Thursday, August 25, 2011
Righteousness begets Righteousness: Seeking to change our world
In re-writing an article about Proverbs 28:28 and the definition for wisdom, and it started me thinking. Proverbs 28:28 reads: "When the wicked rise, men hide themselves: but when they perish, the righteous increase." The article stirred my heart and got me thinking about my country and its rapid descent into wickedness. No longer is wickedness merely tolerated, it is accepted and excused. This ought not to be.
Wisdom, defined from I Kings 3:4-11 by Solomon's response to God's request to give him anything He wanted, is:
~Acknowledging God's mercy and kindness to those who walk in truth, righteousness and uprightness of heart with God. (v. 6)
~Recognizing the nothingness of one's knowledge, understanding, and abilities. (v. 7)
~Recognizing that the task is impossible for mere man without God. (v. 8)
~Asking God for an understanding heart, and the ability to discern between good and evil, along with recognizing it all comes from Him and Him alone. (v. 9)
Seems simple doesn't it? I can't; God can; He is my source for everything; without Him I am nothing.
Now back to Proverbs 28:28. When wickedness grows, the righteousness of the land wanes. Those who are righteous fear for their lives and hide from the wickedness around them. This, then, leaves the wicked open with little opposition, and they continue to gobble up everyone they can in their path. Not only do they do wicked things, the glory in those who do them, seek to have their wicked deeds accepted as normal, and hate anyone who tries to tell them otherwise. When the wicked abound, everyone has to fear for their lives and their property and much more because there is no restraint to keep people from harming themselves and others.
On the other hand, "when they perish, the righteous increase." Let's word that this way: when the righteous increase, the wicked perish. That may be taking liberties, but stay with me. The wicked arise because God-fearing people are no longer wise.
They become like the world through compromise; they begin to believe their own understanding instead of seeking God's understanding and God's purpose; they often have a form of worship, but lack depth and a real connection with the God they are supposedly serving; they begin to laugh at things that would have shocked them at one time; their standards and morals begin to gradually slide away; they hide their light under a bushel, not allowing it to shine out into and illuminate the wickedness of the world.
The world wanders around in increasing darkness, seeking the ever illusive peace and happiness satan has promised them through his counterfit offerings. Where are the righteous? Those that exist have hidden their lights for fear of their life.
What I believe this scripture is pointing out is that in a time of wickedness, Christians need to seek God and His wisdom and stand tall and firm if they want to effect the nation. Instead of buying the "politically correct" notions and the understandings of the world, Christians need to get right and stand tall, letting their light shine out into the darkness. If death comes from this, then praise the Lord that you get to die for him.
If we want to turn our nation around, we must seek the kind of wisdom Solomon asked for and be a light to the world.
"Proverbs 28:28 serves as a warning to those of us seeking God’s wisdom and His righteousness to stand up and let our God shine from our lives for others to see. When the righteous act as a light in the darkness of wickedness, they draw the wicked to God. Wisdom realizes this and seeks to get the life aligned with God’s ways, eschewing complacency, political-correctness, compromise and even legalism to stand out in a way that turns the tide from increasing wickedness to increasing righteousness. This then is wisdom." (quote from my article) And this, then, is what God is calling His followers to do today to turn around our country AND our churches.
Bible study: Job 28:28 What is wisdom
Picture from: http://www.gospelgifs.com/clips/clips/art9014.htm