Thursday, July 28, 2011

31 DAYS TO A WISER YOU: Proverbs Chapter 28

Prison Cell by Aapo Haapanen
This is part of a series, studying the book of Proverbs during the month of July, 2011. For more details click here.

While I was in college eons ago, I studied under a professor who had a profound effect on my maturing and developing not only into a candidate for the police academy (the school, not the movie) but also as a young man.  Darrell Pope ("The Pope" as we lovingly called him) created and developed the criminal justice program at my school, and he was one of the most beloved instructors on campus.  Everyone knew who he was, and what he stood for, regardless of whose toes he might be stepping on in the process.  But his priorities were always (1) God, (2) Family, then (3) Profession.

After a stint in the US Air Force during the Korean War, Pope joined the Michigan State Police, where he quickly became a leading authority on criminal behavior, especially sex crimes and crimes against children.  His research, which covered 38,000 sexual assault cases in the great state of Michigan between the years 1956-1979, revealed that 41% of the offenders viewed porn just before or during the crime.  And some people say porn is harmless....

One of the most astute things I remember from him (and trust me - there's tons of material from this zany, tender-hearted man) was this -

If you want to determine whether a person is guilty or not, lock them up all by themselves in an isolated cell.  Do they quickly fall asleep, or are they going crazy with worry and fear?  If they are guilty of the crime, this might be the first moment of peace and quiet in their minds for a while, and the shut eye is long overdue.  If they aren't guilty, how do they rest knowing they have been accused of a crime they didn't commit? Our conscience has an amazing amount of control over our bodies, even if we're doing all we can to ignore it.

Verses 17 and 18 line up with what The Pope was teaching.  I think of Judas Iscariot, who after betraying Jesus, goes and commits suicide, unable to deal with the reality of his actions.  Our actions have consequences far reaching beyond that initial moment.

As The Pope would always wrap up each class, "Remember - Be Careful Out There!"        

Key Verses For Me
Proverbs 28:17-18  - A murderer's tormented conscience will drive him into the grave. Don't protect him!  The blameless will be rescued from harm, but the crooked will be suddenly destroyed.  

Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do. - Voltaire

Related Scriptures
Jude 1:17-19 - But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold.  They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.”  These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.

Dear Jesus, thank You for Your forgiveness from my sins.  Please help me keep my priorities straight in this world that's so full of distractions.  Protect me from evil, so that I can share Your love, goodness, and salvation with others.     

So what verse(s) stick out to you and why? 


  1. Verse 9 "If anyone turns a deaf ear to the law, even his prayers are detestable."
    Not conforming to God's law is a sin. A small sin is just as large as a big one and God judges both equally. We can confess our sins daily thinking God will forgive us, but unless we conform to our confession He will not forgive. Praying for the same sin everyday does not free you from it, but keeps you in it. Lord, I come to you today asking forgiveness for all of my transgressions in order to receive your mercy and find me worthy to be in your presence.

  2. Verse 25 is a great one!

    Greed causes fighting; trusting the Lord leads to prosperity.

    Why are we never satisfied? It's like we are shooting ourselves in the foot by wanting more and more and more. But possessions have nothing to do with being prosperous.

  3. Thanks for the insight. The Pope's priorities are on my fridge. God, Family, Profession.