The themes for these three chapters are honesty and success. Each verse contains a proverb that could be put on any sign of any Bible-believing church and would give passers-by something to consider.
The thing is many of these proverbs sound like good things happen to good people and bad things happen to bad. Remember that the Old Testament is a physical, material example of the Spiritual truths we live after the cross. If we get caught up with a material interpretation of the proverbs we might find ourselves thinking God lied to Solomon. Because it’s obvious that there are some pretty wealthy and ungodly people around and there are some dear brothers and sisters in Christ who are struggling to make ends meet.
What is God saying to us through these proverbs? 11:4 says “Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath but righteousness delivers from death”. We know that speaks of the day when every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord.
11:30 says, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise”.
Chapters 12 & 13 speak of success. Is it material success we read about? Some of the principles apply, certainly. But real success stems from a right relationship with God who blesses the obedient. There are wealthy Christians and there are Christians in poverty. There are rich non-Christians and poor people who don’t know Christ. The difference is not the dollar amount. It’s Jesus. It’s peace and hope and love and life and forgiveness. It’s the Presence of God in our lives.
No earthly success can compare. We are rich indeed.
Father, help your people to recognize that having you in our lives is better than any kind of income. I know it doesn’t pay the bills. But I thank you that you are faithful to provide what we need. It might not always be what we want. But when we offer you ourselves with no strings attached, you provide perfectly. Guide us. Show us what you would have us do to pay those bills that keep coming. Help parents who struggle to feed their children. And put a desire in the hearts of those who have enough, to reach out to someone who needs a helping hand. Let us be the answer to their prayer today.