Proverbs 28:4 (ESV)

4 Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, but those who keep the law strive against them.

The Hebrew word that is here translated as “instruction” is torah. This word indicates God’s law or God’s Word, as we find it today in both the Old and the New Testament. Those who depart from God’s Word become like pagans who, “[a]lthough they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them” (Romans 1:32; own emphasis).

On the other hand, those who heed God’s Word are deeply troubled by the sins of the wicked. This is expressed time and again in the Psalms. “Streams of tears flow from my eyes, for your law is not obeyed,” says the writer of Psalm 119:36. In the midst of our sadness about the sins of the wicked, we have this comfort: the Judge of the earth will come soon.