Out of Trouble

The Old Testament book of Proverbs is our destination on this Take Note Podcast. Its wise words and keen insights contrast righteousness and wickedness, reminding us to choose God’s path.

You can play, download, or read the transcript of this Take Note Podcast below.

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Out of Trouble

Proverbs 11:1-8

  • The Old Testament book of Proverbs is our destination today
  • As we talk about honesty and integrity
  • Rightness and uprightness
  • And then – exactly the opposite
  • As is often the case in Proverbs, righteousness and wickedness are contrasted
  • We see how much better God’s plan can be
  • And make note of the destruction rebellion can cause
  • Topics are widely varied on this edition
  • But we focus on a phrase near the end of Proverbs 11:1-8
  • As our theme is “Out of Trouble”
  • Wise words of advice and keen insights on life are common in the Proverbs
  • These chapters challenge our thinking, especially at times when we are tempted to stray from God’s path
  • The truth they deliver sometimes cuts like a knife
  • It puts us into one category or another: trusting and following God or rejecting His ways
  • And then lets us know about the benefits and the consequences
  • We start getting personal right from the beginning of Proverbs 11
  • As God expresses His concern for the way we do business…

Proverbs 11:1

1  A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight. 

  • Proprietors who sell in a community market use scales to measure their product
  • Show up at any grocery store deli today and order your meat and cheese by the pound
  • Often measured on a scale in your presence
  • A common trick in the ancient market was to falsely mark the weights
  • Giving the advantage to the seller
  • You get a little less product and the marketer gets a little more profit
  • This is a false balance
  • It is dishonest
  • Cheating and stealing
  • And the Lord says it is an abomination
  • Any modern form of dirty dealings in business can be put in the same category
  • God expects those who follow Him to operate a “just weight”
  • Dealing in every situation – personal or business – with integrity
  • This is His delight
  • Our pride or humility may play a part…

Proverbs 11:2

2  When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom. 

  • The pride mentioned here is an insolence, a presumptuousness, an arrogance
  • When we do anything with this kind of pride, disgrace has a high probability of following
  • This is when we are thinking too highly of ourselves
  • Assuming we know best
  • Doing wrong and arrogantly believing we can get away with it
  • Shame comes to a person like this
  • But a humble person does not face the same danger
  • The humble (or lowly) acts in wisdom
  • That is, he listens to God, because he does not presume he knows everything
  • And He carefully listens, obeying God’s word in spite of his own opinion
  • We’re back to the theme of integrity next…

Proverbs 11:3

3  The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them. 

  • When a person knows God and walks with God, integrity is one of the character traits they develop
  • And this integrity provides a foundation for successful living
  • Those who are crooked and dishonest have no such hope
  • The perverseness of their living leads only to destruction
  • We see this clearly when any man is confronted with a choice
  • To tell the truth and face difficult circumstances
  • Or to lie and escape difficulty
  • The truth-teller may find some initial discomfort
  • But His integrity is always be rewarded in the long-term
  • And whatever trouble the liar avoided today
  • Will come back in larger quantities and with more intensity in the future
  • What else do the Proverbs say?

Proverbs 11:4

4  Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death. 

  • Money can make life easier, there’s no doubt
  • But anyone reliant upon money for safety in the day of judgement with be disappointed
  • The wealthy do not avoid judgement
  • Riches do us no good at all when we stand before God
  • Everyone stands before Him on equal footing
  • He is no respecter of persons
  • Those who accept the righteousness of His son
  • Placing their faith in Jesus
  • Are given eternal life
  • This righteousness is worth more than any earthly treasure
  • For it lasts forever
  • There is more about righteousness as we continue…

Proverbs 11:5-6

5  The righteousness of the perfect shall direct his way: but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness. 

6  The righteousness of the upright shall deliver them: but transgressors shall be taken in their own naughtiness. 

  • These verses are quite similar
  • They basically say that a righteous person has a straight path set out before them
  • And they have the freedom only righteousness can provide
  • But the wicked are tripped up by their own wickedness
  • And they make themselves slaves to their own lust
  • We have said often that righteousness is never obtained when men go it alone
  • It is the man who has faith in God, through His son Jesus Christ, that is declared righteous
  • Not because of anything He does
  • Because of what Christ has already done on the cross
  • Those who know Him are guided
  • And walk in freedom
  • Two more Proverbs today…

Proverbs 11:7

7  When a wicked man dieth, his expectation shall perish: and the hope of unjust men perisheth. 

  • There is a good restatement of this verse in the ESV…

“When the wicked dies, his hope will perish, and the expectation of wealth perishes too.”

  • Reliance upon anything in this world will let us down
  • No amount of money rescues men from death
  • And there is no hope for a man rejecting Jesus and following his own way
  • Whatever hope or expectation was established by the wicked man during his life dies with him
  • And his money stays behind, to be foolishly hoped upon by someone else
  • Or, perhaps, better used in service to God
  • Our theme appears in our final verse…

Proverbs 11:8

8  The righteous is delivered out of trouble, and the wicked cometh in his stead.

  • This deliverance from trouble means exactly what you might think
  • God has a way of helping and protecting and shielding those who follow Him
  • But wicked men walk into trouble
  • Their own desires and their own ways lead them there
  • A person rejecting God seems unable to avoid it
  • I wonder if we see more of ourselves in the righteous man or in the wicked man?
  • Even the man who knows Christ can walk his own way for a time
  • We should know that surrender to Him
  • Obedience to Him
  • Trust in Him is a blessing
  • But to reject Him brings trouble and difficulty and complication
  • And though His servants face plenty of all three – because life remains hard
  • The wicked heap more and more upon themselves by their own action
  • Therefore, we must turn to Him

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