28 Whoever trusts in his riches will fall,
but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf.
29 He who brings trouble on his family will inherit only wind,
and the fool will be servant to the wise.
30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
and he who wins souls is wise.
31 If the righteous receive their due on earth,
how much more the ungodly and the sinner!
Proverbs 11:28-31, New International Version
Servant to the Wise
The book of Proverbs is filled with so much wisdom that is relevant to us, especially in this time and culture, that we would do well to faithfully read and study it. The focus in the verses shown above from Proverbs 11, is a comparison between the righteous and the ungodly.
Verse 28 flies in the face of the thinking of our day. Before we become too critical, however, we must ask ourselves this question. "How many times have I thought life would be better, and my problems would be solved if only I was financially independent." We may even temper our thinking by telling God how much more we could do for Him, if we did not have to work to support ourselves. The passion to be rich afflicts the righteous as well as the ungodly.
However, when the righteous read a passage such as this, they are convicted of their greed and covetousness, and come before the Lord seeking forgiveness.
Looking at verse 29, we should ponder God's definition of "the wise." Is wisdom learned by amassing several degrees to one's name? That, too, is a common thought of our day. But, true wisdom only comes from God. Those who have much human knowledge will still be servants to those who are wise by God's standards.
Think about that for a moment. How can one be wise, when one does not even understand who God is and what His relationship is to them? How can one be wise when he believes that our earth and everything in it happened by chance? Only by knowing God, can a person receive true wisdom.
Proverbs 11:30-31 makes the final distinction between the righteous and the ungodly. To the righteous is promised the tree of life. What the ungodly must see is that, if God disciplines the righteous, how much more will their condemnation be sure when they stand before this righteous and holy God who cannot even look upon sin.
Who are you? Are you the wise or are you a servant to the wise? The answer is only found in Christ!
God Bless You,