Proverbs 11 provides a comparison-contrast in every verse.
According to this chapter, what pleases God?
- honesty in business
- someone who refuses to gossip
- using a multitude of counsellors
- hating co-signing to strangers
- showing mercy
- being upright
- desiring good
- winning souls
What things absolutely don’t please the Lord and might be labeled abomination, shame, etc.?
- cheating in business
- perversity, perverse heart
- he that destroys his neighbor with words
- someone who tells secrets
- someone who doesn’t seek counsel
- co-signing for a stranger
- an unjust tax collector
- those that won’t sell/distribute what they have for the poor
- seeker of mischief
- those that trust in riches
Besides these, I’d like to share some thoughts from several individual verses not covered above.
Proverbs 11:7—When a wicked man dieth, his expectation shall perish: and the hope of unjust men perisheth. This is an extremely sad Bible verse. Contrast it with Titus 2:13-14, Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. In the Bible, hope is used to express “hope of glory.” It is “the confident expectation of what God has promised.” It isn’t just wishing or maybe-so, but it’s confidence in the Lord and heaven. In our verse in Proverbs, wicked people don’t have anything to look forward to. That is truly sad.
Proverbs 11:10-11—When it goeth well with the righteous, the city rejoiceth: and when the wicked perish, there is shouting. By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted: but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked. I am not sure what city this refers to, but look how a whole community is affected—with joy when good people prosper, and shouting when wicked people die. Even a city with upright people in it gets a special blessing from the Lord.
Proverbs 11:16—A gracious woman retaineth honour: and strong men retain riches. Here we have the first part of the verse about women, and the second is about men. There are several like this in the book of Proverbs.
Proverbs 11:22—As a jewel of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion. Is a jewel of gold in a pig’s snout appropriate? Of course not. No one spends that kind of money to put a ring in a pig’s snout. A woman without discretion is just as silly.
Proverbs 11:29—He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart. This verse goes with another from Proverbs 14:1, Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands. The person (man or woman) that messes up his own home is foolish and “inherits the wind.” How would we like air for an inheritance? Not at all. Messing up our homes is one of the worst things we can do as Christians. It isn’t wise. Back up to Verse 29, the fool shall be servant to the wise. This has been true all throughout history. My friend Charity has written a series on social media about “pluckers”—and how they destroy their homes.
Proverbs 11:30—The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise. At first, this verse seems to be talking about two totally different concepts. A tree of life and a soul-winner? Look again. It is talking about fruit. The fruit is a tree of life—the symbol of everlasting life. A wise person wins souls—points them to Jesus, the Giver of eternal life. The fruit of the righteous are souls led to Christ.
Proverbs 11:31—Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth: much more the wicked and the sinner. Both good and wicked people will pay for their bad deeds. The habitual sinner, of course, will pay more for his.
There are so many teachings in this Proverb. If I were to comment about all of them, it would take many pages. Look back at the first list. This is how a Christian should act. Remember, we are rewarded according to our actions.
For women, let’s not be inappropriate. Instead, we can be gracious. Let’s build up our houses instead of being “pluckers.” Let’s bring blessing and not trouble into our homes.
God bless and keep you.