Proverbs 28:5 (ESV)

5 Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the LORD understand it completely.

What is the “right” that Solomon refers to here? We can understand it as God’s sovereign right to rule over everything and everyone. It is his revealed will for our daily lives. Evildoers do not understand this “right”; they would rather follow their own ideas than submit to the will of God.

When speaking of evildoers, Solomon is not referring in the first place to pagans or to those whom the world will label as “evil.” Evildoers are found among the Israelites, the people of God. They might not voice outright disagreement with God’s Word; they might even quote it when it suits them. Yet they do not humbly submit themselves to the authority of God’s Word.

Whereas evildoers cannot understand what is right, those who seek the Lord will continue to grow in their understanding of all things. This is also Paul’s prayer for the Philippians: “That your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best” (Philippians 1:9).