Lovers of God
1Guilty criminals experience paranoia
even though no one threatens them.
But the innocent lovers of God,
because of righteousness,
will have the boldness of a young, ferocious lion!
2A rebellious nation is thrown into chaos,
but leaders anointed with wisdom will restore law and order.
3When a pauper oppresses the destitute,
it’s like a flash flood that sweeps away their last hope.
4Those who turn their backs on what they know is right
will no longer be able to tell right from wrong.
But those who love the truth strengthen their souls.
5Justice never makes sense to men devoted to darkness,
but those tenderly devoted to the Lord
can understand justice perfectly.
6It’s more respectable to be poor and pure than rich and perverse.
7To be obedient to what you’ve been taught
proves you’re an honorable child,
but to socialize with the lawless brings shame to your parents.
8Go ahead and get rich on the backs of the poor,
but all the wealth you gather will one day be given
to those who are kind to the needy.
9If you close your heart and refuse to listen to God’s instruction,
even your prayer will be despised.
10Those who tempt the lovers of God with an evil scheme
will fall into their own trap.
But the innocent who resist temptation will experience reward.
11The wealthy in their conceit presume to be wise,
but a poor person with discernment can see right through them.
12The triumphant joy of God’s lovers releases great glory.
But when the wicked rise to power, everyone goes into hiding.
13If you cover up your sin you’ll never do well.
But if you confess your sins and forsake them,
you will be kissed by mercy.
14Overjoyed is the one who with tender heart trembles before God,
but the stubborn, unyielding heart will experience even greater evil.
15Ruthless rulers can only be compared
to raging lions and roaming bears.
16Abusive leaders fail to employ wisdom,
but leaders who despise corruption
will enjoy a long and full life.
17A murderer’s conscience will torment him—
a fugitive haunted by guilt all the way to the grave
with no one to support him.
18The pure will be rescued from failure,
but the perverse will suddenly fall into ruin.
19Work hard and you’ll have all you desire,
but chase a fantasy and you could end up with nothing.
20Life’s blessings drench the honest and faithful person,
but punishment rains down upon the greedy and dishonest.
21Giving favoritism to the rich and powerful is disgusting,
and this is the type of judge who would betray a man for a bribe.
22A greedy man is in a race to get rich,
but he forgets that he could lose what’s most important
and end up with nothing.
23If you correct someone with constructive criticism,
in the end he will appreciate it more than flattery.
24A person who would reject his own parents and say,
“What’s wrong with that?” is as bad as a murderer.
25To make rash, hasty decisions
shows that you are not trusting the Lord.
But when you rely totally on God,
you will still act carefully and prudently.
26Self-confident know-it-alls will prove to be fools.
But when you lean on the wisdom from above,
you will have a way to escape the troubles of your own making.
27You will never go without if you give to the poor.
But if you’re heartless, stingy, and selfish,
you invite curses upon yourself.
28When wicked leaders rise to power,
good people go into hiding.
But when they fall from power,
the godly take their place.