Posts Tagged ‘righteous living’

Under Gods Command 

Proverbs 2:9 Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path. 

Here is treasure! Righteousness! Judgment! Equity! Every good path! Can you have all these in life? Yes! This is the best news you will get this year. If you will pursue wisdom, God will bless you with these things. The rewards are great; the requirements small. God offers this treasure for a little effort from you to obtain wisdom. Reader, go for it, today!

The Preacher, King Solomon of Israel, pressed his son to apply himself to the pursuit of wisdom and understanding (Pr 2:1-4), with the promised reward being the fear of the Lord and the knowledge of God (Pr 2:5). Upon this foundation and reward, Solomon then promised that God would add many blessings, including these special four (Pr 2:6-9).

What is righteousness? It is being right. It knows and does what is right. It is justice and uprightness. It knows and does what is acceptable and pleasing to God. It is having your mind conformed to the divine standard of God’s perfect mind and laws. And if your thoughts and actions please God, then they will certainly please other men (Pr 3:1-4).

What is judgment? It is the ability to judge correctly, to form accurate opinions, to arrive at the proper notion of things; it is discretion, discernment, wisdom, understanding, and good sense. It is what men mean when they say, “That person has excellent judgment.” It is the ability to analyze a matter correctly and arrive at the correct conclusion about it.

What is equity? It knows what is fair and equal for any situation, through seeing differences that require charity and nobility to reach an equitable and fair conclusion. It is fairness, impartiality, and evenhanded dealing with things appearing unequal. It is what makes others trust you, no matter the circumstances, for they know you will be fair.

Solomon stated that Proverbs was written to teach these three wonderful virtues (Pr 1:3), which are very rare in the world today (Is 59:14; II Tim 3:1-5). Furthermore, they are aspects of God’s glorious and holy nature (Ps 98:9; 99:4), and they are character traits of the Lord Jesus Christ (Is 11:4). What hinders you from pursuing wisdom to obtain them?

Consider a very small sample of the righteousness, judgment, and equity of the Bible. It protects mother and baby birds (Deut 22:6-7), teaches that all races have the same blood (Acts 17:26), provides for working oxen (Deut 25:4), puts the burden of marriage and family on the father (Eph 5:25-29; 6:4), provides for the poor (Lev 19:9-10), teaches that mercy is more important than sacrifice (Matt 12:7), allows one church member to bring any matter to the church (Matt 18:15-17), financially rewards virginity (Ex 22:17), requires churches to take care of widows (I Tim 5:3-16), and teaches that the true love of God can only be shown by loving others (I John 5:1-2). No other book compares!

Compare a small sample of the righteousness, judgment, and equity of the world. It kills over ten million unborn children annually by extremely violent means, and yet demands funds to protect animals and birds on seven continents. It prohibits corporal punishment of children, but incarcerates the resulting criminals like animals in cages for decades. It subsidizes debt and slothfulness and penalizes credit and diligence by income tax laws. It claims to protect and honor women, but yet advertises lascivious fashions, promotes casual sex, protects pornography and prostitution, and allows divorce for any cause.

But these three things are not all that is offered to the man seeking wisdom. The proverb also offers, “Every good path”! What is every good path? It is every other virtue and grace not in the list of three. Reader, is there a better sentence in any language? If every good path is offered, then the means for your perfection and pleasure is being offered.

How can you get these four wonderful things? Humble yourself before the Creator God, and diligently seek His wisdom in His inspired scriptures. Can you humble yourself and admit that God and His Word alone are right on all subjects (Ps 119:128)? Can you reject the world’s vain thoughts (Ps 119:113)? He will reward you with these wonderful things.

The Bible can make ministers perfect for their great work (II Tim 3:16-17). Consider how much it can do for you. There is no light in this world apart from the light of the Bible (Is 8:20). It is a lamp for your feet and a light for your pathway through life (Ps 119:105). It is a light to which you should give serious attention and honor (II Pet 1:19-21).

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 20:07 The righteous man leads a blameless life; blessed are his children after him.

Your family’s future depends on how you live today. The greatest influence you can have on your children is to live righteously. Children of godly men grow up with greater wisdom than peers, so they are blessed with natural success in measures of prosperity. But far beyond that, God Himself will supernaturally favor the children of godly men.

