Proverbs in 365 Devotions
Proverbs 28:18 Whoever walks in integrity will be delivered, but he who is crooked in his ways will suddenly fall. 19 Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits will have plenty of poverty.
Alright, beginning with the first verse we read… 18…. lets start with the second phrase… it says how the crooked “will suddenly fall”. For them to fall suddenly seems to indicate to me that there may be at least a season before that when the crooked might appear to be successful. I think we do see the wicked appearing successful often times in life. And that seems to trip up some people in their faith… It plants a seed of doubt.
In Psalm 73, the writer Asaph saw this and it bothered him. Verse 3 says: "For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked".
Check it out to find out Asaph’s conclusion on this… On second thought no cliff hangers here… Asaph agrees with Solomon; the crooked will suddenly fall. Still worth the read as Asaph gives us some context and helpful insights to the wicked and righteous in a broken world.
Also, Psalm 37 is a must needs psalm in this genre; it’s a psalm of David and the whole chapter deals with this topic… It’s likely just what you need if you have been struggling in business or sickness in this broken world or if you’ve been taken advantage of by evil and don’t understand why God has not stepped in yet. It starts out like this:
1 Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers!
Maybe that will wet your appetite to give it a read.
Well, we should get back to our proverbs text…
So, we’ve looked at how Solomon's tells us that those who walk in crookedness will suddenly fall. On the other side he says how those who walk in integrity will be delivered. We’ll look more at that in a minute.
Next in verse 19 (this is interesting) he plays off the word “plenty”. It says:
“Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits will have plenty of poverty.”
So these are surly the same men he has been telling us about in this chapter and mostly throughout the book. We have been looking at various attributes and characteristics of the “righteous” man… That is… one who has a heart for God and so Gods righteousness works out of his life as he grows ppractically in that righteousness. And then there is the wicked man with various characteristics and attributes.
Verse 19 speaks of the first man… this one who has a heart for God and righteousness… He is the man of integrity in verse 18… he is not lazy… he diligently works hard and has plenty of bread. It is worth noting that this same righteousness from God also works in him to love his neighbor and be generous to the poor and a ton of other godly traits.
But the other man without a heart for God… who in this sub genre of wickedness is lazy to the things of God that have to do with working for a living and providing for his family… This man who wants to live off of the income of others with no accountability… Solomon says that they too will have plenty… but not plenty of bread but plenty of poverty instead.
So in these two verses we see two examples of a wicked man.
One seems to be successful for a time so he is likely not a lazy man… and he will suddenly fall… It may be here on earth… That happens often… Solomon must have saw this back then and we see it today… it may be not come until death… But one thing is for sure… even if God waits until judgment day for the ultimate fall… it will happen.
The other wicked man was different in that he was lazy. It is logical to assume that he too may have seemed to have it good for a while as he lived off of the blessings of others around him or even the government system in place. A righteous government encourages work for those who are able and it does not enable the lazy to remain as unproductive citizens. I suppose in Solomon's kingdom it was like this… the lazy had plenty of poverty.
The physical and spiritual application of today's verses are clear I think. Walk in integrity and not crookedness; be diligent in your work and not lazy… there are consequences for how we live our life both now and for eternity.
In eternity because truly good works which are motivate by the Holy Spirit in our life are evidence that God has worked his righteousness out through our life.
Spiritually I think our passage speaks loudest in the first phrase.
18 Whoever walks in integrity will be delivered,…
Integrity is a heart thing. It has to do with good character and righteousness but it is foreign to fallen mankind. It can only be received as a gift from the only one who is righteous… that is God and it comes through his son Jesus; the righteous God man.
If you delight in Jesus… the only one who came and lived a righteous life; who died a wicked sinners death… the death we deserve… If you believe in this one who then defeated the hold sin had through the law’s sentence of death… by rising from the grave… If your hope is in him… God will give you 100% of Jesus righteousness and begin working out righteousness and integrity through your life practically… and raise you up for eternity to be with him… all because of Jesus.
I hope we both… you and I…. that we might walk in his integrity and share his love and have a great day in the Lord today.