There is a way of life that leads to fulfilled hope, “gladness” in Proverbs 10:28 and this way begins with reverence for the Lord. Living this righteous life brings blessing not only to you but to those around you in Proverbs 11:11 (LEB) “By the blessing of the upright, a city will be exalted”. And, a nation stands when there is in Proverbs 11:14 (LEB) “an abundance of counsel” as righteous men and women work together for good. The most important message though, is for us to find wisdom, the wisdom of God and that is described in Proverbs 11:30 “he who captures souls is wise”.
The Hope of the Righteous is Gladness
Here, righteousness is associated with blessing and stability and a long life. But “fools die” in Proverbs 10:21 and “the years of the wicked are shortened” in Proverbs 10:27. How is it that there is such a difference? It is that reverence for God and his ways are the way of life so “the fear of the Lord adds life in Proverbs 10:27. When your hope is in your righteousness through the work of Jesus Christ, you can be glad as in
Proverbs 10:28 (LEB) The hope of the righteous is gladness, but the expectation of the wicked comes to nothing.
The Integrity of the Upright Guides Them
There is Safety in an Abundance of Counsel
This psalm offers instruction for social interaction whether neighbor or city or nation.
Beginning with our neighbor, we are not to talk down to them or about them. In fact, we are to cover their mistakes and help them rise above them. There is a reason twelve-step recovery programs like Alcoholics Anonymous use the word Anonymous in their name. These programs recognize that there is a higher power, God, that wants to bring us to a life that is free. They also recognize the need for the hand of a neighbor, a sponsor to help put the past behind as in
Proverbs 11:12–13 (LEB) He who lacks sense belittles his neighbor, but a person of intelligence will remain silent. 13 A gossip walks about telling a secret, but the trustworthy in spirit keeps the matter.
Then in a city, people that are blessed, bless everyone as in
Proverbs 11:11 (LEB) By the blessing of the upright, a city will be exalted, but by the mouth of the wicked, it will be overthrown.
And for a nation, guidance is necessary but there is no one person that knows everything so in
Proverbs 11:14 (LEB) Where there is no guidance, a nation shall fall, but there is safety in an abundance of counsel.
Some think they have a direct line to God and so do not hear what others are saying. Yes. we must be fully committed to doing what the Lord has said for us to do, but was it the voice of the Lord? Moses was corrected by his father-in-law and he listened in
Exodus 18:17–18 (LEB) And the father-in-law of Moses said to him, “The thing that you are doing is not good. 18 Surely you will wear out, both you and this people who are with you, because the thing is too difficult for you. You are not able to do it alone.
Paul and Barnabas were sent by the Holy Spirit as they prayed together with others including prophets, but the group only commissioned them after further fasting and prayer confirmed this to them in
Acts 13:2–3 (LEB) And while they were serving the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart now for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 Then, after they had fasted and prayed and placed their* hands on them, they sent them away.
Peter had a vision and went to the house of Cornelius then later took council from the leaders in Jerusalem because this encounter with a Gentile broke their doctrine and caused them to change and accept Gentiles in
Acts 11:18 (LEB) And when they heard these things, they became silent and praised God, saying, “Then God has granted the repentance leading to life to the Gentiles also!”
We are to recognize that God confirms His word and that confirmation will come to us beginning with our own unction or voice or vision or dream and then also by a prophetic word or agreement with other spirit-filled believing Christians that we know and trust. And as we listen for this confirmation, the wisdom of God from those around us, God will protect us, the nation, from the pride of life and whim of those that would become authority abusers.
He That Wins Souls is Wise
Have you considered what God calls wisdom? Isn’t it these attributes of wisdom that we ought to aspire to in our lives? Here it says “he who captures souls is wise” in Proverbs 11:30 but this “second part of this verse is difficult. The Hebrew reads literally “the one taking lives is wise.” Elsewhere in the Bible the phrase take a life is always negative (1:19; 1Sm 24:11; 1Kg 19:10, 14; Ps 31:13; Ezk 33:6); it never means “to win a soul.” But it does not fit with the rest of Scripture to say that the person who kills people is wise, so there must be another explanation”1 and that explanation is that the wise person is warning, convincing people to turn themselves to the Lord that they might be saved as Jesus said quoting Isaiah 6:9-10 in
Matthew 13:15 (LEB) For the heart of this people has become dull, and with their ears they hear with difficulty, and they have shut their eyes, so that they would not see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.”
So, the one that opens their ears and eyes is wise.
The Thoughts of the Righteous are Just
- Proverbs 10:21-32 The Hope of the Righteous is Gladness
- Proverbs 11:11-20 There is Safety in an Abundance of Counsel
- Proverbs 11:21-31 He That Wins Souls is Wise
- Proverbs 10:21-32
- Proverbs 11:1-31
- Proverbs 12:1-9
- 1 Stabnow, D. K. (2017). Proverbs. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 969). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.