Follow along as we look at a few verses from today’s Proverb. You never know what might show up!
Proverbs 11:1 A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight.
Many years ago, before “civilized” countries created worthless paper money out of nothing, value was determined by the weight of money in a coin. Sure, there was a face value associated with a coin, but the real value came not from the stamp on the face of the coin, as we’re accustomed to today, but from the intrinsic value of the metal in the coin. That’s why God demanded a just weight and balance: as the government debased coinage by making it with less and less real money (gold, silver, copper, valuable metals), its actual value was diminished while its apparent value remained the same. Spiritually speaking, we should always strive to be real, and not a fake inside covered by a façade. Practically speaking, always be honest in dealings with others, and be upright when it comes to value and cost. God desires an honest measure and a just weight.
Proverbs 11: 5 The righteousness of the perfect shall direct his way: but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness.
As Psalm 37:23 says, the steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD. When we delight in God, and obey His will for our lives, we find that the Holy Spirit will guide us in the way that we should walk. On the flip side, when a man walks in his own path, and does as he chooses, his path is fraught with danger. If we choose to ignore the safeguards put in place by our Heavenly Father, much like earthly parents set up protection for their children, then we run the risk of doing harm to ourselves and to others.
Proverbs 11:14 Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.
This verse is often used to guilt people into taking advice, usually unsound, but I would insist that this is not the intent of this verse at all. When a person approaches a situation where he is unsure of how to proceed, his first recourse should be to seek advice from people that have been through similar problems. Now, as a born-again Christian, he should be submitted to the Holy Spirit above everything else, so as to weed out good counsel from bad. Just as Rehoboam received much counsel, yet chose to follow the wrong kind, just because a person gets a lot of advice doesn’t necessarily mean that he will get the right advice. Make sure that you are approaching the right kind of people, first of all, and that every action is directed by the LORD. You are more likely to get unwise counsel than wise counsel, though it’s always wise to seek counsel regardless.
Proverbs 11:15 He that is surety for a stranger shall smart for it: and he that hateth suretiship is sure.
This is pretty simple, yet important: co-signing is a really bad idea. My dad co-signed for my first car, and I paid it off without incident. However, my wife’s father co-signed for her car, and were it not for a seemingly serendipitous wreck where I totaled the car and was able to get out from under a loan we couldn’t refinance, other situations would have damaged my wife’s credit, all due to co-signing. So, if you really trust someone, then OK, but it’s never wise to co-sign a loan for someone who hasn’t proved themselves to be trustworthy.
Proverbs 11:22 As a jewel of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion.
Everyone has seen a woman like this at some point in their lives: she’s very attractive, and seems like someone whose company you’d enjoy, but the minute she opens her mouth, she instantly loses all attractiveness. Of course, men can be much more obnoxious than most women, but there’s just something horrific about a pretty woman who behaves or speaks in a crass or indiscreet manner.
Proverbs 11:31 Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth: much more the wicked and the sinner.
This verse reminds me of a message that my dad preached a long time ago; Asaph, David’s chief musician, wrote Psalm 73, talking about his struggle to understand God’s dealings with the wicked. He complained that the righteous suffer and that the wicked are not troubled in the same way. However, when he entered the sanctuary, and when he understood the mind of God, he understood that God’s dealings with the wicked are much more harsh than man could effect. Just as the Bible says: vengeance belongs to God, and He is far more capable of punishing someone than we could ever be. Likewise, as Job suffered at God’s express will, but he was rewarded with wonderful blessings due to his faithfulness. We may endure trials and hardship (1 Peter 5:10), but rest assured that your trial is a sweet-smelling savor to God (1 Peter 1:7), and He will delight in recompensing you for your faithfulness.