Proverbs 11:3-4

Proverbs 11:3-4

11:3-4 — 3 The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them. 4 Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.

Security comes through righteousness. The godly live with integrity (wholeness, completeness, etc.) and this leads or guides them to their desired goal. They will be safe in the “day of wrath” or “death” (parallelism between the two). The wicked live crooked lives and it will destroy them and ultimately, even their wealth won’t help them in the day of God’s wrath. “The wealth that the subversive and treacherous accumulate in defiance of the Lord’s rule and at the expense of others will backfire and not save them in the time of God’s wrath (vv. 3b-4a).” (Waltke)

A path of integrity in the Lord will have consequences. If we escape notice in our duplicity, if we avoid punishment in our treachery, then we are assured that this course of life will not last. Eventually, it will come back on the person. Though riches can preserve a person in some things (cf. 10:15), it cannot help in the sure things (God’s judgment). The righteous generally escape difficulties while the wicked generally invite them (v. 8).

Christologically interpreted, Christ’s righteousness enables sinners to escape death and the day of wrath because the Son of God delivers us from the wrath to come. His own death secured life for us and His righteousness delivers us from death.

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