Transgression as Idolatry

When a land transgresses, it has many rulers,
    but with a man of understanding and knowledge,
    its stability will long continue.

Proverbs 28:2 ESV

Today, let’s do something a little different, and outline, unpack, and apply Proverbs 28:2.

When a land transgresses,…

What is transgression? Transgression is sin, or leaving the bounds of right relationship with God. It is idolatry because it flows from our hearts being satisfied with things far below God (Psalm 16:11).

…it has many rulers,…

What’s wrong with many rulers? When we transgress the bounds of our devotion and relationship with God, we submit to the rule of the false gods (idols) that we pursue. However, rather than serving a God who is One (Deuteronomy 6:4-6) and unchanging, we are ruled by many gods unified in chaos and destruction.

Their rule will always result in strife, enmity, and the degradation of relationships.

What’s so bad about idolatry? Transgression is idolatry, and as we can see, idolatry is tyranny—or being ruled by a really, really bad king(s).

This is because it puts us under the strangle hold of spiritual oppression which keeps us locked up in chains, instead of free as Jesus wants us (John 8:32).

…but with a man of understanding and knowledge, its stability will long continue.

What does it look like to have understanding and knowledge? The picture of transgression is contrasted with the man (or people) of understanding and knowledge. The combination of the two can and should be understood as wisdom; which begins with the fear of the One true God (Proverbs 1:7; 9:10), and the pursuit of him alone.

Is there chaos in your life? Is there destruction, strife, or enmity? Trace the areas of struggle and strain back to the roots of idolatry, repent, and know peace.

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