John T. Willis

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Proverbs 10:28-32

Proverbs 10 concludes with five more antithetical parallelisms or contrasts:

Verse 28: "The hope of the righteous ends in gladness,
but the expectation of the wicked comes to nothing."

Verse 29: "The way of the Lord is a stronghold for the upright,
but destruction for evildoers."

Verse 30: "The righteous will never be removed,
but the wicked will not remain in the land."

Verse 31: "The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom,
but the perverse tongue will be cut off."

Verse 32: "The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable,
but the mouth of the wicked what is perverse."

What practical lessons does on learn from these maxims?

1. Like many previous proverbs in Proverbs 10 (see verses 2, 3, 6, etc.), all of these proverbs contrast the "righteous" with the "wicked." Biblically, the distinction between righteous and wicked people is very clear.

2. Verses 28-30 all describe the "fate" of the righteous and the wicked. The expectations of the righteous will become reality, while the hopes of the wicked will come to nothing and end in destruction.

3. Like several other maxims in Proverbs 10 (see verses 11-13, 18-21), the "speech" of the righteous and the wicked is very important for doing what God wills according to verses 31-32. The righteous know when to speak and what to say; the wicked speak at the wrong time and in the wrong circumstance, and they say the wrong thing. Obviously, constant reflection on God's will and way, and much experience in living life and dealing with people, shape the development of righteous speech.

John Willis