Monday, March 11, 2019. Let us discuss honesty and integrity. Let us discuss pride versus humility, riches versus righteousness, purity versus wickedness. The book Proverbs, part of the wisdom literature of the Old Testament, is addressing these things. We are invited to think about it. We are called to wisdom!
Discussing wisdom has some tradition in human history. Today, it is usually hidden in particular tasks, for example the discussion about environmental protection implicitly talks about wisdom. How should we as human race deal with the earth, with our environment, with animals and plants?
The humble …
Let us look into the book of Proverbs, let us read about wisdom as described by Solomon, the son of David. There is much to learn here.
1 A false balance is an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is his delight. 2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom. 3 The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them. 4 Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death. 5 The righteousness of the blameless keeps his way straight, but the wicked falls by his own wickedness. 6 The righteousness of the upright delivers them, but the treacherous are taken captive by their lust. (from Proverbs 11)
The biblical arguments work on two levels. First, integrity and humility has its merit in itself. Integrity leads to life, just because people treat each other fairly. Fairness is the basis of any working society. Only if you can rely on others, when you buy and sell, when you make contracts, when you deal with them on many social layers, only then you and others will prosper. Where ever false balance and injustice takes over, a society is destroyed. The basic level of argument here is very general.
The second level of argument in our text includes the knowledge of the Lord. God is there, and God is pure. He is holy. He is full of trust, integrity and justice. Knowing the beginning and the end, how can any injustice survive? How can anything which lacks integrity survive? The second level of argument is the universal level which touches the foundation of all that exists. God, the creator, the eternal, is the ultimate reference for all that is.
The bible does not hesitate to formulate clear warnings based on its knowledge of the Lord. “The crookedness of the treacherous destroys them”. Here, it is arguing again on the first level we talked about. It is the crookedness itself which destroys. It is the perfidiousness itself, which leads to destruction! This argument is applied to several things, we need look into the text to take them up and to understand.
There are many promises hidden in this text. With the humble is wisdom. The integrity of the upright guides them. Righteousness delivers from death. In full consequence we can even see the story of Christ indicated here - who is the righteous one of God, by whom death is beaten forever. There is freedom coming with righteousness. The captives are free, this is finally complete with Christ! (Roland Potthast) ... further texts