Scriptures

Proverbs 11

Introduction

‘The LORD detests dishonest scales, but accurate weights find favour with him. When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity. Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.’ Proverbs 11:1-4

Reasonable And Right Rules For Living

There is a fundamental law in business, it’s called integrity. There are so many ways to cheat but it really pleases God when we are honest, Amos 2:6 / Amos 8:5. To be dishonourable is to be disgraceful, to be humble is the person who is a reasonable, disciplined individual. Pride is almost certainly going to lead to disaster but humility, which is the opposite of pride, has the benefit of wisdom, thus success.

The course of our life is determined by the nature of our inner self, what we are, this will determine what will happen to us. God really does not care about how much we have accumulated but He will judge us based on how we live our lives.

The reference to death here is probably referring to premature death. The point in these verses is that righteousness can deliver us from anything, Ezekiel 7:19.

‘The righteousness of the blameless makes their paths straight, but the wicked are brought down by their own wickedness. The righteousness of the upright delivers them, but the unfaithful are trapped by evil desires. Hopes placed in mortals die with them; all the promise of their power comes to nothing. The righteous person is rescued from trouble, and it falls on the wicked instead. With their mouths the godless destroy their neighbours, but through knowledge the righteous escape.’ Proverbs 11:5-9

What hope do the wicked have in the afterlife? The wicked have no hope of anything beyond the grave and the wicked receive trouble instead of blessings.

Have you ever been on the receiving end of verbal abuse? Solomon says the wicked use their mouth for verbal assassination. If we do not watch our mouth and what we say, we are godless, James 3:1-12.

The Effect Of The Righteous And The Wicked On A City

‘When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices; when the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy. Through the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, but by the mouth of the wicked it is destroyed. Whoever derides their neighbour has no sense, but the one who has understanding holds their tongue. A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret. For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers. Whoever puts up security for a stranger will surely suffer, but whoever refuses to shake hands in pledge is safe. A kind-hearted woman gains honour, but ruthless men gain only wealth. Those who are kind benefit themselves, but the cruel bring ruin on themselves.’ Proverbs 11:10-17

Unfortunately, not many people rejoice when someone’s prospers, or is there much shouts of joy when the wicked perish, in fact, it seems to be rarely true today.

Have you ever been told gossip by others? How does that make you feel? Why do people gossip in the place?

The wisdom teachers were also concerned with the influence on the community and they control themselves by not saying what they think. The trustworthy man is not a gossip, he does not speak about confidential matters, he is dependable.

When decisions are being made, those in a group are likely to be more successful. A wise man refrains from business deals with strangers.

The word, ‘violent’ could mean energetic and strong and the contrast between the gossip and the trustworthy person may be the two ways of obtaining success. Perhaps this means that ruthlessness is not the only way to be successful. In addition to verse 16, verse 17, depicts the entire story of violence and cruelty, Matthew 5:7.

The Wicked

‘A wicked person earns deceptive wages, but the one who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward. Truly the righteous attain life, but whoever pursues evil finds death. The LORD detests those whose hearts are perverse, but he delights in those whose ways are blameless. Be sure of this: The wicked will not go unpunished, but those who are righteous will go free. Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion. The desire of the righteous ends only in good, but the hope of the wicked only in wrath.’ Proverbs 11:18-23

If we ‘sow’ righteousness, we will not have a crop failure, God guarantees success! Galatians 6:8-9. The word, ‘perverse’ here means stubborn. Evil will be punished, either in this world or the next. The word, ‘discretion’ means discrimination, good taste. The wicked will have nothing else to hope for, Romans 2:8-9.

Giving Examples Of Unexpected Results

‘One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. People curse the one who hoards grain, but they pray God’s blessing on the one who is willing to sell. Whoever seeks good finds favour, but evil comes to one who searches for it. Those who trust in their riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf. Whoever brings ruin on their family will inherit only wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise. The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and the one who is wise saves lives. If the righteous receive their due on earth, how much more the ungodly and the sinner!’ Proverbs 11:24-31

These are the economic facts of life, the person who hoards will find themselves in poverty, but the one who invests, will make money, 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 / 1 Timothy 6:17.

Are you a hoarder? What things do you like to keep hold of?

Are you an investor? What kind of things or people do you invest in?

Mismanagement of money will destroy a family. Solomon says anyone who manages money their money badly, will end up serving the wise man, who is the person who knows how to handle money.

It seems to mean the wise save people from physical and spiritual disaster, James 5:20. And all will be ‘rewarded’, each person will get what they deserve.

‘If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?’ 1 Peter 4:18

Go To Proverbs 12

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart."

Psalm 37:4

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