Scripture Focus: Proverbs 10.6-9
6 Blessings crown the head of the righteous, 
but violence overwhelms the mouth of the wicked. 
7 The name of the righteous is used in blessings, 
but the name of the wicked will rot. 
8 The wise in heart accept commands, 
but a chattering fool comes to ruin. 
9 Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, 
but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.

Reflection: The Promise of Proverbs is Change
By John Tillman

Proverbs transitions to the “Proverbs of Solomon” and the format shifts.

Narrative elements and stories disappear, but two characters still walk the stage. Two-lined quips compare and contrast them. “The wicked experience this…the righteous experience that.”

The wicked plot foolishness. The righteous pursue wisdom. The wicked strut with pride. The righteous walk in humility. The wicked are lazy and demanding. The righteous are industrious and merciful. The wicked squeeze the poor for profit. The righteous leverage profits to aid the poor. The wicked enjoy and celebrate violence. The righteous endure violence and use it only in defense of the weak.

These statements reflect the truth, including the brutal and natural reality that the wicked often prosper and the righteous suffer. However, they reveal an underlying supernatural pattern operating in the world—wrongs will be righted.

Satan and sin operate in the world, often with human help, creating suffering and harm. God is merciful and gracious, offering repeated opportunities time after time, for the wicked to repent, yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished. The day of reckoning will come when evil will be wiped out completely.

Until that day, Proverbs shows us smaller days of reckoning. Even if wickedness seems to be racking up successes, it is only running up a tab. And all bills will come due. The mouth that incites waves of violence will drown in them. (Proverbs 10.6) The schemes of the wicked will ensnare them. They will fall into pits they dug themselves. (Proverbs 26.27; 28.18)Reading these proverbs may remind us of news headlines and scandals involving fallen pastors, leaders, and politicians. This is good. We can and should thank God when the wicked fall. It is also good to ask, “Are we supporting leaders of wickedness or righteousness?” because we can become what we support.

We often apply these sayings to others but resist applying them to ourselves. It is crucial to ask, “Are we becoming people of wickedness or righteousness?” What we become can change our world. We must take the logs out of our own eyes. Seeing clearly, we can help others remove specks from their eyes.

Proverbs does not promise that the righteous will never suffer or that we will see every wicked person fall. It promises the possibility of change. It offers us the tools to abandon foolishness and wickedness, become wise and righteous, and take action, affecting our world for good.

Divine Hours Prayer: The Request for Presence
O Lord, watch over us and save us from this generation forever. — Psalm 12.7

– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Summertime by Phyllis Tickle.

​Today’s Readings
Proverbs 10 (Listen 3:34
Psalm 40-41 (Listen 3:57)

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