PROVERB PRACTICALS Righteous, Wicked, Transgressors, Prov. 11:5,6,Audio
The righteousness of the perfect shall direct his way: but the wicked shall
fall by his own wickedness. The righteousness of the upright shall deliver
them: but transgressors shall be taken in their own naughtiness.
The first part of this proverbs couplet again brings us guidance from our Maker as to how to go the right way, remembering that the right way is defined as a narrow way.
One thing about traversing narrow ways is the need to know what you are doing, the need to be cautious, the need to be awake.
Weíve already studied how the integrity of the upright guides them.
Of course this means that those who fit into the category of the upright, upright being those who are perpendicular, meaning not leaning to the right nor to the left, have guidance that will bring them though to the right destination.
These are the upright who have implanted within them the rules of life that when followed will bring them the desired conclusion.
So in our proverbs for today this theme of what guides us is again visited.
One of the pervading messages of Godís word is that life is found only on the road that God prepares.
If you could find Godís roadmap on your GPS you would find only one road that reaches to his throne and that road is well defined in His word from Genesis through the Book of Revelation.
One really has to just think logically to come to the conclusion that any creator wants his creation to continue, otherwise why would one create?
Anyone who makes things, desires that that which they made, continue to last and function as it has been designed to function.
God made man with a purpose and behind that purpose He has put in place the wherewithal to accomplish that purpose.
He is not a creator who is playing with us, putting us though all kinds of games, mazes, challenges just for His own pleasure but He is a creator who loves his creation and will see that it functions as He designed it to do.
There may be a short intermission in Godís program due to Satanís rebellion but Godís will, will be met.
And therefore we find instructions from His word as to how to function so that His purpose, his will, will be realized.
Righteousness then is the key that God says opens the door to his will.
So if you boil down the simplest definition of righteousness it boils down to the doing of Godís will.
And of course in order to do Godís will you have to know Godís will.
Now the 1828 edition of Websterís Dictionary expands on this definition of righteousness this way:
Righteousness is purity of heart and rectitude of life, (uprightness, perpendicularity, exact conformity to truth) conformity of heart and life to the divine law.
It is nearly equal to holiness, comprehending holy principles, and affections of heart, and conformity of life to the divine law.
It includes all we call justice, honesty, and virtue, with holy affections; in short it is true religion.
Again, boil it down and righteousness means the doing of Godís will.
Now, God does not leave us ignorant about this for in Jesus Christ we are given the supreme example of righteousness for in everything, absolutely everything, Jesus Christ did Godís will.
So the only way any of us can do Godís will is to be in Christ.
Now to be in Christ requires a new birth, a birth that is of Godís Spirit and along with any birth whether it be physical or spiritual there comes a need for growth into full maturity.
We begin in Christ, a babe, but as every parent expects we are not to stay a babe but we are to grow, and that growth is to be in righteousness.
Who is righteous but Jesus Christ?
How do we grow in righteousness?
We become more like the righteous One as His Spirit works in us that which was predestinated for us, that is, a conformance to the image of Godís Son, Jesus Christ, that He might be the first born among many brethren.
Now God cares about his brethren and provides that care by giving light about His will to those who are in Godís conformance work.
So as the Psalmist of Psalm 143:10 says, Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.
So that should be our prayer if we are in Christ.
Lord, I want to live in the land of uprightness, the land where righteousness reigns, the land where your will is always realized.
My how that desire grows greater as we see the direction this world is going, for the world is in the land of unrighteousness.
But Lord lead me into the land of uprightness!
So God starts that journey to the land of uprightness for his child by teaching him to do His will by filling him with His Spirit who teaches him His word.
Look at Proverbs 11:5, The righteousness of the perfect shall direct his way: but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness.
Here we are given two individuals to consider.
One is called perfect and the other is called wicked.
Both are living a way of life.
One has something that gives direction, lets say this one has a compass.
The other one has no compass and we are told his way of life brings him to fall.
I remember way back when our children were small, when a compass was so important to me.
We live in an area where behind our house is a vast expanse of forest and in the low lands, swamp, all the way east to Munson Highway.
I thought it good one day to take my young children on an outing and try to reach Munson Highway by walking through that forest and swamp all the way to the Highway.
It was to be a kind of a right of passage and I think my children recall that experience fondly even though it had its harrowing moments.
I liked to challenge my children with things they think they couldnít do.
But in this challenge I took a compass for that forest has no landmarks to use during the trek.
Sometimes we wondered if the compass was working for the walk took much longer than we expected and we wondered if we were on the right track.
But we stuck with the compassís eastern heading and finally came to the highway. And it was quite a relief!
Righteousness is like a compass for it is designed by our Lord to provide a spiritual GPS for his children.
