Greed, dishonesty, pride, and injustice. These and other issues have existed from the beginning of time. Satan himself was cast out of heaven because his pride drove him to lead a rebellion against God (Isaiah 14:12-14). Each generation has had to deal with the consequences of these sins, which seem to only increase with the years. Today it appears to be even more rampant; it is definitely more visible with an even bigger spotlight brought about by increased technology. The negative effects of these activities are quickly revealed and shared by the media and other outlets.
As these sins increase, we continue to hear statistics of the decline in church membership and attendance. It would seem more and more people are turning away from the Word of God and to a world ravaged by sin. People are reading the Bible less and turning more to social media. The Word of God is the Light that shines in this dark world. It shines through us who read and put it into practice. But if we aren’t reading it, we become numb to God’s declaration that “Dishonest scales are an abomination to Adonai, but an accurate weight is His delight” (Proverbs 11:1).
We live in a world that is often built on dishonest scales. Much of the world’s wealth is pooled among a select few who continue to extend their gain, often at the expense of the poor. As their wealth and power grow, so does their pride, but without the knowledge of God, they neglect that “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom” (Proverbs 11:2). Those who call on the Lord and whose faith is firmly established in Messiah do not act in this way. They remain steadfast in the Word and know that “The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous will destroy them” (Proverbs 11:3).
The world’s system is designed to force us to seek after riches. We need money to put food on the table, clothes on our backs, and keep a roof over our heads. There is a myriad of other necessities that we can list to justify wanting more money. Coupled with the high cost of goods, we can see how one may think that riches will fix all our problems, but it is not so. For, “Riches make no profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death” (Proverbs 11:4). It then depends on what we value the most and how far forward we are thinking. Our worries for tomorrow are a short-sighted approach that often causes us to seek more after the things of this world than of the world to come.
The worries of this life can lead us to make decisions that affect our attitudes toward God and people. When hope appears bleak we can find ourselves in a dark place, and that is where the enemy has the upper hand. We must stay in the Word and live righteous lives, with our hope set firmly on God. For, “The righteousness of the blameless man makes his way straight, but the wicked man is brought down by his wickedness” (Proverbs 11:5). It is easy to declare as wicked those who commit the most egregious atrocities, overlooking our own wickedness in ignoring our sins before a holy God. We must take care not to declare ourselves blameless without an honest examination of our ways. With our hope firmly resting in Messiah, we can declare “the righteousness of the upright delivers them, but the treacherous are trapped by their desire” (Proverbs 11:5).
The desires of the wicked are often “[desires] of the flesh, lusts of the eyes, and the pride of life” (1 John 2:16). This love of the world is not compatible with love for God. God is eternal and His kingdom is everlasting. This world, however, is dying, and with it all its lusts. Therefore, “When the wicked dies, his hope perishes, and the hope of the strong vanishes” (Proverbs 11:7). There is no future for the ungodly. Your wealth may be your tower today but tomorrow it is your prison, especially if it is your hope.
Those who oppress the poor and needy are not left unpunished. Their perversion of justice does not go unnoticed because their Defender is strong and He fights for the less fortunate (Exodus 22:22-23). Do not boast when justice is delayed for in the end, “The righteous is rescued from trouble. Instead, it comes on the wicked” (Proverbs 11:8). Do not go around mocking those you oppress. For, “With his mouth, the ungodly destroys his neighbor, but through knowledge that righteous will be delivered” (Proverbs 11:9).
Deliverance is on the horizon. Messiah will return, as promised, and the kingdom of God will be firmly established. This world and all that is corrupt will be put under subjection to Messiah Yeshua and those who put their trust in Him will rule with Him. Finally, the saying will be made perfect—”When the righteous do well, a city rejoices. When the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy” (Proverbs 11:10).
Chazak, be strong!
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