Reflections on Scripture

by Wayne Bandy

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ENTERED: March 26, 2015
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Scripture Passage

        Proverbs - Chapter 11 (Contemporary English Version)
      1. The LORD hates anyone who cheats, but he likes everyone who is honest.
      2. Too much pride can put you to shame. It's wiser to be humble.
      3. If you do the right thing, honesty will be your guide. But if you are crooked, you will be trapped by your own dishonesty.
      4. When God is angry, money won't help you. Obeying God is the only way to be saved from death.
      5. If you are truly good, you will do right; if you are wicked, you will be destroyed by your own sin.
      6. Honesty can keep you safe, but if you can't be trusted, you trap yourself.
      7. When the wicked die, their hopes die with them.
      8. Trouble goes right past the LORD's people and strikes the wicked.
      9. Dishonest people use gossip to destroy their neighbors; good people are protected by their own good sense.
      10. When honest people prosper and the wicked disappear, the whole city celebrates.
      11. When God blesses his people, their city prospers, but deceitful liars can destroy a city.
      12. It's stupid to say bad things about your neighbors. If you are sensible, you will keep quiet.
      13. A gossip tells everything, but a true friend will keep a secret.
      14. A city without wise leaders will end up in ruin; a city with many wise leaders will be kept safe.
      15. It's a dangerous thing to guarantee payment for someone's debts. Don't do it!
      16. A gracious woman will be respected, but a man must work hard to get rich.
      17. Kindness is rewarded-- but if you are cruel, you hurt yourself.
      18. Meanness gets you nowhere, but goodness is rewarded.
      19. Always do the right thing, and you will live; keep on doing wrong, and you will die.
      20. The LORD hates sneaky people, but he likes everyone who lives right.
      21. You can be sure of this: All crooks will be punished, but God's people won't.
      22. A beautiful woman who acts foolishly is like a gold ring on the snout of a pig.
      23. Good people want what is best, but troublemakers hope to stir up trouble.
      24. Sometimes you can become rich by being generous or poor by being greedy.
      25. Generosity will be rewarded: Give a cup of water, and you will receive a cup of water in return.
      26. Charge too much for grain, and you will be cursed; sell it at a fair price, and you will be praised.
      27. Try hard to do right, and you will win friends; go looking for trouble, and you will find it.
      28. Trust in your wealth, and you will be a failure, but God's people will prosper like healthy plants.
      29. Fools who cause trouble in the family won't inherit a thing. They will end up as slaves of someone with good sense.
      30. Live right, and you will eat from the life-giving tree. And if you act wisely, others will follow.
      31. If good people are rewarded here on this earth, all who are cruel and mean will surely be punished.


Proverbs - Chapter 11

Entered: March 26, 2015

Solomon seems to equate wisdom with righteousness and foolishness with wickedness. But this would seem logical since he also teaches that respect for God is the beginning of wisdom. It would also seem that in Solomon's thinking wisdom and understanding are of a similar nature and that neither require uncommon intelligence to acquire. Rather they are more a character trait than a mark of intelligence. They do, however, require some intentional pursuit to acquire. He frequently speaks of seeking wisdom and understanding. But this too is logical since it requires frequent reflection and thought on our choices and conduct to distill what is wise to do and what is not. Those who do not take the time to be reflective on life do not tend to garner wisdom and understanding.

There is a further dimension that needs to be included with reflection, though, if one is to acquire wisdom, and that is meditation on God's word in scripture and communion with Him through prayer. An unwise person can also be reflective in their evil and unwise activities and plans. Since wisdom begins with God, it stands to reason that it is only in reflecting and meditating on Him and His teaching that true wisdom will be acquired.

In chapter 11, Solomon continues to contrast wise choices and activities with unwise ones. He particularly focuses on the choices and activities of the wicked as contrasted with the righteous. Here we particularly see his equating of wisdom with righteousness. A comparison of unwise versus wise activities and outcomes from this chapter looks like this:

Those who are not wise engage in . . .

  • Dishonest business practices
  • Are prideful
  • Engage in violent activities
  • Their minds become twisted
  • Become trapped by their own desires
  • Show contempt for their neighbor
  • Engage in gossip
  • Lack guidance
  • Withhold help for the poor
  • Hoard
  • Look for trouble

Those who are wise . . .

  • Use honest business practices
  • Have humility
  • Have integrity 
  • Are righteous
  • Keep silent
  • Keep a confidence
  • Use many counselors 
  • Hate putting up security for a stranger
  • Are kind 
  • Are gracious 
  • Sow righteousness
  • Have blameless conduct 
  • Are generous 
  • Do not hoard
  • Look for what is good 


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