Archive for February 22nd, 2019

Proverbs 19:5-8

In Proverbs 19:5-8 Solomon reminds us that truth is the standard and deviating from it will lead to bad outcomes. The idea is that of the law court, and in the court it is essential that the false witness be punished. Justice depends upon it. This principle extends beyond the court of law into our daily life. God loves the truth and wants us to speak the truth. “A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who breathes out lies will not escape.” Among our fellow man, sometimes the false witness and liars escape the discovery and penalty of their sin. With God, he who speaks lies will not escape. Jesus said our every word would be held to account.  Truth is the only acceptable response.

We again see that money draws people, but this time Solomon frames it through a generous person.  When someone is generous with what they have, many people seek their favor. There are advantages in having the favor of influential people. The key to seeking it is the motive for why you do it.  If for your own personal gain, it likely won’t go well. “Many seek the favor of a generous man, and everyone is a friend to a man who gives gifts.”  Many people who offer friendship do so out of selfish motives. They want the benefit of the favor of the nobility and the gifts that others may offer. As we learned before, these sorts of friendship only last as long as those seeking you for selfish reasons get what they want.

Money definitely impacts how people relate to one another.  Being poor often leads to rejection by men, even by brothers and friends. What a contrast to Jesus, who Himself became poor to draw near to us in our poverty and need. “All a poor man’s brothers hate him; how much more do his friends go far from him! He pursues them with words, but does not have them.” People who are poor often pursue those who have means, and doing so can drive them away. By nature, people run from the poor person, even when he tries to persuade and pursue them with words. In contrast, God pursues the poor and needy.

Solomon reminds us that loving ourselves is healthy and important.  Wisdom causes us to do that. The possession and pursuit of wisdom is so good and helpful to us that we can and should get wisdom simply out of self-interest. In so doing we love our own soul, our own life. “Whoever gets sense loves his own soul; he who keeps understanding will discover good.” Wisdom isn’t just something to get; it is also something to keep. We find goodness when keep understanding.  Seeking and finding wisdom then gives us the opportunity to hang on to it and use it to guide how we live.  That translates into good things when we walk in the way of wisdom!

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