Blessings of a Righteous Life – Part 2

Proverbs 10:11-21

Helpful to keep in mind parallel structure of proverbs. The conditions set up in the first statement relate to conditions of second statement in manner determined by conjunction:

and – second equals or amplifies first

but – second contrasts first

in type of individual or situation described and action or result compared

For example:

verse 11

mouth of righteous <==> mouth of wicked

well of life <==> violence

verse 12

hatred <==> love

stirs up <==> covers

A. Blessings of a right heart v. 11-14

ways in which the Christian can be salt and light in the world (Matt. 5:13-16), can edify the body (Rom. 14:19)

life-giving counsel v.11

Jesus’ promise to woman at the well – John 4:13-14“a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

in contrast to the Pharisees (hypocrites) – Matt. 15:7-11 – God-honoring speech (at least it sounds that way) from a rotten heart

even though “it sounds good” or “listens easy”, wrong motivation ultimately results in wrong direction being given

the truly righteous has a right heart and counsel given comes from and points to source of genuine wisdom and life – God and his Word

peacemaking & forgiveness v.12

right heart operates on basis of love & promotes the opposite of stirring up discord or conflict

Sylvia – bring up a contentious issue, get the family members going at each other, sit back and “watch the fun”

καλύπτω – veil from the sight [of others]

not with intention of minimizing or enabling sin but for purpose of making and keeping peace

sin issue gets addressed with the individual – corrected if necessary, forgiven when possible

do all in our power to limit spillover effect of the sins of others

wisdom & discernment v.13

right heart that causes us to

seek wisdom and understanding

recognize it when we find it

reflect appropriation and “ownership” of wisdom in speech and action

wisdom expressed shows that we possess true understanding of life, godly principles, how to apply them to real-life situations

growth in knowledge v.14

right heart demonstrated by desire for more true knowledge

seeing all of the world and life from biblical perspective – a right-side-up worldview

recognizing that the better we understand and more we know of creation, the better we will know and understand God

not a substitute for His Word, but is motivation that drives many Christians in fields of science, engineering, exploration, etc.

B. Blessings of a right attitude v.15-18

wealth v.15

two ways to approach text:

practical/temporal

both circumstances are dangerous – focus on temporal conditions encourages confidence in wealth rather than God and his provision, alternatively encourages despondency for lack of resources

either way is a trap – trapped by self and self’s accomplishments/provisions leading to overconfidence, trapped by inability to provide at a preconceived level and so overcome by inertia

spiritual

the righteous finds wealth in God, spiritual treasure, actually is a strong city

the unrighteous is spiritually poverty-stricken and without change will die in their sins

work v.16

the righteous stays busy, out of trouble

honest labor is rewarded

righteous also labors for good of others as a servant of God, dependent on God

understands that

work is evidence of life, not means to life

work is not result of curse, frustration in work is

thus approaches work with good attitude – gift from God, given as means to provide for needs

correction v.17

proper navigation on water or in the air requires constant course corrections to avoid drift

righteous has right attitude toward correction

welcomes it as necessary for keeping on right path

necessary for regaining the path after straying away

submission to corrective influence of the Word, preaching, brothers & sisters key mark of the righteous

others v.18

does not hate – loves the brethren 1 John 2:10;4:7,21;5:1

is not deceptive – is transparent with the brethren

does not spread slander – is truthful, kind and gracious in speech about others

C. Blessings of right speech v.19-21

judicious silence v.19

silence prevents saying the wrong thing

encourages covering of offenses as in v.12

the more you talk, the less people listen if what you have to say is empty; better to be a person of few words to whom people listen attentively than a babbler

pure expression v.20

choice silver – pure, refined, without impurities

chosen because of its value and beauty

to the extent it represents godly principles and wisdom – is of inestimable value to others

right speech, pure expression that blesses others comes from a pure heart, worth much because of what God has graciously done in and to it

profitable speech v.21

serves to nourish, encourage & build up others

does so by guiding in right ways

Heart, attitude and speech are areas of personal life in which we struggle, sometimes greatly, to do right. As we seek to follow the path of wisdom, may God by his Word and Spirit enable us to please him in these areas.

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