the abortion industry in recent weeks.

So why do they rail against God’s righteous judgments, but cling to unrighteous principles? The short answer is because of the sin nature of humanity. However, God’s word gives us more detail about the motives of those who oppose him in Proverbs.

They that forsake the law praise the wicked: but such as keep the law contend with them. Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the Lord understand all things. Proverbs 28:4-5

The word “forsake” here refers to all who reject or turn away from obedience to God’s moral principles. Their intent for doing so is to praise the wicked. Even if the person seems as if their arguments and reasons against God’s standards are fair and make sense, upon closer spiritual examination their true intent is to promote evil. Those who esteem God’s standards will end up contending with them in some form or fashion. “Contending” simply means “opposing” and that opposition can come in many forms from what we would call passive aggression or conscientious objection or civil disobedience, such as the midwives in Egypt showed when they quietly refused Pharoah’s order to kill Hebrew babies, to opposing someone in court as Paul did when the Jews rioted against him in Jerusalem to physical confrontation when one may have to defend family or friends from robbers, rapists, or other violent criminals.

In v. 5 above, the results of forsaking God’s law are revealed. It by default shows they are really evil and brings about their lack of understanding of what constitutes godly, just judgment. They end up drawing incorrect conclusions about how to handle life’s matters, whether civil, criminal, interpersonal, etc. However, those who continually chase after the Lord in their relationship with him–desiring to please him–will be blessed with revelations and discernment to help them understand and navigate all types of circumstances. The nature of one’s life, household, community, or nation depends on which of those motives has the most influence.

Let favour be shewed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness: in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the Lord. Isaiah 26:10

Harry A. Gaylord

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