Which Side are You On?

Where you stand on the Bible, God's Law, defines you, your character, and eternity.

April 28, 2022

"They that forsake the law praise the wicked:  but such as keep the law contend with them."

Proverbs 28:4

“Those who refuse to obey the law promote evil.
Those who obey the law oppose evil.”
[1] (Proverbs 28:4, HSB).


“They that forsake the law praise the wicked.”
We live in dangerous days (2 Timothy 3:1-9), and these words from Solomon could not be truer today!  A person loves God’s Word, abides by its precepts, lives by its principles, or despises it and has nothing to do with it.  You see, there is no middle ground here, you either accept and believe the unvarnished Word of God, or you reject it.  There’s no “I’m a Christian, sort of…, but I don’t believe everything the Bible says.”  Nope, that guy’s an impostor!

To reject God’s truth is to turn your back on God.  Those who do this inevitably end up loving evil and those who practice wickedness.  You have heard, “birds of a feather flock together.”  In this case, it is so.

They that forsake … wicked—Wrongdoers encourage one another” [2] (JFB).

“Forsake the Law”

“He that transgresses says, in fact, that it is right to transgress; and thus other wicked persons are encouraged” [3] (Clarke).

“When the fundamental principles of justice are forsaken, it doesn’t benefit the righteous. It gives benefit and praise to the wicked” [4] (EWC).


“Praise the Wicked”

Some people who reject God’s Law may still attend church and claim to be Christian.  But that thought is an oxymoron; it doesn’t compute!

“Wicked people strengthen one another in wicked ways” [5] (Henry).

“Praising the wicked may mean calling them good, i.e., no longer able to discern good from evil” [6] (Ross).

“Those who forsake instruction will praise the wicked—Likens disobedience to praising the wicked” [7] (FSB).

Eventually, all who reject God’s Word will openly disobey it.

They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them” (1 John 4:5).

“Oppressing the poor (v. 3) is an example of forsaking the Mosaic Law (cf. “Law” in vv. 7, 9).  And when people turn from obeying God’s commands, they usually begin to commend (praise) and side with wicked people” [8] (BKC).

They can praise the wicked because they are evil also.

“Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same but have pleasure in them that do them” (Romans 1:32).


“But such as keep the law contend with them.”
This makes sense.  Just keeping God’s Law is seen by wicked people as narrow-minded and contentious.  We who are God-fearing believers have decided to stand where the scriptures stand on any subject the lost can bring up.

“Lawkeepers (cf. v. 7), however, resist wicked lawbreakers, seeking to uphold justice (cf. 18:5; 24:25)” [9] (BKC).

There are only two lines of people in this world, the lost who line up behind the devil; and the genuinely born again who line up behind our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

“This proverb presents only two paths: forsake the law or keep the law. “The line dividing humanity is not racial, political, or even religious, but spiritual. That line runs through every human heart” [10](Waltke).

Think about this –

“Keeping the law is a way of combating the wicked. God does not accept the prayer of the person who rejects the law (Proverbs 28:9), but He blesses the person who keeps it (29:18)” [11] (FSB).


“Contend with Them”

Jesus went after those evil men who rejected the Word and taught others the same.

“But when He saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to His baptism, He said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” (Matthew 3:7).

John the Baptist was contentious with evildoers.

“For Herod had laid hold on John, and bound him, and put him in prison for Herodias’ sake, his brother Philip’s wife.  For John said unto him, It is not lawful for thee to have her” (Matthew 14:3-4).

The Apostle Paul preached the Gospel through contention.

“But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention” (1 Thessalonians 2:2).

And God’s Word assigns this duty to every believer.

“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5:11).

“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 1:3).


Quote:  “One’s attitude toward God’s instruction determines one’s attitude toward the wicked.  Either one loves God’s instruction and wages war against wickedness, or one hates God’s instruction and praises wickedness.  There is no middle position” [12] (CSB).




[1] HSB is the Harvest Study Bible from Harvest Ministries in Guam.
[2] JFB, Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset, and David Brown, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible, vol. 1 (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997), 401.
[3] ACC – Adam Clarke.  Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible, the electronic version in eSword.
[4] EWC – David Guzik.  Enduring Word Commentary, the electronic version in eSword.
[5] Matthew Henry and Thomas Scott, Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, 1997), Pr 28:4.
[6] EWC, ibid.
[7] FSB, John D. Barry, Douglas Mangum, Derek R. Brown, et al., Faithlife Study Bible (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2016), Pr 28:4.
[8] BKC, John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck, Dallas Theological Seminary, The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 965.
[9] BKC, ibid.
[10] EWC, ibid.
[11] FSB, ibid.
[12] CSB, David K. Stabnow, “Proverbs,” in CSB Study Bible: Notes, ed. Edwin A. Blum and Trevin Wax (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2017), 996.