Our proverb calls his children perfect which is simply a way of defining his children as entire, as whole, as complete.
It is not a praise to his children but simply shows that the Father has given his children all they need to keep in the way.
You folks that have chosen to send your children to Christian school desire to provide your children that which tends toward keeping them in the Way.
So the entirety of that which he equips His children is called righteousness.
It is all that he needs to direct his way.
When I took my children on our little exploration I made sure they had good hiking shoes, canteens of water, matches, strong clothes etc.
I saw to it that they were equipped.
That is what our Heavenly Father does for us for he equips us with everything we need to walk his path.
Now we have a responsibility to take that equipage to ourselves as we walk the path.
But everything is there to insure that we do not fall.
I use the following verse often but it applies here as to our responsibility on the path.
I Timothy 2:15 tells us, Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Our responsibility is to study Godís equipage, study Godís word as we travel along the path, to see where we deviate along the path.
When we are a babe in Christ we deviate plenty but as we get acquainted with the equipment we should be able to walk a straight line along the path.
I think of the act of driving an automobile and how much that resembles righteousness.
Perhaps you have taught your children how to drive.
Their first attempt was filled with over reactions.
Too much turning of the steering wheel, too much stomping on the brakes, too much push on the gas peddle.
But as they grow they are able to make more subtle adjustments.
And they learn to study the road and carefully make adjustments so as to stay on the road and in their lane.
And when they do that you can be sure they look for approval from their father or mother.
Study the road to show yourself approved by your parents is what takes place.
So the safe place in driving is to stay on the road.
That is the message of righteousness.
Keep your eyes on the road.
Now of course when we talk of the spiritual realm the road is Christ.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus and get feedback as to your position on the road!
Watch the signals from Christ and respond to His direction.
So the cultivation of righteousness is to keep your eyes on Christ.
When you do that the road is clear, the way is clear and nothing can harm you.
Proverbs 2:7 tells us what results when we keep our eyes on Christ for:
He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly.
And in Proverbs 12:28 we are told, In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death.
Now God is to be praised for his care for his children.
He provides for those who desire to be his children and choose to obey Him as a child obeys his or her father.
For in obedience there is safety.
In obedience there is a recognition of boundaries that are placed for the promotion of life just as guardrails are placed along mountain roads to keep vehicles within safe guidelines.
I think the most important thing you can do for your children is to teach them to happily obey.
Not to obey only by force but to obey in a cheerful manner, being glad to be of service.
Providing them three meals a day and a roof over their head is good, clothing them, sending them to Christian School is commendable, reading a bedtime story is nice, taking them to ball games and Disney world is fine, but these things are no match to the righteous act of teaching them to obey.
You have no power to save them but you can teach them to obey and if this is done, it will be a normal thing to obey God and to call upon Him for salvation and direction.
But for those who refuse Godís boundaries there is nothing left but doom.
God casts the saving rope to all drowning men but if the drowning man refuses the rope there is no hope.
Our two proverbs end with this truth: but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness and transgressors shall be taken in their own naughtiness.
So God describes these drowning men who refuse the rope of life as wicked and as transgressors.
The wicked shall fall. This word "shall" is a hard shall.
In legal contracts the word "shall" means there is no loophole for not doing what is specified. Shall does not mean may.
So there is no hope for the this man who is described as wicked, which from the Hebrew means morally wrong, condemned, guilty, and ungodly.
This is a man who has refused all attempts at rescue.
Godís grace has been rejected and there is no other grace available that can save.
The second drowning man is described as a transgressor who predestinates his own demise for he is taken in his own naughtiness.
God has created a moral universe.
It is a cause and effect universe.
If a choice is made, that choice dictates a result.
If a choice is made to jump off a cliff that choice dictates a rapid fall to the rocks below regardless of how good, how powerful, how rich or poor you are.
A transgressor is one who covers up, one who deals deceitfully.
But God ordains that his own naughtiness, that very deceit will be a net in which the transgressor is taken.
Proverbs 26:27, Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him.
Probably the example in the Bible that fits this Proverb is what happened to Haman, the enemy of Godís people.
See Esther 7:10, So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then was the kingís wrath pacified.
Haman predestinated himself to hang on the rope.
There is no getting around Godís moral universe. God is still in charge!
OBEDIENCE Song Obedience is the very best way, to show that you believe. Doing exactly what the Lord commands, doing it happily. Action is the key - do it immediately, joy you will receive. Obedience is the very best way to show that you believe. O-B-E-D-I-E-N-C-E Obedience is the very best way to show that you believe. We want to live pure we want to live clean. We want to do our best. Sweetly submitting to authority, leaving to God the rest. Walking in the light, keep our attitudes right, On the narrow way. For if you believe the Word you receive,
You always will obey!