Treasures gained by wickedness do not profit, but righteousness delivers from death. Why would someone seek wealth via wicked deeds or thinking? Because there is no real belief there will be a day of reckoning. While the thinking of great profit awaits, many hope, actually, it is the righteous who receive wealth, a wealth that is not of this world – which is of greater value. If the wicked thought as the righteous, the wicked would no longer be wicked, but righteous. Seems to be a truism; we also see another truism: the wicked far outnumber the righteous. The Lord’s way of educating the mind has a way of changing hearts that have no desire to live by this world’s standards, but those hearts need to want a wealth that is not of this world. RT
“But the path of the righteous is like the bright morning light, growing brighter and brighter until full day.”
This chapter on wisdom contrasts the way of the wicked and that of the righteous. Wisdom must be valued and pursued vigorously.
How does this verse speak to the righteous who find themselves under duress?
“Carefully guard your thoughts because they are the source of true life.”
Proverbs 4.23 CEV
The heart refers to the inner man, mind, motives, decisions. It’s where everything starts.
How are you guarding your thoughts? What can we do to protect the mind?
Oh, that was alliteration overload.
The world and many in Christ are stupid. So says Prov 2.1-5. When our people can sing worldly lyrics all day long, but have trouble coming up with one or two verses by memory, according to Solomon, they are stupid.
My child, if you receive my words,
and store up my commands within you,
by making your ear attentive to wisdom,
and by turning your heart to understanding,
indeed, if you call out for discernment—
raise your voice for understanding—
if you seek it like silver,
and search for it like hidden treasure,
then you will understand how to fear the Lord,
and you will discover knowledge about God.
Do you see this happening among us? With some, yes. With many others, it is not. These are seeking other things, and it shows.
Don’t be stupid. Make a scene and get wisdom. Be a mental hoarder of the word of God. Be obvious about knowing Christ. Make fearing the Lord your absolute and only priority.
Only by doing all of this will we get a handle on what it means to be a Christian.
One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is reckless and careless. (Proverbs 14:16, ESV). Paul wrote to the Corinthians that the wise know the schemes or plans of man’s adversary (Satan; 2 Cor. 2:11). It is not because the wise servant of the Lord was privileged to set in the counsel of those who plan evil, but because the Lord’s servant is able to “smell a rat” afar off. Once the odor gets closer the plans of those who are evil becomes more exposed. On the other hand, those who have given little to no attention to the Lord’s way become reckless, careless, and trapped. In their self-confidence they step into a hole not seen.
Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-29:27 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. Proverbs 30-31 were added and preserved by the Holy Spirit. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.
Proverbs 31:8-9: “Open your mouth for the speechless, In the cause of all who are appointed to die. 9 Open your mouth, judge righteously, And plead the cause of the poor and needy.”
Step up and speak up for those who are less fortunate, specifically those who have: no voice, no parent, no justice, or no necessities of life. It is emphatic and an action of mercy to help the helpless. All leaders of government should admit that: “Mercy and truth preserve the king, And by lovingkindness he upholds his throne” (Proverbs 20:28). God has always required this of His people: “You shall do no injustice in judgment. You shall not be partial to the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty. In righteousness you shall judge your neighbor” (Leviticus 19:15); “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil, Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow” (Isaiah 1:16-17); “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world” (James 1:27).
The “speechless” are those who have no voice or ability to defend themselves. They are easily victimized by all who would misrepresent their case;
Those “appointed to die” are people without possessions or permanence. According to the Hebrew expression, these may be strangers just passing through or orphans who cannot support themselves. God is mindful of such and required this of Israelites (Deuteronomy 10:17-19). Solomon wisely ruled: “Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor Will also cry himself and not be heard” (Proverbs 21:13). Never was this clearer than when Israelites were taken from their Promised Land because: “The people of the land have used oppressions, committed robbery, and mistreated the poor and needy; and they wrongfully oppress the stranger” (Ezekiel 22:29);
“Judge righteously” should be the outcry of all of God’s people. All judges and legal personnel should hear this command. Jesus has said: “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment” (John 7:24), for “in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God” (Romans 2:5);
“Plead the cause of the poor and needy,” for they cannot afford their own defense. The “poor and needy” are NOT those who demand their “right” to have the same possessions as those who have worked for what they have! The essentials of food and clothing are NOT in the same category as video games, big screen TV’s, cable, Internet, cars, or brand-name clothes!
No nation or people will stand when citizens have little or no recourse for their grievances!
All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.