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The Proverbs and the power to remain

In a world that likes to label us as either winners or losers, the idea of just being able to remain standing, doesn’t seem all that glamorous. Yet, sometimes, it’s all we can do. And often it’s all we need to do.

10:25 As the whirlwind passeth, so is the wicked no more: but the righteous is an everlasting foundation. (KJV).

God was angry with a man called Job and spoke to him out of the whirlwind. Job responded to God, not with anger, but with surrender. When the storm was gone, Job was still there and was greatly blessed. The whirlwind lasts only a short time and it stays in one place for a few moments. It comes to both the wicked and the righteous. It cleanses some and removes others. It makes good people better. Those who remain are the bedrock upon which others build.

“All sunshine makes a desert.” Arab Proverb.

10:27 The fear of the Lord gives long life (other versions: prolongs days), but the years of the evil-doer will be cut short.

The fear of the Lord adds days to a life and so the converse is also true, that the contempt of the Lord takes away years. Jesus said, “sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” This means we don’t have to solve more than a day’s worth of problems today. And this fear of the Lord gives us many days to do that daily task.

10:29 The way of the Lord is strength to the upright, but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity. (KJV).

The Roman cross was meant to humble as well as punish. It was meant to make Rome look strong and her enemies look weak. God’s way is often seen like that by those who don’t know much. Upright people love their enemies, turn the other cheek, and go the extra mile. Yet this way is stronger than the world admits. Those who know the cross of Jesus know also the empty tomb.

“Triumphs without difficulties are empty. Indeed; it is difficulties that make the triumph. It is no feat to travel the smooth road.” Author Unknown.

10:30 The upright man will never be moved, but evil-doers will not have a safe resting-place in the land.

Imagine the fear of the wicked. They can harm the righteous all they want. In the end, when the dust finally settles, the righteous are still standing right where they left them. Being upright gives us the power to remain.

11:8 The upright man is taken out of trouble, and in his place comes the sinner.

It is said of King Saul that he “feared David.” It is said of David that he, “feared God.” Despite Saul’s cruel pursuit of David, it was Saul who finally died in battle and it was David who sat on the throne. Both were in trouble, only one got out.

12:7 Evil-doers are overturned and never seen again, but the house of upright men will keep its place.

In Psalms 37, David saw the house of the wicked King Saul spreading like a green bay tree. Later, David couldn’t find it, even when he really looked. But when David died, his house remained, but not because it was tranquil, and not because the people within it didn’t have flaws. David loved doing right and was honest about his sins. Thus, his house stands.

13:6 Righteousness keeps safe him whose way is without error, but evil-doers are overturned by sin.

In verse 11:6, it says that being upright saves us, or snatches us from troubles (BDB) and that the false will be caught or found out. This verse says that the upright will be kept safe, while evil-doers will be overthrown (BDB). We can compare the verses and see how they differ, but one theme comes through. If we choose to do right, we will be faced with conflict. Otherwise, there would be nothing to be snatched away from. That conflict can make us feel unsafe and in trouble. So it’s not a path for those who give up easy. But all the conflict in the world doesn’t make this verse untrue. That’s good to know.

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