Today's Blog Topic: "THE BENEFITS OF BEING RIGHTEOUS"
Alphabet letters, letters, vowels, and consonants formed into words, sentences, paragraphs, and books spoken signed, whispered, written and printed, From friendly advice to impassioned speeches and from dusty volumes to daily tabloids, messages are sent and received, with each sender trying to impart knowledge….and wisdom.
Woven, ingrained into human fabric is the desire to learn and understand. Our mindsets us apart from animals, and we analyze, conceptualize, theorize, discuss, and debate everything from science to the supernatural. We build schools, institutes, and universities, where learned professors can teach us about the world and about life.
Knowledge is good, but there is a vast difference between "knowledge" (having the facts) and "wisdom" (applying those facts to life). We may amass knowledge, but without wisdom our knowledge is useless. We must learn how to live out what we know.
The wisest man who ever lived, Solomon, left us a legacy or written wisdom in three volumes- Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Songs of Songs. In these three books, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he gives practical insights and guidelines for life.
In our Bible Study session this past Tuesday, I ask the people to give me the definition of wisdom. And then I asked them to give me examples of individuals from the Old and New Testament who in their opinion was wise or used wisdom. They were able to give many names such as Abraham, Moses, Noah, David, Esther, Jesus, Paul, Timothy, just to name a few. Then I gave them the definition according to Webster's the definition of wisdom and prudence or prudent. Prudent is one of those words that show up many times in the Book of Proverbs. Here is the meaning of wisdom and prudent or prudence below.
PRUDENCE: foresight, leading a person to avoid error or danger, practical discretion.
PRUDENT: guided by prudence.
WISDOM: the quality of being wise, intelligence drawing on experience and governed by prudence. a storehouse of knowledge.
WISE: having the ability to make a right decision or judgment, possessing great knowledge and intelligence.
This morning I read Proverbs 11 through 14. I was astonished by the number of times I saw (righteous or righteousness) in those four chapters. I began to place a check mark every time the word righteous or righteousness showed up. Then I went back and use the alphabet to underscore the benefits, the positive outcomes for living righteously. Before I go, I perhaps I need to define righteous.
RIGHTEOUS: conforming to a moral law, being outraged with injustice.
That sounds good, but I needed to find or search out the biblical definition of righteous or righteousness: here is what I found:
We know that God is righteous but what does this word mean? It certainly means that there is a right-ness in God. All that He is and all that he does is right and unlike humans, He is righteous in all He says as that is one of His attributes. The Old Testament says that God is righteous. In Psalm 7:11a we read "God is a righteous judge." The word righteous in the Hebrew is "tsaddiy" which means just, lawful, and correct. The word righteous in the New Testament comes from the Greek word "dikaios" which means observing divine laws or upright, faultless, innocent, and guiltless.
These are all descriptive of God Himself and no human has any of these attributes inherent in themselves even though we can do things that are upright and observe the divine laws like the Ten Commandments while not being able to obey them all, but how can fallen creatures like us be righteous?
Now, I did not mean to go too deep into explaining how we become righteous, that is for another time. I merely wanted to tout the number of references in Proverbs 11-14 that mention the positive attributes and outcomes of being righteous and living a righteous lifestyle. I have heard Joseph Prince say on one of his many broadcasts that righteousness is mere: RIGHT THINKING, RIGHT BELIEVING AND RIGHT LIVING. THAT IS AS SIMPLE AS IT GETS.
So now let me do as I intended and give you at least the first 12 positive benefits of being righteous as underscored in Proverbs 11-14.
Proverbs 11:3 "the integrity of the upright (righteous) guides them."
Proverbs 11:5 "the righteousness of the blameless makes their paths straight."
Proverbs 11:6 "the righteousness of the upright delivers them, but the unfaithful are trapped by their evil desires."
Proverbs 11:8 "the righteous person is rescued from trouble."
Proverbs 11: 9 "the godless destroy their neighbors but through knowledge the righteous escape."
Proverbs 11:10 "when the righteous prosper, the city rejoices."
Proverbs 11:11 "through the blessing of the upright a city is exalted."
Proverbs 11:19 "truly the righteous attain life, but whoever pursues evil finds death."
Proverbs 11: 21" the wicked will not go unpunished, but the righteous will go free."
Proverbs 11:23 "the desire of the righteous ends only in good, but the hope of the wicked ends in wrath."
Proverbs 11:28 "the righteous will thrive like a green leaf.
Proverbs 11: 30 "the fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and the one who is wise saves lives."
Proverbs 11:31 "if the righteous receive their due on earth, how much more the ungodly and the sinner!"
I know that at times it seems that it is the wicked that prospers and has the upper hand, but we only need to read Psalm 37 to remind us that we do not have to fret what the enemy does to us. There is a day of reckoning for the wicked in this land. God will take care of them, so you and I don't have too.
This was 13 references to the benefits and positive outcomes of being and living a righteous life, for esteeming to uphold justice and live at peace on earth with our neighbors. I am grateful for this time of reflection upon the Proverbs. It is helping me to keep my hopes alive, to know that my living a holy, upright lifestyle is not in vain.
Enjoy your day and: DON'T FORGET TO SAY YOUR PRAYERS.