Proverbs 11:1-7

In Proverbs 11:1-7 Solomon begins by saying “A false balance is an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is his delight.” The term abomination was reserved for terrible, horrific things. This shows just how deeply God cares about simple honesty and fairness. But the balance to abomination is offset to the same degree in that He has delight in just and fair business practices. Scripture is very clear that God resists the proud.  Solomon reinforces that here. “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.” There is great wisdom in humility because it recognizes the truth about God and the truth about self, especially in relation to others.  Humility is a foundational part of wisdom.

Along with humility, God loves integrity. “The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.” The man or woman who lives with integrity – a trustworthy life lived without shame or secrets – is recognized as upright and will have their integrity to guide them. Solomon contrasts integrity with crookedness.  He reminds us that the false and crooked ways of the unfaithful will bring those who practice them to destruction.  Some believe money can resolve all things, but that’s not God’s plan.  “Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.” We can and should use our present earthly wealth to store up treasure in heaven.

The blameless man or woman finds some rest in the confidence that God’s guiding eye is upon the righteous. “The righteousness of the blameless keeps his way straight, but the wicked falls by his own wickedness. The righteousness of the upright delivers them, but the treacherous are taken captive by their lust.” The wicked man or woman has no such confidence. God does not need to specially intervene in the fall of the wicked; he can fall by his own wickedness. The upright will have their reward. As the upright are delivered, the unfaithful will be caught – and by their own lust they will receive the penalty of their own unfaithful desires.

The wicked man often expects blessing and goodness, but that expectation will perish when they die and face the judgment that is coming to all of us. “When the wicked dies, his hope will perish, and the expectation of wealth perishes too.” Money won’t provide any cover, even though people think they can buy their way out of judgment. Hope was not made for the wicked; and yet they are the very people that most abound in it! They hope to be saved, and get at last to the kingdom of God.  But when they stand before the judgment seat, their wicked ways will cause their hope to be dashed and they will fail to reach their desire to be saved.  Wickedness crashes at judgment.

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