Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wisdom Wednesday: Some Thoughts on Righteous

Hey gang!

Tomorrow, we’ll continue on in the forgiveness series with part four. It will talk about how forgiving yourself is needed after you mess up. All of us mess up. It’s unavoidable in this body. But for Wisdom Wednesday, we are going to talk about being righteous, our best attempt not to mess up in the first place. Proverbs alone mentions righteousness 64 times in the New International Version. Today, we’ll look at some words from Solomon on being righteous.

The first stand alone verse is Proverbs 3:33. “The Lord’s curse is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the home of the righteous.” You’ve seen this picture before. All the neighborhood kids standing in the street huddled up looking at the house of the old cranky lady or mean man that just yells when the ball rolls into the yard. Sometimes if we just listen to our kids, we can know what is evil.

Proverbs 4:18, “The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.” This might be one of Solomon’s most beautiful word pictures. If you’ve ever watched the sun come up before a day’s work, you just know it’s going to be a good day when you see that rising sun. It’s even better when you meet a new person and you know that they are following God. You can’t wait to get around them just to see how great the day is going to be.

Proverbs 9:9, “Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning.” Righteous people are always smart people. They think out the world around them.

I’ve always thought this one was a funny one. Proverbs 10:3 says, “The Lord does not let the righteous go hungry but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.” As a diabetic, I often have the itch for something sweet, a lot of times that I don’t need it. I find it amazing that when I want a Peanut Buster Parfait from the Dairy Queen across town that I am always broke or without a car.

Proverbs 10:7, “The memory of the righteous will be a blessing, but the name of the wicked will not.” All of us know people that we love to be around. We also know people that are a pain that we’d rather live without.

Proverbs 10:21 tells us, “The lips of the righteous nourish many, but fools die for the lack of judgment.” I’ve always found this an interesting proverb. I think of scary movies when I come to the second half of the verse. Comedian Eddie Murphy once made a great observation about a haunted house. “Why are people so stupid? If a ghost told me ‘Get out!’, I’d be like, ‘Baby it’s a beautiful place, too bad we can’t stay.’ I’d get out!”

“The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom, but a perverse tongue will be cut out,” says Proverbs 10:31. There is a law for that in some middle Eastern countries. Imagine how many politicians would be out a tongue if that happened in America.

I think we forget that justice will be served when it isn’t served immediately. Proverbs 11:21 tells us, “Be sure of this: The wicked will not go unpunished, but those who are righteous will go free.” This might explain our fascination with crime dramas. We love to see how justice is figured out.

I heard Dave Ramsey quote Proverbs 11:28 the other night, “Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf.” In this crazy financial time, Dave even gave advice against buying gold right now. He said, “Gold has not been the commerce of choice since the Roman Empire.” Very interesting since most of us are told that we ought to stock up when we feel the end is near.

I’ll close this piece with the next to last verse of Proverbs 11. Verse 30 tells us, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise.” I hope that you’re a tree filled with apples. Keep winning souls for the end could be at any time.

I love you guys!
Frank

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