June 8th 2018 – Proverbs 11:20-23

Those of crooked heart are an abomination to the Lord,
    but those of blameless ways are his delight.
Be assured, an evil person will not go unpunished,
    but the offspring of the righteous will be delivered.
Like a gold ring in a pig's snout
    is a beautiful woman without discretion.
The desire of the righteous ends only in good;
    the expectation of the wicked in wrath.

Proverbs 11:20-23

The meaning of 'froward' can be well conveyed by the phrase we sometimes use in exasperation, 'He is an impossible person' - awkward, difficult, contrary. It is straightforward, uncomplicated people who are God's delight. In 21, the phrase 'hand join in hand' refers to the wicked teaming up together to defeat the justice of the Almighty, 'shaking hands on the deal' - but all to no avail, for God says, 'No matter, they will not go unpunished'. In 22, what is stressed in the utter incongruity of beauty allied to want of discretion. Kidner has an amusing comment on this verse: 'The proverb puts it more forcibly than we might. Where we (to whom the outward is the impressive part) would have spoken of the lady as a little disappointing, Scripture sees her as a monstrosity'. The theme in 23 is the outcome of what we set our hearts on. Where your treasure is, says Jesus, there will your heart be also. If a man is righteous, there are only some things that he will be desiring; if he is wicked, his desires go in a certain direction too. Either way, he will have his reward.