Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart:
Proverbs 28 (NIV)
28 The wicked flee though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion. 2 When a country is rebellious, it has many rulers, but a ruler with discernment and knowledge maintains order. 3 A ruler who oppresses the poor is like a driving rain that leaves no crops. 4 Those who forsake instruction praise the wicked, but those who heed it resist them. 5 Evildoers do not understand what is right, but those who seek the Lord understand it fully. 6 Better the poor whose walk is blameless than the rich whose ways are perverse. 7 A discerning son heeds instruction, but a companion of gluttons disgraces his father. 8 Whoever increases wealth by taking interest or profit from the poor amasses it for another, who will be kind to the poor. 9 If anyone turns a deaf ear to my instruction, even their prayers are detestable. 10 Whoever leads the upright along an evil path will fall into their own trap, but the blameless will receive a good inheritance. 11 The rich are wise in their own eyes; one who is poor and discerning sees how deluded they are. 12 When the righteous triumph, there is great elation; but when the wicked rise to power, people go into hiding. 13 Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy. 14 Blessed is the one who always trembles before God, but whoever hardens their heart falls into trouble. 15 Like a roaring lion or a charging bear is a wicked ruler over a helpless people. 16 A tyrannical ruler practices extortion, but one who hates ill-gotten gain will enjoy a long reign. 17 Anyone tormented by the guilt of murder will seek refuge in the grave; let no one hold them back. 18 The one whose walk is blameless is kept safe, but the one whose ways are perverse will fall into the pit. 19 Those who work their land will have abundant food,
but those who chase fantasies will have their fill of poverty. 20 A faithful person will be richly blessed, but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished. 21 To show partiality is not good— yet a person will do wrong for a piece of bread. 22 The stingy are eager to get rich and are unaware that poverty awaits them. 23 Whoever rebukes a person will in the end gain favor rather than one who has a flattering tongue. 24 Whoever robs their father or mother and says, “It’s not wrong,” is partner to one who destroys. 25 The greedy stir up conflict, but those who trust in the Lord will prosper. 26 Those who trust in themselves are fools, but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe. 27 Those who give to the poor will lack nothing, but those who close their eyes to them receive many curses. 28 When the wicked rise to power, people go into hiding; but when the wicked perish, the righteous thrive.
What is the difference between trusting in self, self-confidence, and trusting in the Lord?
Holy, eternal, all-knowing God, we are surrounded by a culture of the unknown. We have been plagued by a pandemic, betrayal by the highest authority, manipulation of our fundamental rights, huge shifts in leadership philosophy and there is a total disregard for life and for You. We have not been here before and it is creating fear and uncertainty. The greedy stir up conflict, but those who trust in You will prosper. Trust is a willingness to commit to the unknown. Confidence is a willingness to commit to something that is already familiar. My confidence in government and society as a whole has been shaken. I have clung to confidence in my job, skills, financial position, health, and rely on those things to protect me. Self-trust is a practice of self-confidence. Help me to not trust only in my own understanding, my own interpretation of things, my own plans, and my own abilities. I cannot rely on what I know in time where the future is so unknown. Only fools would trust what they alone think. The cure for being enamored by my own knowledge is in understanding how awe-inspiring and fearsome You are. Difficulties are nothing to fear when I remain confident in You in the midst of them. Help me to abandon my conditioned thinking and trust You into the unknown. When circumstances or experiences seem to be not in my best interest and not representative of a Loving and Omnipresent God help me to be curious as to where You are in them. Regardless of the pain or hardships endured, You understand them. You can use them for our good and for Your glory in ways I can’t comprehend. You can provide healing in unexpected ways, even when hope seems lost when I trust in You alone. In a culture of misplaced trusts, broken promises, and damaged lives, only You are unshakable, unchangeable, unbreakable, and worthy of all my trust. Lead me to cultivate a God-trusting heart by meditating on Scripture, spending time in prayer, and through companionship with other believers. As these things tune my heart to the Spirit living in me, I can rely less on myself and more on You, serving You in good times and bad, in sickness and in health, in the battle with sin and in the peace of Your rest. Amen