Proverbs 11 (7-31-21)
Like many other chapters in the Proverbs, there are so many precious gems of wisdom in just one chapter. Therefore, I will pick three to focus on today and pray they are helpful for you as you serve the good Lord.
Proverbs 11:1 A false balance is an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is his delight.
We are all aware of the commandment of our Lord, “Thou shall not steal.” Most of us are good with this one because we don’t struggle with the temptation to rob a person’s purse or home or car, but we human beings are good at robbing one another in other ways. It may be more than we admit or even realize. Another kind of theft is done through malicious deceit when something is taken through fraud, lies, or manipulation. Another kind of theft is craftier, when a man’s belongings are taken from him by seemingly legal means.
Fraudulent merchandising and inaccurate weights and measures are two ways this is done, and they are all too often acceptable to people who claim Christ. We see this in the opening proverb of chapter 11: “A false balance is an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is his delight.”
Stealing can happen both as the seller or as the buyer. A seller can alter measurements to fool buyers into thinking they are getting more than they are actually receiving. This is equivalent to theft, because it takes more money than the product is actually worth. A buyer or customer can steal by keeping a wrong measurement or item for which they did not pay. Christ in us should cause us to never justify, use false measurements, or lie about what we are buying and selling. If nothing else, our testimony of honesty before the Lord and the person speaks volumes of the gospel and the satisfaction of our Lord in our lives.
Proverbs 11:3 speaks to this when it says, “The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.” If you are guilty of this kind of stealing, repent and honor the Lord with even the simplest transactions.
Proverbs 11:2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.
This is a sin Solomon speaks of again and again. Why? It’s because it is such a central struggle and really brings serious consequences; as it says here, “then comes disgrace.”
Pride is an enemy of God. It is evil! Why is it evil? It’s evil because pride causes man to believe he is worthy of worship and praise.
Pride is demonic; it is the essence of the fallen angel who, in his pride, became a demon. Pride was the chosen weapon of Satan in mankind’s demise from day one. It is the core of our folly! It was pride that caused Adam and Eve to eat the forbidden fruit in their desire to be like God.
Ever since Eden, pride has been the problem of mankind. What makes it worse is most of us don’t even understand the magnitude of the problem that pride is, because Satan went into the marketing business, and he has repackaged pride as self-esteem. He has taught us to value the feelings of being proud in our accomplishments or in our kids’ accomplishments. As a result, we believe self-esteem is a good thing to grow and work on. We see it as something to read about and cling to.
Esteem of oneself, or the pride of oneself, is the very sin that causes us to reject God and praise man!
The world says, “You need to have self-esteem.” No, you don’t! You need to have esteem in Christ! Your identity is in Christ; your joy is in Christ! We are to live for God’s glory, not our own!
Whatabout self-help? That’s the problem! We can’t help ourselves; we need Jesus. It’s not self-help, self-esteem, or self-actualization for which we are desperate. It is God, it’s Christ, it’s grace, His gospel, and His glory!
PRIDE COMES BEFORE THE FALL!
We live in a demonically inspired culture that wants to make you and me the center of the universe, and it wants to make our glory the ultimate goal of our existence. It wants you to think that everyone should bow down and realize how amazing you are.
Again, we see this all throughout the Proverbs. For example:
Proverbs 6:16-17 tell us that “a proud look is an abomination to the Lord.”
God promises to “destroy the house of the proud” (Proverbs 15:25 NKJV).
“A haughty look, a proud heart … are sin” (Proverbs 21:4 NKJV).
God opposes the proud. Think about that! To be proud is to fight God. The Bible also says that God gives grace to the humble. We don’t need pride; we need grace! Our prayer needs to be, “God I need help. I need to get out of myself; I’m addicted to myself. I think about myself. If I am honest, I love myself and only myself. I don’t need self-esteem; I need identity in Christ. I don’t need to self-actualize; I need to worship you and live for your glory.”
Proverbs 11:14 Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.
If you think about it, sin is what causes us to want to do this life alone. What is the first thing Adam and Eve did when sin was in play? They covered themselves and hid. Do you see the separation? One of the main things God restores and Jesus redeems in us is community. We need guidance and good counsel; therefore, God gives us the written word and an adopted family to keep us centered on the gospel and headed in the right direction.
Do you truly value both God’s word and your church community? This means you spend real time in God’s word, and you regularly pursue godly counsel from mature brothers and sisters in Christ. I have found nothing more important to my life in the area of guidance than these two priceless, God-given resources. May we not neglect them but seek them regularly.
By His grace and for His glory,
Pastor Joshua Kirstine