By Pastor Brian
You don’t get too far into this chapter before you run into a very disturbing verse:
“God detests the prayers of a person who ignores the law.” Proverbs 28:9 (NLT)
Doesn’t that run counter to all those nice, feel-good things we say about God? Doesn’t God hear every prayer and always answer us when we call? How can God “detest” our prayers?
One of the things being a parent has taught me is that I was not nearly as good of a liar as I thought I was when I was a little kid. What I thought was a perfectly good excuse would not stand up under the evidence of the chocolate on my face and hands when mom or dad tried to figure out who had gotten into the cookies! As I kid I thought my parents were world-class detectives. As an adult I realize that 4 year-olds are just really bad at lying.
I think God sees me like my parents saw the 4 year-old me with chocolate streaked hands. Try as I might to insist on my innocence, my guilt and greed is all too obvious to Him. This is what God detests! My dishonest and hypocritical prayers for blessing while I deny my own sin!
When I was in college I had a professor who assigned a reading report based on the honor system. I quickly realized that I would not need to make time for all that reading, I could simply sign the paper saying I did it all!
A few weeks after turning in the “overly optimistic evaluation of my actual class reading” (that’s fancy for “a big fat lie”) I was praying and asking God to bless me and my future decisions. As clearly as I have ever heard God speak, He said “No! I don’t bless liars!” I knew immediately He was talking about that reading report. I couldn’t ignore God’s law and still expect His favor and blessing!
So how do we find God’s favor and blessing? We don’t have to read too much further in Proverbs 28 before we find the answer!
“People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.” Proverbs 28:13 (NLT)
If we confess our sins and turn from them we will receive mercy! Don’t try to hide your sins from God! (Turns out you aren’t very good at hiding them anyway.) Just like a parent isn’t impressed with a child’s obviously false claims at innocence, God isn’t impressed with our arrogant demands for blessings in spite of our sin and rebellion. Be honest with God and turn from your sins. Find that His mercy and blessing are new every morning just as He promised!