10/11/2010

Many Advisors Make Victory Sure (Proverbs 11:14)

In Proverbs 11 (1-31), as in 10:1-32, there are many sayings that contrast the ways of rigteousness and wickedness. (As is often the case in the Bible, the chapter divisions are rather arbitrary and do not aid the analysis of the text.) 11:14 and 11:30 address 2 important aspects of life and how to attain them: Victory and a Measure of our Wisdom.
  • "For lack of guidance a nation falls, but many advisors make victory sure" (11:14 NIV).
  • "The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise" (11:30 NIV)
11:1 "(Dishonesty--no fear of God) is an abomination to the Lord." (11:20)

11:2 The proud must have everything their own way--"It's my way or the highway." True humility is NEVER self-generated. Ultimately, humility must be before God and directed toward God, and that genuine humility comes from God, expressed through Jesus who is "gentle and lowly (humble) in heart" (Matthew 11:29).

11:3-9 Righteousness delivers (3-6,8,9), implying that God delivers the righteous, while the wicked fall by their own wickedness (5b).

11:10,11 A city benefits or suffers from the presence of the righteous or the wicked. If our cities are deteriorating and declining, what does it tell us about its inhabitants and its rulers?
11:12,13 Would you belittle or slander someone else to make yourself feel better and superior, or remain silent?

11:14 From counsel and advice, wisdom emerges. So, get all the advice you can. It's just fatally too easy to shut out disquieting voices. (15:22; 24:6)

11:15 Treated at length in 6:1-5. For the most part, don't do it.

11:16-21 The consequences of righteousness and wickedness is not a small matter; it's a matter of life or death (19). Getting rich deceptively might seem rewarding for the time, but not in the end (20,21).

11:22 Beauty and the Beast. There's always more to beauty than meets the eye. How tragic, even monstrous, is a beautiful woman who lacks discretion or modesty!

11:23-31 The ultimate destinies of the wicked and the righteous is determined by God (23,31).

11:24-26 The rewards of generosity. The paradox of life that you must sometimes lose to gain (24). Jesus, the kernel of wheat is the ultimate example (John 12:24).

11:30 A righteous man has a life giving influence, and a wise man wins others to wisdom. Only in Christ, can a Christian "be catching men" (Luke 5:11).