Proverbs 10:9 Whoever walks in integrity walks securely.
The idea of integrity includes honesty, truthfulness, decency, righteousness and trustworthiness. Hananiah is given little space in the Bible, but his character is summarized nicely: he was a man of integrity and feared God more than most people do (Nehemiah 7:2). A reputation like that is worth aiming for.
A professor said to his students, I am giving two tests today: one is trigonometry and the other is integrity. I hope you pass them both. But if you have to fail one, fail trigonometry. There are many good people who cannot pass trigonometry. But there are no good people who cannot pass integrity.
This agrees with King David who prayed, I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity (1 Chronicles 29:17).
Proverbs 10:22 The blessing of the Lord brings wealth.
Getting money from God is not the point of the Bible, but God is not against his people acquiring wealth. Solomon’s wealth was legendary, and he saw it as a blessing from God. It is good to pause at times to consider how much God has blessed us.
I don’t have Solomon’s bank account, but I sleep on a better mattress every night. I don’t have a personal orchestra, but I have access to better music at the touch of a button. I don’t have a personal chef, but I have a refrigerator, a microwave oven, and a grocery store nearby. I don’t have a stable of horses, but I have a little truck that tops sixty miles an hour. I don’t have a palace, but I have climate control, indoor plumbing, and hot running water. God is the source of our wealth, and should be praised for all that he has given.
Proverbs 10:24 What the wicked dread will overtake them; what the righteous desire will be granted.
A common dream we have as children, and even as adults, is to be chased by a monster we cannot escape. We are running against the wind, up a hill, or are falling down as the monster gets closer and closer. We tend to wake up just in time, and are glad it was only a dream. Tragically, the nightmare of waking up in hell will never end. And who knows how demons will torment the lost forever? What the wicked dread will overtake them.
Heaven is just the opposite: what the righteous desire will be granted. Imagine the best possible you, in the best possible place, with the best possible people, and the best possible God to love and enjoy forever. God’s answer to every request in heaven is Yes, and his answer to every request in hell is No. What the wicked dread will overtake them; what the righteous desire will be granted.
Proverbs 13:9 The light of the righteous shines brightly.
Jesus may have been thinking of this when he referred to his disciples as the light of the world (Matthew 5:14). [L]et your light shine before others (Matthew 5:16), he said.
My friend bought a lamp to help him work on his car, but it kept falling to the ground. When he picked it up for the third time he said, I bought you to shine for me. Likewise, Jesus bought us to shine for him in a world gone dark. Whenever we speak to another person we should try to brighten their day.
Proverbs 14:15 The simple believe anything.
When I was a freshman in college someone told me that the word gullible was not in the dictionary—to which I replied, Really? Others are so skeptical they refuse to believe the earth is round. Skepticism leads to wrong conclusions just as often as gullibility.
The biblical approach to wisdom takes the middle way of discernment. It reviews the evidence carefully and draws conclusions. The gullible require no evidence; and no amount of evidence will convince the skeptic. Christianity is a reasonable faith based on sufficient evidence. It invites us to check the facts and make our decision in light of them.
Proverbs 14:26 Whoever fears the Lord has a secure fortress.
This verse speaks to our need for security from the dangers that surround us. Masada was built by Herod the Great for this very purpose. Think of twenty acres on top of a high rock, with the finest amenities. It was one of the safest places on earth for anyone seeking refuge.
About a thousand Israelites fled to Masada before the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in AD 70. Imagine their dismay as they watched the Romans build a battering ram over the course of several months. The wall was eventually breached, and the Romans marched into Masada, only to find that most of the Israelites had already committed suicide. God alone is a secure fortress in whom we can live and never die.
Reflection and Review
What are the benefits of integrity?
How should Christians use discernment?
How does God keep us safe?