A good man lives with integrity; he does more than think or claim goodness (Pr 20:6). He will walk the walk, not just talk the talk. He lives by fear of God and faith in Christ, keeping all the commandments. God will send blessing and favor on his descendants. Here is a proverb with the promise of a wonderful blessing. Let the godly lay hold of it!

Understand the condition. This man is not today’s typical carnal Christian, who talks and acts one way on Sunday and with other believers, but lives another way during the week, while at home or in the world. Here is a just man, doing what is right and holy in the sight of God. He seeks the Lord with His whole heart. And he walks in this course every day.

Here is a man with a clean conscience, who guides all his affairs with the discretion of God’s word. He is blameless before God and men, by confessing his sins and making proper amends for them. His affections are set on heaven above, and he crucifies his sinful lusts with Christ. He trembles at the Word of God and humbly walks with his God.

He has no self-righteousness. He has no high opinion of himself or his family. He gladly condescends to men of low estate to love and serve them in any way he can. He knows he is vile; he rejoices in God’s forgiveness of his sins; and he forgives others very quickly and fully because of it. He examines his heart and rejects all bitterness or pride there.

He knows relationships with others are one of God’s measures (Mal 4:5-6; Luke 1:17). He carefully and fervently fulfills duties to rulers, employers, parents, pastor, wife and children – he knows these are exalted in the Bible. He is a benefactor and peacemaker, especially to the lowly, and even to enemies (Luke 6:27-36; 14:12-14; Rom 12:16).

Understand the promise. The holy God of heaven rewards good men with blessings upon their posterity. If those children or grandchildren sin, they shall bear the punishment of their iniquity, but the Lord will be more merciful than He would have been otherwise. If those children also live righteous lives, which is more likely given the example they have witnessed, the Lord will assist and bless them for the sake of their just father.

Consider David, the man after God’s own heart, who was perfect in God’s sight, except for his sins with Bathsheba (I Kgs 15:3-5). To honor David’s virtuous life, the Lord showed repeated mercy to his descendants (I Kgs 11:12,32,36; 15:4; II Kgs 8:19; II Chron 21:7). David described the just, “His seed is blessed” (Ps 37:26). Also, “What man is he that feareth the LORD? His seed shall inherit the earth” (Ps 25:12-13).

Parent! Do you love your children? Your extended posterity? Grasp the priority of this proverb. Live humbly and walk justly before God, and He will bless your children because of your life. Job’s life of integrity even included sacrifices for his children after their birthday parties (Job 1:1-5).

Phinehas and Jonadab, examples of just men, were promised a godly seed (Num 25:11-13; Jer 35:18-19). Believer, are these promises only for others? Consider again. “Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments. His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed” (Ps 112:1-2).

But it is just as true that any sin will find you out (Num 32:23). You cannot hide sins in your thoughts, your bedroom, or anywhere else (Eccl 10:20; Jer 23:23-24). His eyes see everything (Pr 15:3). Start with your heart and get rid of anything in it that does not match up with the highest standard of God’s word (Pr 4:23; Ps 139:23-24; Jas 4:9).

God is not obligated to reward you for living a godly life, especially rewards like blessing and favoring your descendants. You should live such a life anyway due to fear and love, as did Paul (II Cor 5:9-15). But God does make such promises, and He expects you to consider them (Eph 6:2-3). Be a just man today for the benefit of your family tomorrow.



Under Gods Command

Proverbs 15:6 The house of the righteous contains great treasure, but the income of the wicked brings them trouble.

Shelter and sustenance with love and peace is better than increasing income with pain and trouble. A righteous man enjoys a happy and quiet life with his necessities supplied, but a wicked man has pain and trouble even while increasing financially. The proverb compares the consequences of righteous living to those of a wicked lifestyle.

Many of Solomon’s proverbs have two clauses that make a comparison or contrast, and the right meaning and lessons are found by carefully comparing those clauses. In this proverb you should see: a house compared to revenues, the righteous compared to the wicked, and much treasure compared to trouble. Righteous living makes the difference.

