Proverbs 11:19-25

In Proverbs 11:19-25 Solomon continues his contrast of good and evil. “Whoever is steadfast in righteousness will live, but he who pursues evil will die.” The path of righteousness is a path to life. The way of evil is also a path, and it leads to death. Many people sacrifice a lot in their pursuit of the evil way, but their only reward is the destination of death. When we are evil, or have a crooked heart, we are willing participants and perpetrators of sin.  Sin always carries a strong outcome and puts us in opposition to the Lord.  But when we walk in His ways, we can actually delight God.  We have been forgiven and are righteous because of Him. “Those of crooked heart are an abomination to the Lord, but those of blameless ways are his delight.”

There is no getting away with anything evil.  God doesn’t miss a thing. “Be assured, an evil person will not go unpunished, but the offspring of the righteous will be delivered.” God’s blessing will be upon His righteous ones, and upon their descendants. Solomon then used a humorous and absurd word picture. No one would think of putting a ring of gold in a swine’s snout; the ornament doesn’t match the thing adorned. “Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman without discretion.” Ross explained it this way: “The word is literally ‘taste’; this can mean physical taste, intellectual discretion, or ethical judgment. Here the description is probably of a woman with no moral sensibility, no propriety—unchaste.”

The good character of a righteous man or woman is reflected in their desires. They desire that which is good. “The desire of the righteous ends only in good; the expectation of the wicked in wrath.” The good desires of the righteous will be fulfilled, and that which is due to the wicked will come to them. Solomon touches on the principle of giving with his next comparison. “One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.” God has promised to bless the generous soul and will do so with riches in this world, the next, or both. The tighter we try and hold on to our time, treasure and talent, the less likely we will be to receive God’s blessing.

Solomon gives us a word picture of sharing what we have in his next comparison.  “Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.” When we give, God knows how to give unto us. We can’t water others without being watered ourselves. We are never the loser for our God-guided generosity. Jesus told us that it is more blessed to give than to receive. Everything we have increases as we share it.  The more we give, the more we are expanded by God’s blessing. Every spiritual gift, our eternal grace, it is all increased by exercise, while its efficiency will decline with neglect.

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