Proverbs in 365 Devotions
Proverbs 16:5 Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished. 6 By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for, and by the fear of the Lord one turns away from evil. 7 When a man’s ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
Steadfast Love And Faithfulness
Alright well, this verse reminds me of the last four words in chapter 15: “humility comes before honor”. As we talked about in that devotion, humility is needed to gain wisdom… If we are going to have an ear for this kind of reproof from the Lord which is given with great love and if we will acknowledge when we are in the wrong it’s going to take humility on our part for sure.
Solomon speaks of the arrogant in heart as being an abomination to the Lord. You may remember that throughout chapter 15 we learned about the connection between the heart and all of our actions… they are synced together. Our heart always finds a way to betray itself in our body. That goes for the wicked person who’s heart has not been transformed (Solomon says they will not go unpunished).
6 By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for, and by the fear of the Lord one turns away from evil.
Of course there is only one who has and who could have atoned for our sin. It would take a sinless person to do that… they would have to willingly take the wages of our sin… That is Jesus, and his atonement is applied to all who believe in him. Verse 6 speaks of steadfast love and faithfulness as a way to atone for our sin… Again, only Jesus has a perfect unfailing love; only he is 100% faithful… the world lies, we fail… everyone fall short of the glory of God… And the sinless righteousness of Jesus is given to all who delight in him.
Solomon speaks of turning away from evil. This is called repentance. In Mark 1:15 Jesus himself said: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
The atonement for our sins was provided by Jesus with his death on the Cross and as he defeated the hold sin had over all people… its penalty, its wages due, its sentence. he gives all who believe this same power over sins hold in death for victory over sins power in life. This is the Gospel Jesus commands us to find our delight in and share with others.
7 When a man’s ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
What pleases the Lord?
Letting God have mercy on us so our heart is changed. In this way it is Gods love and his faithfulness and his goodness… all these things in this verse applied to us and also at work in us and that's how we please the Lord. Its his work in us so he gets the glory.
Finally in verse 7 Solomon says:
he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
This verse may seem a little difficult… But it is likely something Solomon witnessed and even experienced in his life so there is a hidden truth in it.
Speaking of Solomon 1st Kings 4:24 says: …And he had peace on all sides around him.
On the other side of that, things come to mind like how Jesus enemies killed him… and so many of the disciples were martyrs and early Christians tortured and killed by Nero and even today Christian persecution is harsh and widespread.
So, how might we approach this text?
It seems to direct my thoughts to two powerful enemies.
Before we come to Christ, death was our enemy right? I mean people don't want to think about it and dread it… Most people don’t want to die… That’s one enemy; but before we came to Christ we had another enemy and that is the Lord.
Romans 5:10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.
As believers we are no longer Gods enemies… and no longer do we fear death…
1st Corinthians 15:26 says: The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
In Philippians 1 the Apostle Paul said this:
Philippians 1:21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. … 23 I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. 24 But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.
1st Corinthians 15:55 “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.