There is often a misconception that the righteous necessarily suffer in this world while evil and wicked men flourish. This is not so. It is good to pause and reflect that living righteously according to the Lord’s instruction also carries much blessing for the current life and not just for eternal life after we die. It is no guarantee for an easy life… that is not guaranteed for any. Quite the opposite. Trials and struggles are promised in this life. But how we navigate these challenges and our attitudes and values for what is important have much influence on whether we experience life with joy and peace or constant striving and struggle. In fact, attitude and values are a much better indicator of someone who will do well in life than just simply possession of wealth. Those who are filled with greed never have enough, never cease striving and find contentment and peace and joy.
It is far better for us to walk in righteousness than to have great monetary treasure.
Contrast the Upright and the Wicked
1A false balance is an abomination to the LORD,
But a just weight is His delight.
2When pride comes, then comes dishonor,
But with the humble is wisdom.
3The integrity of the upright will guide them,
But the crookedness of the treacherous will destroy them.
4Riches do not profit in the day of wrath,
But righteousness delivers from death.
5The righteousness of the blameless will smooth his way,
But the wicked will fall by his own wickedness.
6The righteousness of the upright will deliver them,
But the treacherous will be caught by their own greed.
7When a wicked man dies, his expectation will perish,
And the hope of strong men perishes.
8The righteous is delivered from trouble,
But the wicked takes his place.
9With his mouth the godless man destroys his neighbor,
But through knowledge the righteous will be delivered.
10When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices,
And when the wicked perish, there is joyful shouting.
11By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted,
But by the mouth of the wicked it is torn down.
12He who despises his neighbor lacks sense,
But a man of understanding keeps silent.
13He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets,
But he who is trustworthy conceals a matter.
14Where there is no guidance the people fall,
But in abundance of counselors there is victory.
15He who is guarantor for a stranger will surely suffer for it,
But he who hates being a guarantor is secure.
16A gracious woman attains honor,
And ruthless men attain riches.
17The merciful man does himself good,
But the cruel man does himself harm.
18The wicked earns deceptive wages,
But he who sows righteousness gets a true reward.
19He who is steadfast in righteousness will attain to life,
And he who pursues evil will bring about his own death.
20The perverse in heart are an abomination to the LORD,
But the blameless in their walk are His delight.
21Assuredly, the evil man will not go unpunished,
But the descendants of the righteous will be delivered.
22As a ring of gold in a swine’s snout
So is a beautiful woman who lacks discretion.
23The desire of the righteous is only good,
But the expectation of the wicked is wrath.
24There is one who scatters, and yet increases all the more,
And there is one who withholds what is justly due, and yet it results only in want.
25The generous man will be prosperous,
And he who waters will himself be watered.
26He who withholds grain, the people will curse him,
But blessing will be on the head of him who sells it.
27He who diligently seeks good seeks favor,
But he who seeks evil, evil will come to him.
28He who trusts in his riches will fall,
But the righteous will flourish like the green leaf.
29He who troubles his own house will inherit wind,
And the foolish will be servant to the wisehearted.
30The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
And he who is wise wins souls.
31If the righteous will be rewarded in the earth,
How much more the wicked and the sinner!
Read slowly and digest each verse for its full meaning and applicability to your life. Reread it once or twice. Pray for insight from the Spirit. Which path will you choose… righteousness or worldliness and wickedness? How will you let this validate your life choices or lead you to change some?
Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.