Proverbs 10:22-32

Proverbs 10:22‑32  •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 6
To the end of the chapter we have the blessing of Jehovah, in contrast with the fool, the wicked, and the sluggard, in their respective paths; the fear of Jehovah, and again the way of Jehovah, and the effects compared with the opposed evil.
“The blessing of Jehovah, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow to it.
[It is] as sport to a fool to do wickedness; but a man of understanding hath wisdom.
The fear of the wicked, it shall come upon him; but the desire of the righteous shall be granted.
As a whirlwind passeth, so [is] the wicked no [more]; but the righteous [is] an everlasting foundation.
As vinegar to the teeth, and as smoke to the eyes, so [is] the sluggard to those that send him.
The fear of Jehovah prolongeth days; but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.
The hope of the righteous [is] joy; but the expectation of the wicked shall perish.
The way of Jehovah [is] strength to the upright one; but destruction to the workers of iniquity.
The righteous one shall never be removed; but the wicked shall not dwell in the earth (or, land).
The mouth of the righteous one putteth forth wisdom; but the froward tongue shall be cut off.
The lips of a righteous one know what is acceptable; but the mouth of the wicked [is] frowardness” (vers. 22-32).
The Israelite was here called to remember that their God, Jehovah, the only unerring moral governor, is the blesser; and that His blessing makes rich. The day comes when Messiah shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall reign in judgment. In that day, as the rule, false appearances shall not flourish. The vile person or fool shall be no more called liberal, nor the churl said to be bountiful. The work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and confidence forever. The very wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad; and no wonder, when He reigns Who made all very good, before the sin of man brought in confusion and every evil work. But then shall the wolf dwell with the lamb, and the leopard lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp (or adder), and the weaned child shall put his hand on the viper's den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain. In that day will it be seen by every eye that the blessing of Jehovah makes rich, and He adds no sorrow to it. But even in this day of man when sin still reigns in death, godliness with contentment is great gain, whatever be the outward circumstances.
On the other hand the lively pleasure of moral folly is to do wickedness for a little while. What is the end of such sport, but death as part wages, and judgment as full? A man of understanding has wisdom, and the fear of Jehovah is his constant part as well as beginning. Moreover, the fear of the wicked is far from groundless, and if it heed not the goodness of God that leads to repentance, the suspended blow falls, “it shall come upon him.” Just so, even while it is still the evil day, the desire of the righteous shall be granted; for he asks of God what is according to His will, judging himself where, seeking more or otherwise, he yielded to vain thoughts. Why should he doubt care and mercy in any trial from Him whose grace justified the ungodly? No doubt, even now there are hours of exceeding pressure, here compared to a whirlwind. When it passes, where is the wicked? “No more.” The very distress which overwhelms him discloses that “the righteous is an everlasting foundation.” “Sluggishness” may not have the dark character of “wickedness” or of “folly” in the moral sense; but it is a two-fold wrong of no small dimensions. It is unworthy in itself, and dishonors the failing man by its purposeless ease; it is as vexatious to others “that send him” “as vinegar to the teeth, and as smoke to the eyes.” How sad when lack of heed and diligence in a Christian exposes His Master's name to be ill-spoken of!
The apostle Peter cites a word kindred in substance to ver. 27 from Psa. 34 though the form differs. The fear of Jehovah is the source of strength and security for the weak in a world of evil and anxiety and danger. It “prolongeth days” for him who trembles at His word, not at the enemy; as “the years of the wicked” who has no such fear “shall be shortened.” For the same reason “the hope of the righteous is joy” now as well as at the end; whereas “the expectation of the wicked shall perish.” Not only is there the wearing chagrin and worry of disappointment to shorten his days, but he cannot shut out his dread of inevitable judgment and his mockery of perdition ends in the blackest despair.
In bright light shines out ver. 29 “The way of Jehovah is strength to the upright, but destruction to the workers of iniquity.” It is not here His “end” as in James 5:1111Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy. (James 5:11), but His “way;” though they are alike worthy of Him, and also the reliance and comfort of faith, as His word reveals both. Oh what patience and long-suffering in His way, however dark and afflicting it seemed to Job and his friends! but what was the end? Could Satan deny its compassion and mercy? But His way corrected error for the upright, while its forbearance gives occasion to the destruction of such as work iniquity. They shall no more inhabit the earth, than the righteous be removed, in the judgment. They may foam out their own shames now; but “the froward tongue shall be cut out,” as surely as “the mouth of the righteous putteth forth wisdom.” It is the single eye to the Lord that gives the lips to know what is acceptable to God as well as man. The mouth of the wicked speaks frowardness according to the abundance of his heart; the good man speaks out of his good treasure, and this is Christ Himself.