Proverbs 10:24-32

In Proverbs 10:24-32 Solomon reminds us that the wicked man or woman knows that all is not right, and that their day of accountability will come. They live in fear and these fears will one day come upon them. “What the wicked dreads will come upon him, but the desire of the righteous will be granted. When the tempest passes, the wicked is no more, but the righteous is established forever.” In contrast, the righteous man or woman also has a sense of what is to come, and is rightly filled with optimism and hope. Their godly desire will be granted and they will experience God’s blessing and righteousness. And just like the illustration used of the wise man who built his house upon the rock, the righteous man has a firm, everlasting foundation and can withstand the whirlwind and storm.

Solomon tells us that being lazy has consequences. The idea is of constant and extreme irritation, and to disappointed expectation. “Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to those who send him.”  Sounds irritating, doesn’t it?  But the one who sends a lazy man to do the work will be irritated by their laziness and lack of concern for hard work. The sense is that the lazy man irritates his managers more than himself. The sluggard can disappoint and provoke his master. So we must ensure that we are not sluggards to our heavenly Master.  God is not so willing to allow us to be sluggards in relation to His commands.

The one who fears and honors God will enjoy the blessing of a longer life. Sinful habits, guilt, and ungodly anxiety all take years from one’s life. “The fear of the Lord prolongs life, but the years of the wicked will be short. The hope of the righteous brings joy, but the expectation of the wicked will perish.” One of the many prices that the wicked man or woman must pay is a shorter time on earth because of those choices. God’s path is blessing and goodness for those who follow it. “The way of the Lord is a stronghold to the blameless, but destruction to evildoers. The righteous will never be removed, but the wicked will not dwell in the land.”

But that path leads those who do evil to destruction.  God wins the battle between good and evil.  Those who do evil will never dwell in God’s presence.  He moves them out.  God’s righteous men and women are known for the wisdom they speak. A person’s heart is often revealed by their words. “The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom, but the perverse tongue will be cut off. The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable, but the mouth of the wicked, what is perverse.” There is a sense of discernment in what the righteous say.  They know what is acceptable and pleasing to God, but the wicked have no filter and spew perverse words and hurtful language.  And they will be punished and cut off some day as a result of their poor decisions.

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