1 The LORD detests dishonest scales, but accurate weights find favor with him.
2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.
3 The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.
4 Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.
5 The righteousness of the blameless makes their paths straight, but the wicked are brought down by their own wickedness.
6 The righteousness of the upright delivers them, but the unfaithful are trapped by evil desires.
7 Hopes placed in mortals die with them; all the promise of their power comes to nothing.
8 The righteous person is rescued from trouble, and it falls on the wicked instead.
9 With their mouths the godless destroy their neighbors, but through knowledge the righteous escape.
10 When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices; when the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy.
11 Through the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, but by the mouth of the wicked it is destroyed.
12 Whoever derides their neighbor has no sense, but the one who has understanding holds their tongue.
13 A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.
14 For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers.
15 Whoever puts up security for a stranger will surely suffer, but whoever refuses to shake hands in pledge is safe.
16 A kindhearted woman gains honor, but ruthless men gain only wealth.
17 Those who are kind benefit themselves, but the cruel bring ruin on themselves.
18 A wicked person earns deceptive wages, but the one who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward.
19 Truly the righteous attain life, but whoever pursues evil finds death.
20 The LORD detests those whose hearts are perverse, but he delights in those whose ways are blameless.
21 Be sure of this: The wicked will not go unpunished, but those who are righteous will go free.
22 Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.
23 The desire of the righteous ends only in good, but the hope of the wicked only in wrath.
24 One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.
25 A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.
26 People curse the one who hoards grain, but they pray God’s blessing on the one who is willing to sell.
27 Whoever seeks good finds favor, but evil comes to one who searches for it.
28 Those who trust in their riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf.
29 Whoever brings ruin on their family will inherit only wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise.
30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and the one who is wise saves lives.
31 If the righteous receive their due on earth, how much more the ungodly and the sinner!
Proverbs 11 (NIV) – Righteous…Righteous! (As in the words of Crush from Finding Nemo!)
As the title suggests I sometimes like to use movies to focus my thinking and the word righteous from Crush came to mind as I read this chapter.
So much can be gleaned from Proverbs, each chapter giving us more and more insight into the ways of wisdom, warning and guidance.
It has been a book I have continually come back to time and again throughout my life.
Chapter 11 doesn’t let up, it starts with God hating something and that something is dishonest scales. Even in the first line, we see that God cannot stand the unfairness in the way we deal with things in life, with people, with judgment calls, with our finances, but his delight is in an accurate measure. When we get the balance right in all things we do, in how we treat each other, how we make decisions and choices in life and how we use our finances, God takes delight.
I love the fact that God delights. I don’t know about you, but sometimes our concept of god can be a bit reserved, a bit more of a God who looks and frowns more than smiles. Whilst God is a God of justice we must never forget that He delights in so much of what we do, especially when we get it right!
From here onwards Proverbs 11 (as other proverbs do), talks about two paths, the right way or the wrong way, especially in the eyes of God.
Line for line there is a comparison of what God desires for us and the consequences that follow and on the other hand, the alternative which leads to destruction.
The one word that strikes me time and again as I pondered on this is ‘Righteous’ – thank you Crush!
A word we don’t tend to use in 21st century language, unless of course you are a self-righteous so and so or a turtle on the EAC!!
What does righteous mean?
Jesus, when being baptized in Matthew3:15 said that he must do so (baptized) to ‘fulfill all righteousness’
The dictionary definition tells us that it is a person of high morals, virtuous, fine and genuine, that just doesn’t cut it for me.
So in true fashion we must turn to the scriptures to find our true answer, however, instead of endless quotes from the Bible, I want to sum it up in the words of Proverbs 11 and how righteousness is described here!
Honesty, humility, wisdom, integrity, upright, blameless, knowledge (Godly), understanding, trustworthy, kind-hearted, generosity, refreshes others, blessing, seeks good.
I find these words a lot more insightful as to what the word righteous means. For me as a Christian, Husband, Father & Youth Worker, the challenge is not only to live a life of righteousness, but also to encourage others to do so.
As a father to three fun & energetic boys I think I understand why I return to Proverbs a lot. Solomon’s wisdom is given to his son and for me the most important thing is to guide my boys in the ways of righteousness, I can only pray that I do the best I can.
The wisdom given in Proverbs 31 (look forward to this one!) about a wife of noble character makes me smile, as I truly believe I have been married to her for over 16 years!!
In an age where self-righteousness in celebrity, entertainment and a craving to be centre stage, this is where my job kicks in. To o many young people are being sucked into this false world where identity is to be a popular person who can entertain a crowd. To teach that the path of righteousness is the path to follow can be so difficult to get across but with a book such as Proverbs, I continually turn young people to read this book.
We need more than ever to consider the words of those righteous ones, Christ being the champion, we need to die to self and be righteous upstanding people that God can call – “Good and faithful servant”
Gary is a husband to Katie, father to 3 boys, Josh, Toby & Joel and Youth Work Director of Billericay Baptist Church.
I have a love/hate relationship with Tottenham Hotspur and am interested in motor racing and Bonsai…oh yeah, we also have a small back garden farm of chickens and quail! Follow Gary on Twitter @RevBott. He occasionally blogs at “Talkngoutof yourbott’s” – http://talkingoutofyourbott.wordpress.com/