Those who forsake the law praise the wicked,
But those who keep the law strive with them.
Evil men do not understand justice,
But those who seek the Lord understand all things.
Better is the poor who walks in his integrity
Than he who is crooked though he be rich.
He who keeps the law is a discerning son,
But he who is a companion of gluttons humiliates his father. Proverbs 28:4-7
I really dislike the idea that poverty excuses criminality. Likewise, it angers me to no end when someone rich, tries to get richer by taking advantage of others by deceit and scams.
Solomon knew that keeping law and order was vitally important and a major part of his responsibility as a leader. There will always be wickedness and evil at work within the hearts of men. He also knew that if we simply “give up” or forsake the keeping of the law, we can expect crime to increase. You simply can’t build a good society coddling criminals because they do not understand justice. This recent wave of social justice that has its expression in reducing sentences of criminals simply because jails are crowded will have devastating and unintended consequences.
Solomon also points his finger at ‘white collar’ crimes of the rich. Getting rich by abusing the law, deceitfulness, or lacking integrity is condemned as well. He says that keeping the law is what a discerning son does- Those trying to get rich quick in any way possible are a humiliation to a father and a nation as well. There are plenty of godly ways to make money and we should eschew all others.
How about me? Am I playing by the rules? Am I interacting with others with integrity and honesty?
God, help me be one who upholds the law and does what is right. Make this place I live a blessed place for all rich and poor.