Stick with something long enough, even an annual reading plan, and patterns will start to form, things will become familiar, and lessons learned will repeat. One such lesson, it occurs to me, comes into play when you hit Proverbs 10 and shift into Solomon’s “one-liners.” You gotta know this guy would have been a “tweeter” if tweeting was a thing back then. But I digress . . .
Anyway, seems to me, there’s a bit of a decision that has to be made when you hit chapter 10. While I know that what Solomon writes is for me, is this wisdom about me? Specifically all the stuff about “the righteous.”
Thirteen of the thirty-two verses in this chapter deal with “the righteous” . . fourteen if you include the one concerning “the blameless.”
And for the past several years, when I’ve got to this point in Proverbs, I’ve found myself having a conversation with myself that goes something like this, “Self, these verses are about you. I know you know how unrighteous you are deep down. But these verses are about you and for you because, in Christ, you are the righteous.” And having been reminded of that, I start marking these verses with the color I use for the people of God.
In the thirteen verses about the righteous found in this chapter (fourteen if you include the blameless), there are realities to rejoice in . . .
Blessings are on the head of the righteous . . . The memory of the righteous is a blessing . . . the righteous is established forever . . . the hope of the righteous brings joy . . .
(Proverbs 10:6a, 7a, 25b, 28a ESV)
And there are character qualities to aspire to . . .
The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life (11a) . . . The tongue of the righteous is choice silver . . . The lips of the righteous feed many . . . The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom . . .
(Proverbs 10:11a, 20a, 21a, 31a ESV)
What’s more, there are promises to claim . . .
The Lord does not let the righteous go hungry . . . The wage of the righteous leads to life . . . the desire of the righteous will be granted . . . The righteous will never be removed . . .
(Proverbs 10:3a, 16a, 24b, 30a ESV)
But all this falls by the wayside if you look yourself in the mirror and say, “That’s not me. I know me. I’m far from righteous.”
Instead, I need to let the Spirit remind me, “Yeah, that is you!”
For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.
(2Corinthians 5:21 ESV)
For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one Man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.
(Romans 5:19 ESV)
For in [the gospel] the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
(Romans 1:17 ESV)
Through faith in the Son of God and His finished work on the cross, I am the righteous (the blameless if I include the fourteenth verse). Positionally I have been justified. Practically I am being sanctified.
A good reminder at this point in Proverbs because there’s over forty more truths to come about the righteous. A good reminder, in general, because it’s who I am in Christ.
A good reminder as it brings to mind again His abounding grace.
A good reminder as it evokes a desire to declare is unmatchable glory.