Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.
Proverbs 28:4: “Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, But such as keep the law contend with them.”
The “lawless” (violators of God’s Will), will band together, pass laws of the land, and have Judges in courts which encourage the “lawless” to continue in their “lawlessness!” Those who “praise the wicked” when they continue in their “wickedness” are in complete conflict with God, Who “will not justify the wicked” (Exodus 23:7). God said through His Prophet, Isaiah: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, And prudent in their own sight! Woe to men mighty at drinking wine, Woe to men valiant for mixing intoxicating drink, Who justify the wicked for a bribe, And take away justice from the righteous man!” (Isaiah 5:20-23). People who call “evil” “good” don’t change God’s definitions of “evil” or “good!” People who “justify the wicked for a bribe” have their reward—the “bribe!” These are also those who “take away justice from the righteous man!” In other words, those who practice righteousness should not, and cannot, expect to receive praise, or justice, from the “wicked” who are justifying wickedness! When Jesus Christ walked the Earth: “the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they derided Him. And He said to them, ‘You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God’” (Luke 16:14-15).
Those who “keep the law contend with them,” that is, are obligated to: 1) make clear to all what God’s Law says; 2) refuse to compromise that Law; 3) warn all men of the error of their ways. The Psalmist said: “You who love the LORD, hate evil!” (Psalm 97:10). Before the world-wide flood of destruction in Noah’s day, God’s prophet, “Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, ‘Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him’” (Jude 14-15). When Lot lived among sexual perverts in Sodom, he was “oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds” (2 Peter 2:7-8; Jude 7; Genesis 19:1-29). Christians must “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light” (Ephesians 5:11-13).
Christians cannot, must not: 1) just “get along” with those who disregard God’s Bible; nor 2) compromise their own righteousness so that the lawless people won’t notice them; nor 3) seek the accolades or approval of the lawless wicked! Jesus taught His Apostles: “Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:27-28). And the Apostles taught Christians that “since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, ‘I believed and therefore I spoke,’ we also believe and therefore speak” (2 Corinthians 4:13), and this without fear: “most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear” (Philippians 1:14). There never has been a better time for Christians to speak, or forever hold their peace!
All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.