-A false balance (injustice) is an abomination before the LORD. When things are done fairly and impartially, that is when the LORD delights. With pride comes dishonor, but with the humble and contrite there is wisdom (Leviticus 26:19, Psalm 51:17, Proverbs 16:18; 21:24; 29:23, Isaiah 2:17; 66:2, Daniel 4:37, James 4:6, 1 Peter 5:5, 1 John 2:16). The integrity of the upright will direct and guide them through the course of life, but the crookedness of the treacherous will destroy them. Riches cannot profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness certainly does as it delivers from death. The blameless are blessed. Their righteousness will smooth out their way, but the wicked will fall in their own schemes of evil. Righteous continues as a theme in delivering the upright, but the treacherous will be caught in their own selfish greed. When the wicked die, their expectation perishes, so does the hope of the strong man. However, the righteous is delivered from trouble, while the wicked take his place. The speech theme reoccurs with Solomon saying that with his mouth the godless man destroys his neighbor. But, through knowledge the righteous will be delivered. When things go well with the righteous, there is great rejoicing in the city, and in the same way there is jubilation when the wicked perish. “By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, but by the mouth of the wicked it is torn down (Proverbs 11:1-11).”
-Being a good neighbor is now extolled by the wise man. The one who despises his neighbor lacks sense. This is because much profit comes from loving and helping our neighbor in life. Solomon says a man of understanding keeps his mouth shut, compared to a talebearer who reveals secrets. He who is trustworthy will conceal a matter and not blurt it out to everyone. “Where there is no guidance the people fall, but in abundance of counselors (I should add good, Godly, biblical counselors because that’s what Solomon is getting at) there is victory.” If one is a guarantor for a stranger, he will surely suffer for it, but the one who hates being a guarantor is secure. The king goes on to say that a gracious woman attains honor, and that ruthless men will typically attain worldly riches. The merciful man does himself a huge favor (Matthew 5:7), but on the other hand, the cruel man does himself much harm. The wicked earns deceptive, underhanded, and false wages, but he who sows righteousness gets an actual and true reward. The steadfast in righteousness will attain life, but he who pursues evil will eventually bring about his own death. There is another abomination unto the LORD given now. This is the perverse in heart. On the contrary, the blameless in their walk with the LORD on the basis of faith are His delight (Proverbs 11:12-20, Habakkuk 2:4, Romans 1:17, Galatians 2:20; 3:11-12, Hebrews 10:38).
-The king now says that “assuredly, the evil man will not go unpunished, but the descendants of the righteous will be delivered.” He compares a ring of gold in a pig’s snout to a beautiful woman who lacks discretion. So, ladies make sure they you are always discrete. The righteous only desire what is good, but the expectation of the wicked is God’s wrath. Now generosity is explored some more. In beautiful language, Solomon asserts, “There is one who scatters, and yet increases all the more, and there is one who withholds with is justly due, and yet it results only in want.” The generous man will be prosperous, and the one who waters plentifully will himself be watered in return. This giving principle is the one thing that God asks us to test Him in (Malachi 3:10). The one withholding things like grain, will incur a curse by his people. Blessing will be on the one who generously sells it. The one who diligently seeks good, also seeks favor. But, he who seeks after evil will find evil coming to him. The foolish person who trusts in his own riches will eventually fall, but the righteous will find themselves flourishing like the green leaf that produces much fruit (Matthew 7:18, John 15:8). People that trouble their own house will inherit the wind (emptiness), and the foolish will be the servant to the wisehearted in most cases. “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who is wise wins souls. If the righteous will be rewarded in the earth, how much more the wicked and the sinner (Proverbs 11:21-31)!”
-*Application* There is so much to chew on in this incredible wisdom chapter. It would be wise of us to do a detailed study with a listing of the traits of righteous that Solomon, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, lays out for us to live by. Here are some thoughts in brief from this chapter concerning what the righteous should look like. They should be: just, humble, people of integrity, not concerned with worldly riches, blameless, upright, delivered, an encourager, knowledgeable, civic, lovers of their neighbor, understanding, able to keep a secret (not a blabber mouth), a leader, able to receive counsel and be held accountable, not a unwise guarantor (underwriter, sponsor), merciful, honest, steadfast, faithful, good in heart, discrete, separated from the world’s system, yielded to God’s Kingdom, desiring and seeking good all the time, generous, trusting God, bearing much fruit, taking care of their home, winning souls (shares the Christian faith contending and defending lovingly with the lost, 1 Peter 3:15, Jude 1:3), and rewarded.
Verse to Memorize: Proverbs 11:14, 24, 30