Proverbs 19

Proverbs 19
By Pastor David Groendyk

One of the unifying themes found throughout this chapter is impartiality, fairness, and integrity. A foolish person who is not walking in the ways of the Lord will twist truth and overthrow justice out of sinful, selfish concerns, but the wise man who makes every effort to please the Lord will strive for truth and equity, even if it costs him something. Look at these verses and notice what they have to say about integrity and fairness.
• Verse 1—integrity with poverty is better than wickedness with wealth; are you willing to be truthful and holy even if it means losing great wealth?
• Verses 5, 9—all lies and dishonesty will be found out eventually; if it’s not in this life, it will certainly come in the next
• Verse 6—the selfish nature of humanity is demonstrated in the fact that rich people seem to have many friends, while poor people might have none; be wary of deceitful people who seek friendship with you simply to use you
• Verse 18—discipline your children when they sin and stray, because it may bring them back to God; on the contrary, overlooking sin and letting your children do whatever they want—or perhaps giving up on discipline altogether—is a death sentence
• Verse 19—do not make excuses for people who sin; they will surely sin again and make you look like a fool
• Verse 25—rebuking someone for their sin is meant to teach them something; a wise, godly person will learn from discipline
• Verse 28—only worthless, wicked people scoff at the idea of justice and try to pervert it
Integrity, justice, and discipline are good things; pride, selfishness, and escaping discipline are easy things. We must each be wary of our tendencies to bend the truth or bend the rules. Doing so will only lead to ruin and destruction in the long run (remember verses 5 and 9). Where do you see sin and injustice being covered up in the world? Where in your life are you most tempted to bend the truth or rules for your own sake?

As with yesterday’s devotional, we’re looking at one major theme and also one random verse from the chapter. Today, one interesting proverb that sticks out to me is verse 3. What a piercing insight into man’s heart and mind is this proverb! When our own foolishness and sin lead us into ruin and misery, we so often look up toward God and start blaming him. Everyone from the most staunch atheist to the most mature Christian will fall prey to this sin eventually. The high school Sunday school class has been studying the Pentateuch this fall, that is, the first five books of the Old Testament. Over and over again, as Israel is wandering in the wilderness heading toward the Promised Land flowing with milk and honey, when a need arises, they immediately grumble and complain and lash out against God despite the fact that they had seen the Ten Plagues and the parting of the Red Sea with their own eyes. We are the same way. How often we find ourselves raging against God for some injustice or some trial or some circumstance that could’ve been easily avoided. How often we blame God for the things that are our own fault. Instead of dropping the gloves, we’re meant to go to God, repenting of our foolishness, and ask for his rescue with humble entreaties (see Prov. 18:23). Cultivate in yourself a heart that is humble, that has a right understanding of your own sin, and that remembers God’s goodness.