Author: Ralph Beistle
The practical value of the Proverbs may be in the way they prompt us to focus on something stated simply, but the more you turn the thought over in your mind, the more profound its effect becomes.
Previously, wisdom was defined and described in terms that helped to show its essential nature. The chapter serves to illustrate situations where the application of wisdom equips God’s people to choose the ways of wisdom to receive blessings in this life as well as the reward of eternal joy. It is worth the effort to resist the temptation to choose the wrong path and face the consequences of the damage to our relationship to others here and now, and the ruin of a relationship with God eternally.
The method chosen in Proverbs 11 is to compare causes and effects of competing positions in everyday situations. These are not new revelations – just life experiences that may be mishandled unless we consider the end result: “If I do this, will God be pleased?”
The person making the choice may properly be described as “righteous,” if his intent is to please God when he chooses the way of wisdom. What a blessing to be called righteous, because we….
Are honest in our business relationships? Proverbs 11:1, 3-4, 18, 28
Are respectful and considerate in interpersonal relationships, especially with the family? Proverbs 11:9-15, 21, 24, 29.
What do we hope for in this life? Wisdom tells us, “When the wicked dies, his hope will perish, and the expectation of wealth perishes, too.” Proverbs 11:7
And, as for the accounting for choices we make now, consider this contrast: “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and whoever captures souls is wise. If the righteous is repaid on earth, how much more the wicked and the sinner.” Proverbs 11:30-31.
Cause and Effect – wisdom teaches us to consider our choices carefully. “Truly the righteous attain life, but whoever pursues evil finds death.” Proverbs 11:19