Today is another comparison between the righteous and the wicked. This time most of the comparisons are about outcomes. Although it may already be clear, there is a relationship between wisdom and righteousness. There is also a relationship between fools and the wicked. Because of temptation always trying to lead us astray, fools turn towards wickedness, but it takes seeking wisdom to be righteous.
Verse 3 through 6 say:
3 The integrity of the upright will guide them,
But the crookedness of the treacherous will destroy them.
4 Riches do not profit in the day of wrath,
But righteousness delivers from death.
5 The righteousness of the blameless will smooth his way,
But the wicked will fall by his own wickedness.
6 The righteousness of the upright will deliver them,
But the treacherous will be caught by their own greed
We see that the upright or righteous person will be delivered from death. The fool or wicked person will be destroyed. The money, possessions or whatever else they have gained from their crooked ways cannot save them. We see people who have gained wealth and power from all kinds of things that are not pleasing to God. We see people that appear to have it made who are not seeking God’s wisdom. We see righteous people who are seeking God’s wisdom go through struggles. However, It is made very clear that no matter what people gain from their wicked ways, in the end it will catch up with them and they will be destroyed. In the end, the righteous ones will be delivered.
Another example from this chapter is verses 24-26
24 There is one who scatters, and yet increases all the more,
And there is one who withholds what is justly due, and yet it results only in want.
25 The generous man will be prosperous,
And he who waters will himself be watered.
26 He who withholds grain, the people will curse him,
But blessing will be on the head of him who sells it.
There are people who teach that this is specifically talking about wealth in the current time. They say that if you give away $10.00, you will get $100.00 in return. I don’t think that is accurate, and I don’t think it is even a great blessing compared to all the blessings that God does give us. However, the generous man is the one who is doing what God wants, which makes it a wise decision. The generous will be blessed. The miser who withholds everything for himself will be cursed. I think some of this comes in everyday life. If someone who is generous and helpful has a problem, often people will help that person. However, when someone who is greedy and never helps anyone else has a problem, people are unlikely to help that person.
Verses 29 and 30 say:
He who troubles his own house will inherit wind,
And the foolish will be servant to the wisehearted.
30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
And he who is wise wins souls.
The outcome of seeking Godly wisdom and following in God’s righteousness is life for themselves and for the souls they win. We have to choose daily to seek after wisdom. If we make no choice, foolishness and ultimately destruction are the default choice.