Lord, You are a God of justice, and in the end those who walk in Your ways will receive the good of their obedience.
What are some contrasts between the wise and the fool?
The "fools" derided in Proverbs are not mentally deficient but morally bankrupt. They bring trouble on their family (29). Their perversity is corrosive to any community, unleashing dishonesty (1), duplicity (3), and verbal assaults on others (9,11-13). In contrast, the righteous are people of integrity (3), generosity (24,25), and kindness (15,16).
In many countries today, churches and charities are under increasing scrutiny to show that they deliver public benefit. One of the unseen benefits that personal faith should produce is a holistic lifestyle that blesses the wider community (10,11). Such people are different because they are wise (9,12), trustworthy, and full of God's life (13,19,20).
Of course, the Bible recognizes that things are not always so straightforward in this life--we only need to remember Job. So we need to see the stark contrasts in this chapter from the perspective of coming judgment (7,21,31). And in that light the whole world needs people who are like "a tree of life" through whom the life of God flows. Then foolish and wicked souls may be won back to God (30).
Integrity exists when the unseen reality matches the seen and the heart is toward God. Do you need more integrity?
Father, help me walk in integrity, generosity, and kindness. Help me to live in righteousness.
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