Proverbs 23:17

Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the LORD.

When I think of envying sinners, my mind goes to the movie industry.  As a culture, we have given movie stars hero/heroine status.  Even the lesser known stars make 10 times a year what most of us make.  They have cars, jewels, travel opportunities, and spending money in abundance. What they don’t have is love, faithfulness, joy, the peace of being known by God, and having Him watch over them.  Fame is fleeting.  Wealth can be gone in an instant.

The future is secure, and the hope of life is a sure thing for those who belong to God.

Proverbs 22:2

Rich and poor have this in common; the LORD is the Maker of them all.

Now, that levels the playing field.  Billionaires, Middle Class workers, those who struggle to keep their heads above poverty, have the same thing in common.  The LORD made them all.  Psalm 139:13 says, ” For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 

For the sinner who has been to the cross of Christ, and received His salvation,  there is even more common ground with other believers.  We are all children of God!  Jn. 1:12.  Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.

Proverbs 21:21

He who pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor.

Often those who pursue righteousness and love have no wealth.  I realized life, prosperity, and honor don’t mean material possessions or success.  The one who pursues righteousness and love is rich in friends, rich in fullness of life and enjoys the riches of a heart at peace.  This kind of prosperity doesn’t come to an end.  It only grows more rich as time goes by.

Proverbs 20:22

Do not say, “I’ll pay you back for this wrong!”  Wait for the LORD, and he will deliver you.

From the  beginning days of the law of Moses (Leviticus 19:18, :Do not seek revenge or  bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself”, through the sayings of the one God called the wisest of all men, (Proverbs 20:22), to the words of Paul in the New Testament. (  Romans 12:19 , Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge;  I will repay, ” says the Lord.)

For the Christian, this means practicing mercy, overlooking offenses, loving the unlovely.  It means we entrust into the hand of God any injustices we have experienced.

Proverbs 19:22

What a man desires is unfailing love; better to be poor than a liar.

Whether in marriage, in our family relationships, or between friends, this is our desire: to experience unfailing love.  However, this kind of love is not available in human relationships.  Whether from my point of view, or from the other’s point of view, there are times we will fail each other even in love.

There is only one place that this unfailing love can be found – in our relatioinship with the Living God.  His love never fails, so He, and He alone, can fill this desire.

Proverbs 18:10 and 11

The name of the LORD isa a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.  The wealth of the rich is their fortified city; they imagine it an unscalable wall.

Over the years of studying God’s Word, struggling at times with life and godliness,  verse ten has always been a verse of power and comfort to me.  This verse comes to me often during times of trouble, but I never noticed before how verse eleven comes right up alongside.  Personally, I would rather have my strong tower, my fortified city be the name of the LORD which is powerful, strong and never changes, than I would to depend on riches which can collapse in a moment.

Besides, the name of the LORD goes with us into eternity, while riches are worthless to you after you die.