Sun. May 26th, 2024
Proverbs 281   The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lionProverbs 281   The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion

Proverbs 28:1   “The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion

Bold As a Lion — Proverbs 28:1

The weight of guilt is a heavy burden to bear. It’s like a shadow that follows your every step, casting doubt and fear over even the simplest actions. But here’s the remarkable truth: when you anchor yourself in the unwavering love of God, courage springs forth like a beacon in the darkness. Here is a profound insight into the human condition:

The wicked flee when no one pursues,
But the righteous are bold as a lion.

— Proverbs 28:1 (NKJV)

A guilty conscience is a relentless pursuer, driving you to flee from imaginary threats, to avoid unseen eyes. It’s a cycle of unease that can leave you breathless. Yet, on the other side of the spectrum, stand those who find their courage in the assurance of God’s love. They are bold, unwavering, and lionhearted.

This courage isn’t an empty hologram with no substance. It’s a reflection of their identity as beloved children of God. It’s a product of understanding that God’s love isn’t contingent on their perfection, but on His unchanging character. It’s knowing that His grace is bigger than any mistake, His forgiveness more powerful than any guilt.

Being secure in God’s love doesn’t mean disregarding wrongdoing. Instead, it’s about understanding that His love has the power to transform and redeem. It’s a love that invites us to confront our mistakes with humility, confident that His mercy stands ready to embrace us.

So, how do you find the courage to stand strong in the face of guilt and fear? By immersing yourself in the truth of God’s love. When you grasp the depth of His affection for you, guilt loses its grip. When you realize that you’re covered by His grace, fear diminishes.

When guilt comes knocking, remember that you are in Christ and now have His righteousness. Choose to be bold as a lion, not because of your own strength, but because you’re rooted in the unshakable love of God. Your courage doesn’t arise from your perfection. It springs forth from His love that never wavers, even in the face of your imperfections. sourceProverbs 28:1

What does Proverbs 28:1 mean?

This proverb notes one tendency of a guilty conscience: to be defensive even without an accusation. A person who knows they are at fault for something—or believes as much—may become excessive in attempts to clear their name. A related series of English expressions are variations of the phrase, “you protest too much,” adapted from Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet. These are used when another person’s claims of innocence seem insincere and overdone, to the point of suggesting guilt, instead.

Here, Solomon (Proverbs 25:1) depicts morally guilty persons as paranoid, because of their conscience. Their sinful lifestyle leads them to assume that consequences are always just around the corner. In this imagery, they are like criminals who run from law officers who aren’t even aware a crime has happened. In spiritual application, this attempt to “flee” from accountability is a common human response to God. When Jonah refused to obey God, he boarded a ship that was bound for a destination as far from Nineveh as possible (Jonah 1:1–3). When God rains down wrath on the wicked in the tribulation period, world leaders will try to hide from God. They will wish for landslides to hide them from His anger (Revelation 6:15–17).

By contrast, those with a clear conscience (Acts 24:16Hebrews 13:18) have no such fears. Lions, in most circumstances, fear no predators or hostile enemies. They proceed with confidence and assurance, lacking fear: they are “bold.” The person who does right can rest assured that God will vindicate them in the end (1 Peter 3:16). Just as false guilt exists, so too can a person lack conviction for sin (Matthew 24:38–39Acts 3:17). Lack of conviction is not a perfect test for righteousness (1 Corinthians 4:4). Yet peace is a genuine benefit of personal integrity (Psalm 4:8Proverbs 10:9). source

Devotional Thoughts

By Jim Cymbala

King David wanted to build the temple in Jerusalem and create a magnificent building for God, but the Lord told him that he would not be the one to do it. Instead, the Lord chose his son Solomon. All the officials of Israel gathered in Jerusalem and David announced God’s plan. “[God] said to me: ‘Solomon your son is the one who will build my house and my courts’” (1 Chronicles 28:6).

God’s choice was clear. Seems simple, right? David had already received the building plans from God himself and collected most of the needed materials. All Solomon had to do was start. But right there is so often the place of failure. David understood the challenge facing his son. Throughout the chapter we find him encouraging Solomon: “Be strong and do the work” (v. 10). And “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished” (v. 20).

Despite the fact that Solomon was God’s choice and that he had complete instructions and all of the needed materials, he still had to get past the fear that paralyzes us to inaction. The Message, a contemporary Bible translation, renders verse 10, “And do it!” No one is saying that there will not be opposition or problems, but it is through the Spirit’s impartation of faith and boldness that we can be brave and move ahead with the work God has called us to do.

God has called all of us to something. Jesus said about the moment he will return: “Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come” (Mark 13:33). But because of fear, we haven’t always gone out and done it.

The Holy Spirit is greater in power than our shyness or timidity and he is greater than our fear or rejection of failure. His power makes the weakest as bold as a lion (see Proverbs 28:1). source

Cross References

Leviticus 26:17
And I will set My face against you, so that you will be defeated by your enemies. Those who hate you will rule over you, and you will flee when no one pursues you.

Leviticus 26:36
As for those of you who survive, I will send a faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies, so that even the sound of a windblown leaf will put them to flight. And they will flee as one flees the sword, and fall when no one pursues them.

2 Kings 7:7
Thus the Arameans had arisen and fled at twilight, abandoning their tents and horses and donkeys. The camp was intact, and they had run for their lives.

Nehemiah 6:11
But I replied, “Should a man like me run away? Should one like me go into the temple to save his own life? I will not go!”

Psalm 53:5
There they are, overwhelmed with dread, where there was nothing to fear. For God has scattered the bones of those who besieged you. You put them to shame, for God has despised them.

Proverbs 27:27
You will have plenty of goats’ milk to feed you–food for your household and nourishment for your maidservants.

Isaiah 30:17
A thousand will flee at the threat of one; at the threat of five you will all flee, until you are left alone like a pole on a mountaintop, like a banner on a hill. source