Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, but those who keep the law struggle against them. Proverbs 28:4
The Hebrew word for law is Torah, and keeping Torah is nothing short of remaining in right relationship with the God of creation. The God of creation demands that we recognize wickedness and fight against it. This struggle identifies us as God’s people. This struggle ultimately keeps us in intimate relationship with our God.
Prayer - God of justice and of mercy, help me this day to recognize wickedness and to struggle against it. May your righteousness light my way. Amen.
Written by Stacy Ikard, Senior Associate Pastor at WHPC
The evil do not understand justice, but those who seek the Lord understand it completely. Proverbs 28:5
I am passionate about social justice, but I can’t tell you that I understand it completely. I would like to do better when it comes to justice, both in my understanding and in my actions.
The key to justice, it would seem, is to seek God. Or as Jesus said, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matt. 6:33 KJV).
It’s worth considering, when we strive for justice, whether we have God or the kingdom in mind. In the kingdom of God, the poor in spirit and the persecuted belong (Matt. 5:3, 10). In the kingdom of God, little acts of love and nurturance make a big difference (Matt. 13:31–33). In the kingdom of God, everyone has enough to eat and more to spare (Matt. 14:13–21). Is our pursuit of justice so inclusive, so personal, so relevant, or so abundant as that?
Prayer - Holy One, whenever we speak of justice, may we speak not about human things, but about divine things. May our concern be for your kingdom, where the lowly are lifted up and the hungry are filled, today and always. Amen.
Written by Claire Berry, Associate Pastor at WHPC
Better to be poor and walk in integrity than to be crooked in one’s ways even though rich. Proverbs 28:6
I love to go on walks. It refreshes me, gives me time to reflect on my day, and I know it is good for my health. Consider what it would be like to approach how we handle our money like a walk. Does our use of it bring refreshment? Do we take time to reflect on if we are being good stewards of our resources? Are we using it to ensure the health and well-being of others? Things and money are so alluring and can easily be a distraction to our life. May we focus on investing in our relationship with Jesus today.
Prayer - Creator God, you own all that I have, all that I make, all that I save. Help me to be the best steward of these gifts and then to let my focus be on how to become more like your son Jesus, in whose name I pray. Amen.
Written by Emily Wright, Senior Pastor at WHPC
Whoever leads the upright along an evil path will fall into their own trap, but the blameless will receive a good inheritance. Proverbs 28:10
Believers can be led astray by others, which comes as no surprise. The Apostle Paul warned the Corinthians (1 Cor. 15:33), “Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character,” and to the Galatians (1:6–7), “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel.” Our spiritual path can be easily twisted in the wrong direction by others, especially by those that “tickle our ears” with new ideas. We can inoculate ourselves to a degree by developing close/intimate relationships with other believers. Christian community can swell up like a spiritual vaccine to protect us from the seductive and often destructive influences of the world. Even as we zig-zag along our spiritual journey, we have as our assurance as followers of Jesus, our inheritance into the kingdom of God guaranteed and sealed by the Holy Spirit that lives in us (Eph. 1:13–14).
Prayer - Dear Lord, protect us from worldly influences that can lead us astray. And as you have taught us to pray, “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” It is in the Holy name of Jesus that we pray. Amen.
Written by Isaac Sanchez, Elder at WHPC
When the righteous triumph, there is great glory, but when the wicked prevail, people go into hiding. Proverbs 28:12
Righteousness and wickedness. Freedom and captivity. That is often the battle found in the proverbs. When righteousness and justice prevail in our society and in our hearts, glory is given by God. When wickedness rises up, it is easy to blame everyone and everything around us and go into hiding. It may not be the easiest thing to do, but we must trust that the righteousness of Christ has and will continue to triumph! By seeking and participating in righteousness and justice today, we can truly bring the glory to God that is deserved.
Prayer - Just and Loving One, push me to seek the righteousness and justice so that I may be bring you glory. In Jesus powerful name, Amen.
Written by Spencer Blacklock, Director - Middle School Ministry at WHPC