Proverbs 28:4 Dissected & Defined
They that forsake (depart from) the law (rule of conduct) praise (commend) the wicked: but such as keep (obey) the law contend (strive against) with them.
With the Law, man conformed his life on the outside. He did this through a set of rules, steps, and boundaries. The list was so long that one had to be reminded of the different rules lest he gains a freedom that would soon be abused.
In order to get the people to accept this outward conformity, they enacted harsh and oftentimes deadly punishment on those who violated this rule of law. These Laws were given to God’s chosen people but were not placed upon other people groups. Yet, these people groups would at times interact with God’s people. Thus, it was important that their rules of conduct be followed, lest God look bad and the wicked look good. On the other hand, if they stayed within their Mosaic boundaries, they would challenge mankind to conform to an image of godliness on the outside. And it worked! As nomad people groups banded and built nations, they would take parts and portions of God’s Law and enact it on their people. As a result, our barbaric cultures became civilized. All from a set of God’s rules.
The Law Etched In Our Hearts
But today, those rules have been etched on our heart. They should not need to be enforced on us from outside authorities. And when they are, no one is drawn to our good behavior; they rebel against it.
However, with Him IN you (“on your heart”), as you submit to Him internally, He flows from you externally. Then, He is lifted up. And when [He] is lifted up, [He] draws [all to] Him.” That’s a pretty good plan.