Proverbs present wisdom to the world, and now we see specific examples in detail.  For these chapters I want to savor each line.  I divide Proverbs chapter ten into three parts to do this.  These are the warnings of the ancient past, but they illuminate the dark road in the night of our present nightmares.  Follow wisdom and avoid the edge of the road that is parallel to the canyon of death.

Proverbs 10:1-10

1 The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.

Oh I know a few kids who are wise in daily life, and in spiritual ways as well.  We see youth in our churches move in faith in ways that amaze the adults who watched them grow.  I know the parents of a young man who leads a world healing ministry.  We rejoice when young people make a positive life change, but more when they teach others how Jesus can change them.

We have also seen young people mock their parent’s faith and take the road to rebellion.  The popular road is reinforced by music, media, and peer pressure.  Be sure we have allowed television and movies to slide to the immoral zone for decades.  We are all to blame, but only pray our children will hear the hope of righteousness.  When Star Trek and Emergency room overlooked the formality of marriage, who still believed the bible?  Only those who have found a relationship with the God who will answer them.  We understand how the majority follow a wide road to destruction, but the pain for parents is real.  Television rarely dwells on the issues of unwanted pregnancy, STDs, poverty, custody battles, and domestic violence.  But the parents carry the pain with no remedy.

2 Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivereth from death.

How many times have we heard that money isn’t everything?  But today we may be measuring our candidates for President by how well they make money.  Seeing how well they make enemies, should we wonder how they made that money?  Does a big house and a trophy wife make a man a good leader for the nation?  Does it given him the right to insult national and world leaders that we may need to work with for diplomacy in the future?  Evil can produce wealth and it can bully those who oppose it, But does it really assure a safe future?  It didn’t work for Nazi Germany.

Do we live in a generation that can produce another Abraham Lincoln?  Can his, or any other  party deliver hope like this in our time?  Are there simple men who have the faith to resist evil today without standing on wealthy special interest groups?  The moral crisis of a divided nation did not overwhelm Abraham Lincoln.  His faith was founded on an unshakable rock of ages, this book of wisdom, the word of God.  This is where you search for the real leaders of the future.

3 The Lord will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish: but he casteth away the substance of the wicked.

Oh me of little faith.  I surrendered my life to Jesus in 1978 and I am still worrying about paying my bills.  Yet I have never lacked for food and shelter in all that time.  I saw my family go through unemployment, sickness, and death, but God has always provided.  And in that same time I have seen headlines full of the failures of evil men.

4 He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.

Still even now I need to avoid sloth and follow a plan for employment and prosperity.  When branded “unemployable” I bought my own tools and patented new solutions for industry.  Hope could only come from faith in God when no material solutions were available.

5 He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame.

My farm and ranch neighbors in Wyoming and Nebraska are far more diligent than I in these observations.  But I too must remember that my working days are limited by my years so we all press in to produce in our season.

6 Blessings are upon the head of the just: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.

Piracy, crime, terrorism, and hatred are rampant and violence leads to their downfall.  As this happens the righteous prosper materially and spiritually in god’s blessings.

7 The memory of the just is blessed: but the name of the wicked shall rot.

A righteous man has God’s forgiveness and grace.  That leads to prosperity in this world and the one to come.  But witness the parade of names that file out of our memory as they are harvested like weeds.

8 The wise in heart will receive commandments: but a prating fool shall fall.

Endless silly chatter is a road to failure, while a wise man listens to instructions.  Fighters may trash talk but the one who hears instructions from his corner coach perseveres to victory.

9 He that walketh uprightly walketh surely: but he that perverteth his ways shall be known.

So those who are honest will walk a sure path in safety.  At the same time those who cheat are being discovered every day.  Don’t panic about the conspiracies because there is always another conspiracy to oppose that one, and a judge who will put them all in jail!

10 He that winketh with the eye causeth sorrow: but a prating fool shall fall.

To let a sin go unpunished is to allow the participants a clear path to the problems that are caused by it.  But idle boastful talking is a road to self destruction.  So ignoring foolishness is condoning it, while boasting and promoting sin makes you a participant in the punishment of it.

Do we contribute to the evil of our nation if we ignore the sin around us?  Not so much as those who advocate it proudly, but both will witness the suffering of it.  Now we have to lean on this biblical map to wisdom so we can speak out when truth is needed, and avoid being the author of the evil path because we may be deceived.  There are subtleties in godly wisdom that need to be studied for our safety.  We may be wise to proceed cautiously along the highway when the storms obscure our view of the hazards in the night.