Solomon, king and philosopher (Pr 1:1-6; Ec 1:1-3,12-14), taught that intangibles such as love, peace, and righteousness are superior to tangibles like income, assets, luxurious dining, etc. He often stated the superiority clearly so that you would not miss it (Pr 15:16-17; 16:8; 17:1; 21:19; 28:6; Ec 2:26; 4:6; 7:1). These priorities for living are priceless.

Here he taught the same lesson obscurely – more like a true proverb, or dark saying of the wise (Pr 1:6). The lesson is simple. A righteous man may lack the revenue of the wicked, but he lives in his house with much treasure that the wicked man cannot even imagine – a clear conscience, God’s presence, love, peace, quiet, a coming eternal inheritance, etc.

Wicked men may prosper now, but they will spend an eternity in hell (Ps 17:14-15; 73:18-20; Matt 16:26). While righteous men may not have an impressive balance sheet or the adoration of the world now, God blesses them with favor and advantages far greater, both in this life and the next (Pr 3:31-33; 10:22; 13:25; 23:17-18; Mark 10:28-31).

Wicked men, regardless of their riches, often have strife and trouble in their lives that make their life on earth a hell as well. Covetousness and greed will not let them rest. Fear of loss by many means keeps them nervous and troubled. The brevity of life reminds them that they will leave all they have to some fool behind them who will waste it.

What is the lesson? Righteous living is far better than sinful living, regardless of income. Is there another lesson? Godliness with contentment is great gain (Pr 30:8-9; I Tim 6:6-10). Is there another? A mystery and hidden wisdom of the gospel is that the righteous truly own everything already (Rom 8:17; I Cor 3:21-23; II Cor 6:10). What is the reward for righteous living? Intangible blessings from God, others, and your own heart now, and tangible blessings in heaven in the future (Pr 14:14; Rom 8:18-23; II Cor 4:17-18)!

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 15:9 The LORD detest the way of the wicked but he loves those who pursue righteousness. 

Is your lifestyle an abomination to God? Or does He love you and your righteous living? You can see the two kinds of men, and your daily choices determine which one you are. If God hates your life, you are in trouble. If He loves you, then you are greatly favored. God liked David, and what a difference that made in His life (I Chr 28:4; Ps 18:19-26).

Most cannot imagine that God hates anything, for they have been nursed since birth on the heresy that God loves them unconditionally no matter how they might live. They have never read Solomon’s inspired warnings (Pr 6:16-19; 3:32; 11:20; 12:22; 15:8; 16:5; 17:15; 28:9). They reason, God may hate the devil, but He loves me no matter what.

Here is a priceless warning from a rich and wise king. He wrote for your prosperity and success, both of which are impossible if God is against you. When God loves a person, a boy sold into slavery can take the nation’s throne, or an orphan girl can become queen, or a neutered captive can become the king’s chief advisor. Think Joseph, Esther, and Daniel.

Examine your life. Does it please or offend God? The Bible is the only standard that counts. God does not care what you think, your parents think, your pastor thinks, or what is politically correct. Popular trends and evolving social values make Him sick. He is holy and righteous, and He will never approve of fools or their wicked lifestyles, ever.

It is your duty and privilege to confess your sins to God, for He will forgive and prosper you (Pr 28:13). You must learn to hate every thought that is contrary to His word, as David did (Ps 119:128). The world does not have a clue about right or wrong, especially in this generation (Is 8:20; I Tim 6:3-5). The choice is yours – and God sees everything!

Most say, “God hates the sin, but loves the sinner.” But it is not from the Bible! Men invented this jingle to tickle the ears of fools, who want a God that will accept them no matter what. It is no truer than a tooth fairy. When this proverb is understood, it confirms the truth that God abhors and loathes wicked persons, their prayers, and their lifestyle.

Consider perverse thinking today. Sodomy is no longer an abomination to the LORD; it is gay! Adultery is no longer an abomination to the LORD; it is a love affair! Rebellious children are no longer an abomination to the LORD; they are hyperactive! But wise men accept all of God’s precepts and hate every contrary opinion (Ps 119:97-104,113,128).

The proverb has two contrasted clauses that provide the full meaning. God hates the way of the wicked, and God loves the man pursuing righteousness. By comparing “the way of the wicked” with “him that follow after righteousness,” we learn that God hates both the sinner and his lifestyle and loves both the righteous man and his lifestyle. Note the change from sin to sinner in Solomon’s list of seven things God hates (Pr 6:16-19).

