12 September 2016

Proverbs 11:1-12

"The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them." (v. 3)

Psalm: Psalm 3


By and far the largest number of sayings in Proverbs deals with the righteous and the wicked. And you can see this in today's passage, whether it is in the 'practical' of having fair scales (verse 1) or honest speech (verse 9), or the more theoretical principles (verse 3).

In the context that Proverbs was written there was a strong conviction that the world was orderly - wise and right conduct was rewarded but foolish or evil behaviour was punished.

However this is not the world that we live in, and it is likely that it wasn't the world of Proverbs either. It seems as if the writers have confused what they think ought to happen with the reality of what actually takes place.

But perhaps that is doing the writers an injustice. Looking at the wicked or the unjust it can seems as if they can be very successful. In others words, they have got away with it. But who knows the state of their heart. It is like an apple with a rosy red skin that looks perfect to eat, but inside has been eaten away by maggots and is rotten to the core. Could this be what the writers of Proverbs were referring to?

To Ponder

  • How do you respond the questions: why do good things happen to bad people? Or why do bad things happen to good people?
  • Which proverb from the passage attracts your attention? Why?

Bible notes author

Ken Kingston

Ken Kingston preaches in the High Wycombe Circuit. He has worked for the Connexional Team since 1992 in a variety of roles and has been involved in 'Called by Name' and 'Time to Talk of God' amongst others.