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SIH’s Think On These Things: Proverbs 11:5-6

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SIH TOTT ICONHe layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous (Prov 2:7)


Wisdom’s Great Gain: The Gift Of Righteousness (Part #1): 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.



In this section of chapter 11 we find proverbs that speak of another display of wisdom that shows great gain…. righteous living. 

For us to come to a sound understanding of these verses, we must come to a basic understanding of the term “righteousness” in these 4 verses.  In these verses, the term “righteousness” is used twice and the word “righteous” is used once.  All of these terms come from the same root word.  This root word carries with it the ideas of “cleansed” or “cleared”, to be “right”, “just”, or “lawful”.    

To summarize all of this:  “righteousness” is the state of being cleansed from sin (disobedience), making a person right (just) in the sight of God.

Why is this gift of God described as a result of the application of wisdom to our lives?  We are clearly told in Scripture that this gift of righteous only comes through the application of God’s Word to our life.  It is in His Word we are told of the need to repent and believe the gospel message.  It is through these graces of God that righteousness flows. 

Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law [is] the knowledge of sin.  But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;  Even the righteousness of God [which is] by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: (Romans 3:20-22)

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

Note several truths we can learn from this proverb…

For the perfect:

1.  “the perfect” – Those who without spot in God’s sight are those who have been cleansed of their sin by God.  They are considered “perfect” NOT because they do not commit sin, but it is because the sin they have committed has been cleansed by God through the shed blood of Christ.
2.  “the righteousness”  – It is this cleansing that results in God’s acceptance of him.  God has graced him with cleansing.  In spite of the sin he committed, and continues to commit, he is now accepted and looked upon as perfect by God.
3.  “shall direct his way” – This cleansing by God and His acceptance of the sinner graces the cleansed one with the ability to recognize and live according to the desires of God.  It is in this sense that the righteousness of the perfect directs the path of life that he takes.  Prior to his cleansing, he did not desire, nor was he able to fulfill the desires of God for his life.  It is only after the receipt of righteousness (cleansing and acceptance by God) that he is able to obey Him.

For the wicked:

1.  “the wicked” – those who are guilty and condemned in God’s sight.
2.  “shall fall” – those who have never received God’s righteousness through Christ’s death shall be overthrown and devastated as they must face the eternal judgment of their sins.
3.  “his own wickedness” – the judgment that will fall upon him is based upon his willful disobedience against God. Keep in mind, it is “his own” wickedness. In other words, he is the one that is totally responsible for the judgment he faces because he has chosen to disobey.

In the way of righteousness [is] life; and [in] the pathway [thereof there is] no death.”   (Proverbs 12:28)

The heathen are sunk down in the pit [that] they made: in the net which they hid is their own foot taken.  The LORD is known [by] the judgment [which] he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Higgaion. Selah.”   (Psalms 9:15-16)

The theme of responsibility for coming judgment is continued in the next proverb…

6) The righteousness of the upright shall deliver them: but transgressors shall be taken in [their own] naughtiness.
1.  the cleansing and acceptance by God, shown by those living lives of obedience to Him, will take away any judgment for their sin.
2.  those who have crossed over the line of God’s law and seen as guilty in His sight, will be caught “red-handed” in the commission of their perverse, twisted acts of sin.   Being caught “red-handed” leaves no excuse for nor doubt of their guilt and deserving of judgment.

Behold, here I [am]: witness against me before the LORD, and before his anointed: whose ox have I taken? or whose ass have I taken? or whom have I defrauded? whom have I oppressed? or of whose hand have I received [any] bribe to blind mine eyes therewith? and I will restore it you.  And they said, Thou hast not defrauded us, nor oppressed us, neither hast thou taken ought of any man’s hand.”  (1 Samuel 12:3-4)

His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate.”   (Psalms 7:16)



In these proverbs we have seen that:
1. those who have been cleansed and justified by God can understand His will and desire to obey Him.  They are removed from the condemnation of their sin and the eternal judgment reserved for the guilty.
2. those who are guilty of sin and condemned in God’s sight, have chosen the path of sin upon which they have traveled.  They have eternal judgment awaiting them of which there will be no excuse.

The section on the gift of righteousness will continue in the next devotional (vs 7-8).

May we all choose to speak words of wisdom, knowing that they will result in blessings to both the speaker and the hearers.

By God’s grace, let us all study these proverbs diligently, giving them the value that they deserve.

May the Lord bless us as we receive this sound wisdom and then “Think On These Things”.

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  1. Debbie says:

    I love how we can bless others and ourselves when we speak with wisdom! Thank you and God bless you, Pastor Rob!

  2. Praise God for His amazing grace whereby He cleansed and justified us, giving us the free gift of His own righteousness; delivering us from the power of darkness and translating us into His own kingdom as His dealy beloved adopted children!

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