Proverbs 11:26-31

In Proverbs 11:26-31, Solomon talks about the grain trader who refuses to sell hoping to manipulate the market and gain a much higher price later. He understands the law of supply and demand.  But such a selfish man or woman will not only be opposed by God, but also cursed by the people. God is a remarkably generous God; selfishness comes from the fallen nature of man. “The people curse him who holds back grain, but a blessing is on the head of him who sells it.” The one who does good by providing grain and goods for sale will be blessed by the community. This proverb doesn’t refer to someone who gives away grain, but simply to someone who sells it, making it available at a fair and good price.

Charles Spurgeon thought verse 26 spoke to how we should regard financial markets and transactions: “Laws which interfere between buyer and seller, master and workman, by any form of law, are blunders and nuisances. Parliaments and princes have hung on to the antiquated absurdity of regulating prices, but the Holy Ghost does nothing of the kind. All the attempts of men to control the price of bread and wheat is sheer folly, as the history of France may well prove. The market goes best when it is left alone, and so in our text, there is no law enacted and no penalty threatened, except that which the nature of things makes inevitable. God knows political economy, whether men do or not, and leaving the coarse machinery of police regulations, he puts the offender under a form of self-acting legislature which is far more efficient.”

God honors the one who earnestly seeks good, and that one may be blessed with favor among God and men. This is especially true when the good sought is God Himself. “Whoever diligently seeks good seeks favor, but evil comes to him who searches for it.” Seeking evil will find it.  Solomon reminds us that it is only trust in God that lasts. “Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf.” The righteous man or woman does not trust in riches, but in God. This leads to a truly flourishing life. To bring trouble to one’s own family is to prepare a future full of storm and difficulty. “Whoever troubles his own household will inherit the wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise of heart.”

Because God’s blessing is on the wise God will lift up the wise of heart. The foolish man or woman should expect to end up working for the wise man or woman. A righteous life bears fruit, and it gives life to others. “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and whoever captures souls is wise.” Guzik writes “One of the greatest exercises of wisdom is to win souls to God and His kingdom. It takes wisdom to love, give, and answer those who have yet to come into God’s kingdom.

  • We use the word win in romance; to win souls, you must love them.
  • We use the word win in war; to win souls is a battle.
  • We use the word win in sports; to win souls is a competition.

We see that many times God’s righteous men and woman experience at least something of the reward of their righteousness while they are still on the earth. A righteous life is a blessed life. “If the righteous is repaid on earth, how much more the wicked and the sinner!” It is sobering to consider how much more is this true of the ungodly and the sinner. How we live matters.  God will reward us for how we live – be it with blessing if we live a life of righteousness, or with pain if we live a life of wickedness.  There is a day coming when we will all face the result of our life choices!

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