In verse 1 we see the value of having a clear conscience. If one has a guilty conscience he will feel threatened with every remark or glance. In verse 2 a nation that is in sin becomes an unstable government. But if the nation finds good rulers they will produce stability in the nation. The last few decades of Israel’s life illustrated this as the nation was subjected to repeated overthrow of its king. Verse 3 exposes the disgusting sight of a poor man oppressing another poor man. This is compared to a driving rain that destroys the crops.
Verse 5 contrast the blindness of an evil man in discerning the law, as the righteous have a clear meaning of the law. Those who do not want to understand do not wish to know. Verse 7 contrast the foolish son who disgraces his father by his association with gluttons against the wise son who follows the instruction of his teachers and honors his father. Interest was not allowed by the Law of Moses. In verse 8 those who collect interest will have it taken away from them by God. The Lord will give the ill-gotten gain to the poor.
Verse 9 teaches that the prayers of the unrighteous is an abomination to the Lord. Any prayer that the unrighteous offer to God would be hypocritical as they do not live in the Word of God. Verse 10 is a Proverb affirming the law of retribution. Verse 12 shows that when the righteous are victorious there is great rejoicing. But when evil wins people get out of its way. Verse 13 is a prophetic statement that God requires a contrite heart over sacrifice. One not only must confess sin but repent to obtain God’s mercy.
In verse 14 the man who has reverence for God is a blessed man but the one who has hardened his heart to God will fall into trials. Verse 17 warns against aiding a murderer to flee. Verse 18 is a promise for deliverance of the righteous and disaster for the wicked. In verse 19 we see the importance of the work ethic in Proverbs. Being industrious is valued over laziness. Verse 20 shuns the get rich quick schemes and promotes the greatness of steady work and accumulation.
Verse 21 is a statement against bribery. To tempt a poor man may cause him to perjure himself for a piece of bread. Verse 22 deplores greed which devoirs a man. Obsession with money will never find satisfaction. Verse 24 denounces a man who is cruel to his parents. He is one who manages to escape his responsibility for their care. He robs them by claiming that what is owed them is sacred. (Matthew 15:4-6)
Verse 25 is a contrast between a proud man and one who places his trust in the Lord. Verse 26 says that to place your trust in your own ingenuity is foolhardy. Verse 27 states that those are cursed who disregard the needs of the poor. On the other hand those who are generous will prosper.