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The Law of God Makes Sense
1Wicked people run away
when no one chases them,
but those who live right
are as brave as lions.
2In time of civil war
there are many leaders,
but a sensible leader
restores law and order.#28.2 but … order: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
3When someone poor takes over
and mistreats the poor,
it's like a heavy rain
destroying the crops.
4Lawbreakers praise criminals,
but law-abiding citizens
always oppose them.
5Criminals don't know
what justice means,
but all who respect the Lord
understand it completely.
6It's better to be poor
and live right,
than to be rich
and dishonest.
7It makes good sense
to obey the Law of God,
but you disgrace your parents
if you make friends
with worthless nobodies.
8If you make money by charging
high interest rates,
you will lose it all to someone
who cares for the poor.
9God cannot stand the prayers
of anyone who disobeys
his Law.
10By leading good people to sin,
you dig a pit for yourself,
but all who live right
will have a bright future.
11The rich think highly
of themselves,
but anyone poor and sensible
sees right through them.
12When an honest person wins,
it's time to celebrate;
when crooks are in control,
it's best to hide.
13If you don't confess your sins,
you will be a failure.
But God will be merciful
if you confess your sins
and give them up.
14The Lord blesses everyone
who is afraid to do evil,
but if you are cruel,
you will end up in trouble.
15A ruler who mistreats the poor
is like a roaring lion
or a bear hunting for food.
16A heartless leader is a fool,
but anyone who refuses
to get rich by cheating others
will live a long time.
17Don't give help to murderers!
Make them stay on the run
for as long as they live.#28.17 live: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 17.
18Honesty will keep you safe,
but everyone who is crooked
will suddenly fall.
19Work hard, and you will have
a lot of food;
waste time, and you will have
a lot of trouble.
20God blesses his loyal people,
but punishes all who want
to get rich quick.
21It isn't right to be unfair,
but some people can be bribed
with only a piece of bread.
22Don't be selfish
and eager to get rich—
you will end up worse off
than you can imagine.
23Honest correction
is appreciated
more than flattery.
24If you cheat your parents
and don't think it's wrong,
you are a common thief.
25Selfish people cause trouble,
but you will live a full life
if you trust the Lord.
26Only fools would trust
what they alone think,
but if you live by wisdom,
you will do all right.
27Giving to the poor
will keep you from poverty,
but if you close your eyes
to their needs,
everyone will curse you.
28When crooks are in control,
everyone tries to hide,
but when they lose power,
good people are everywhere.
1 A wicked person flees when no one is chasing him,
but righteous people are as bold as lions.
2 When a country is in revolt, it has many rulers,
but only with a person who has understanding and knowledge
will it last a long time.
3 A poor person who oppresses poorer people
is like a driving rain that leaves no food.
4 Those who abandon ⌊God’s⌋ teachings praise wicked people,
but those who follow ⌊God’s⌋ teachings oppose wicked people.
5 Evil people do not understand justice,
but those who seek the Lord understand everything.
6 Better to be a poor person who has integrity
than to be rich and double-dealing.
7 Whoever follows ⌊God’s⌋ teachings is a wise son.
Whoever associates with gluttons disgraces his father.
8 Whoever becomes wealthy through ⌊unfair⌋ loans and interest
collects them for the one who is kind to the poor.
9 Surely the prayer of someone who refuses
to listen to ⌊God’s⌋ teachings is disgusting.
10 Whoever leads decent people into evil will fall into his own pit,
but innocent people will inherit good things.
11 A rich person is wise in his own eyes,
but a poor person with understanding sees right through him.
12 When righteous people triumph, there is great glory,
but when wicked people rise, people hide themselves.
13 Whoever covers over his sins does not prosper.
Whoever confesses and abandons them receives compassion.
14 Blessed is the one who is always fearful ⌊of sin⌋,
but whoever is hard-hearted falls into disaster.
15 ⌊Like⌋ a roaring lion and a charging bear,
⌊so⌋ a wicked ruler is a threat to poor people.
16 A leader without understanding taxes ⌊his people⌋ heavily,
but those who hate unjust gain will live longer.
17 A person burdened with the guilt of murder
will be a fugitive down to his grave.
No one will help him.
18 Whoever lives honestly will be safe.
Whoever lives dishonestly will fall all at once.
19 Whoever works his land will have plenty to eat.
Whoever chases unrealistic dreams will have plenty of nothing.
20 A trustworthy person has many blessings,
but anyone in a hurry to get rich will not escape punishment.
21 Showing partiality is not good,
because some people will turn on you even for a piece of bread.
22 A stingy person is in a hurry to get rich,
not realizing that poverty is about to overtake him.
23 Whoever criticizes people will be more highly regarded in the future
than the one who flatters with his tongue.
24 The one who robs his father or his mother
and says, “It isn’t wrong!” is a companion to a vandal.
25 A greedy person stirs up a fight,
but whoever trusts the Lord prospers.
26 Whoever trusts his own heart is a fool.
Whoever walks in wisdom will survive.
27 Whoever gives to the poor lacks nothing.
Whoever ignores the poor receives many curses.
28 When wicked people rise, people hide.
When they die, righteous people increase.