Consider the context. The previous proverb is similar and helps reveal the hatred God has for sinful lifestyles. “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight” (Pr 15:8). God even hates the religious worship of wicked persons. But He loves the prayers of upright people. When a man chooses to sin against Him, God despises and loathes his worship (Pr 21:27; 28:9; Is 1:10-15).

The difference is great! Either God abominates your life, or He loves it. Either you follow the way of wickedness, or you follow the way of righteousness. How can you grasp the difference between God’s hatred and His love? It is very great! You cannot avoid God either despising you or favoring you. Most do not care anymore, because they have been seduced into carnal living by false teaching of God’s unconditional love for them.

Of course, the fairy tale, “God hates the sin, but loves the sinner,” is comforting. But you should prove that saying or any other before you believe it (Pr 14:15; Acts 17:11; I Thess 5:21). Let God be true, but every man a liar (Rom 3:4). The effeminate teachers that suggest such nonsense do not have a clue about the God of the Bible nor His righteous judgment of sinners. They flatter sinners to build their crowds and pad their pockets.

Are those in hell singing, “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so”? Did Noah wire a neon smiley face outside the ark that read, “Smile! God loves you!”? What will Jesus Christ mean, when He says to the wicked on the Day of Judgment, “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matt 7:23). Do you suppose He loves Satan as well, who is much more glorious than any man?

What else does the Bible say about the wicked? David wrote, “For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee. The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity. Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.” (Ps 5:4-6). Surprised? If you are a typical Christian today, the only psalm you may know at all is Psalm 23.

David, the sweet psalmist of Israel, also wrote, “The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD’S throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men. The LORD tried the righteous: but the wicked and him that loves violence his soul hated. Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup. For the righteous LORD loves righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright” (Ps 11:4-6).

The God of heaven is holy before He is love. He cannot look approvingly on any sin (Hab 1:13). He cannot acquit the wicked (Nah 1:3). He cannot clear the guilty (Ex 34:7). He loves righteousness, and He hates iniquity (Ps 45:7; Heb 1:9). He drowned the world with a flood. He burned up the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. He annihilated the seven nations of Canaan. He is angry at the wicked every day (Ps 7:11). This is the true God.

This part of God’s nature is ignored today, because men want a sugar daddy in the sky that will smile and hand them cotton candy when they sin. But consider David, who was the man after God’s own heart. He hated the enemies of God with a perfect hatred (Ps 139:21-22; 26:5; 31:6; II Sam 5:8). When his son Jehoshaphat tried to befriend a wicked man, God became angry at him for this perversion of righteousness (II Chron 19:2).

How can God love anyone, since all are sinners (Ps 14:1-3; Rom 3:23)? He chose some in Christ Jesus before the world began that they should be holy and blameless before Him in love (Eph 1:3-4)! Because of that choice in Christ, He views them as perfectly holy in His sight! He predestinated them to become His sons by gracious adoption, because He had chosen by His own will to make them acceptable in Christ the Beloved (Eph 1:5-6)!

God’s love is a choice, and He chooses to love some (Rom 9:14-18). It is for this very important reason that the Bible speaks of Jesus Christ loving the church (Eph 5:25), of nothing interrupting the love of God for His people (Rom 8:29-39), Jesus confirming that He would not lose a single one that God had given Him to save (John 6:38-39; 10:26-29; 17:2), and that He only lovingly chastens His children, not the bastards (Heb 12:6-8).

Of course, this doctrine is despised and hated. Men come into this world as fools, and most remain fools. Only those born again by the Spirit of God to tremble before God and His Word can see and believe the truth (John 3:3; 8:47). It is only they who can understand the things of God (I Cor 2:14; II Cor 4:3-4; II Thess 2:9-14). It is only they who will examine their lives, repent of known sins, and choose the path of righteousness.

Reader! The evidence that you are one of God’s elect and beloved in heaven is your pursuit of righteous living (II Pet 1:5-11; I Thess 1:2-4; Matt 7:21-23)! Turn from the wicked ways of this world and follow the strait and narrow way He has defined for you in His Word (Matt 7:13-14). You will be blessed and prospered in this world and the next.