Proverbs in 365 Devotions
Proverbs 19:16 Whoever keeps the commandment keeps his life; he who despises his ways will die. 17 Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.
What Is The Commandment?
Alright, today we find Solomon speaking of the commandment in the singular… which is quite interesting i thin… and he doesn’t say whether he’s speaking of the kings command or Gods. So… whats this about?
As far as whether this refers to the kings commandment or Gods command…. we have seen over and over in Proverbs so far how the physical things Solomon speaks of points to the spiritual things of God. So there is that aspect and it should not surprise us if that is the case here. As for the commandment being in the singular. I would suppose that this implies there is an underlying commandment that supports the others… A foundational commandment on which all the others hang…
For the king it might be something related to how the integrity of his kingdom should reflect his own values. Those who keep the commandment of the king keep their life. In keeping his command singular I think would mean to keep all his commands plural.
Jesus spoke of two commandments… one rather that was supreme… In Matthew 22 a Pharisee who was a Lawyer ask him a question:
Matthew 22:36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
So to glorify God in loving him and serving him from the heart above all others is supreme… If we do that we would no doubt keep the second command as well… and all the others. Gods glory… his character, his attributes… who he is… is to be seen by us so we may worship him as the greatest treasure in the Universe. This is what God wants… and the second is like the first… that we might love our neighbor and share the glory of God with them.
Let’s make sure we get one thing right here… trying to keep commands of God by doing works does not bring us salvation. At the same time though we are not saved by works we will be judged by works. Our works...our fruit will prove God has and is doing a work in us... these are not our works but his in us.
So in that sense those who keep Gods commandment does keep their life... because Gods work in us proves we have life in him.
And only when God has made this change in our heart are we able to do what the 2nd verse in our Proverbs text says… Only when we do this with the right spirit, the right heart… quickened by the Holy Spirit.
17 Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.