Monday, June 19, 2017

Counseled By The King: The Proverbs Of Solomon. Day 26, Wisdom Blesses Those Around Us

Today Solomon talks about some ways our wisdom blesses us personally, but he also points out that our wisdom blesses those around us. It blesses our neighborhood, our community, and even our nation.

First, as he often does, Solomon mentions money and counsels us that wisdom is more use to us personally than wealth, "Wealth is worthless on the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death." (Proverbs 11:4) He knows that money can't buy us peace with God. He also knows money can't buy us peace with ourselves. He spent a good portion of his life living in sin, then he fell deeply into clinical depression. Money was no use to him in either of these situations, so he says, "Wealth will be no use to you when you stand before God in the judgment. He is a righteous Judge who cannot be bribed. He isn't impressed with your status or your bank accounts or your stock portfolio. God looks only on the heart. It's no use being wealthy by worldly standards if you are destitute by spiritual standards."

"The righteousness of the upright delivers them, but the unfaithful are trapped by evil desires." (Proverbs 11:6) Our faith will testify either for us or against us. The righteous are saved by faith, while those who lack it will have nothing to say for themselves at the judgment.

"Hopes placed in mortals dies with them; all the promise of their power comes to nothing." (Proverbs 11:7) If we are trusting in a religious leader or a political leader to turn the world around, our faith is misplaced. David once said to the Lord in troubled times, "Give us aid against the enemy, for human help is worthless. With God we will gain the victory, and trample down our enemies." (Psalm 108:12-13) The Lord is the only one who will ever bring peace on the earth. He's the only one who can ever bring peace to our hearts.

"The righteous person is rescued from trouble, and it falls on the wicked instead." (Proverbs 11:8) Solomon isn't saying that life is always going to be smooth sailing for the righteous. He's not promising there will never be stormy skies. He's speaking more on eternal terms. The righteous will never have to fear what the wicked fear. The wrath of God will pass over the righteous in the same way the death angel passed over the children of Israel in the book of Exodus. The plague did not strike anyone in the houses where the blood of the lamb was painted on the doorposts. In the coming judgment the Lord will see the blood of the Lamb on those of us who are in Christ and He will say the same thing to us that He said to the children of Israel the night before the Exodus, "When I see the blood, I will pass over you." (Exodus 12:13)

Now Solomon moves from the subject of how godly wisdom helps us personally and speaks of how it blesses those around us. "With their mouths the godless destroy their neighbors, but through knowledge the righteous escape." (Proverbs 11:9) The godly person is a good neighbor. He can be trusted to keep peace in the neighborhood. But the wicked person slanders the reputation of his neighbor and keeps trouble stirred up.

"When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices; when the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy." (Proverbs 11:10) A person who does good to others while he is poor will likely continue to do good to others if he becomes wealthy. A person who is dependable and trustworthy in a low position can be counted on to be dependable and trustworthy in a high position. A community can rejoice for an honest, hard-working person when he gets ahead. But a community mourns when a wicked and cruel person gets ahead; it's only when the wicked person perishes and is no more that the people around him can breathe a sigh of relief.

"Through the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, but by the mouth of the wicked it is destroyed." (Proverbs 11:11) A person with godly wisdom possesses good leadership skills. Decisions will be made thoughtfully and carefully according to what is best for the city. But the wicked will make poor decisions and the citizens will suffer.

"Whoever derides their neighbor has no sense, but the one who has understanding holds their tongue." (Proverbs 11:12) We may not always like everyone we have to deal with, but we don't have to make the situation worse by keeping conflict going.

"A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret." (Proverbs 11:13) Has anyone you thought was a close friend ever betrayed a confidence? It's happened to me. I once shared some very upsetting news with someone I had every reason to believe I could trust only to have her spread the story to every mutual friend and acquaintance we had. It was shocking. I felt hurt and angry, but one thing it taught me was that I don't want to be that type of person. Something is not right with us spiritually if we take enjoyment in betraying a confidence. We need to get down on our knees and repent before God if friendship is far less important to us than the temporary attention we will gain while we spread tales around the community.

"For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers." (Proverbs 11:14) We should never think we know it all. A foolish person will make reckless decisions, believing he knows what's best and that he has no need to consult with anyone else. A wise person will look at the problem from all angles and will ask for advice. If we are ever placed in a position of leadership we will need people around us whose strengths make up for our weaknesses. We will need people who have experience in areas where we lack it. The only person who ever lived who didn't need to ask the advice of his fellow man was the Lord Jesus. The rest of us need a little help from our godly friends.

No comments:

Post a Comment