Proverbs 10:29-30

Proverbs 10:29-30 "The way of the LORD is strength to the upright: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity. The righteous shall never be removed: but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth."
Proverbs 10:29-30 Christian Church Buffalo NY
How we VIEW someone or something determines how we act towards that person or thing.  If we think something is good for us, we’ll typically pursue it.  If we think something is bad for us, we’ll try to avoid it.  If you’re convinced sugar is bad for you, you’ll do your best avoid sugar.  If you think sugar is good for you, you’ll embrace sugar with open arms.  If you don’t see any value in relationships, you’ll be content living a life without relationships.  If you don’t see any value in technology, you’ll gladly accept a life without technology.  This general fact can be applied to almost any area of our lives and it certainly applies to our morality.

If you don’t see any value in Biblical virtue, you won’t pursue it.  If you think Biblical virtue is harmful, you will resist it.  If you think Biblical principles are helpful, you’ll be open to hearing about them.  If you’re convinced that Biblical values are critical for your success, you’ll embrace them.  Again, how we view things determines how we act towards those things.  Our world is full of people who see no value in Biblical virtue.  Some of those people see no harm in it and could essentially take it or leave it.  Others see Biblical principles as harmful to society, especially a politically-correct society, and as result, resist them.  This proverb tells us about the category of people who value Scriptural truth – the upright. The upright value the way of the Lord.  The upright see the way of the Lord as their strength.  The upright VIEW the way of the Lord as critical to their success in life.  Because they value the way of the Lord, they follow the way of the Lord.  Because they follow the way of the Lord, they become upright.  This then teaches us that what we value is what we embrace and what we embrace is what we become.  

How we VIEW Scripture is what determines how much we read of Scripture.  How we VIEW the local church is what determines how much we attend our local church.  How we VIEW God’s ways is what determines how much we follow God’s ways.

These verses not only teach us that our view of virtue determines our character but they ultimately teach us then that our view of virtue determines our outcome.  The upright value virtue and as a result find strength in virtue.  The workers of iniquity don’t value virtue and as a result experience destruction.  Because the righteous value virtue, they will never go extinct in our world.  The righteous persevere and prevail in life where the wicked fall and eventually fail.  The righteous have the eyes of God upon them and will never be fully removed while the eyes of God are against the wicked and experience the constant resistance of God.  

How we view virtue directly determines how we behave.  How we behave directly determines how we live.  How we live is the most influential factor in how we die.  Therefore, our view of virtue is vital.  Abraham prevailed over great adversity in life because he saw the way of the Lord as a strength and not as a weakness.  We know he valued the ways of the Lord because of what God said about him in Genesis 18:19 when He said, “For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment.”  Job prevailed in life and wasn’t removed during extreme hardship because he valued virtue.  He demonstrated his value of God’s ways in Job 23:12 when he said, “I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.”

How do you view virtue?  Is it of any value to you?  Do you view virtue as harmless or crucial?  Do you view virtue as harmful or necessary?  How do you view the ways of the Lord?  Are God’s ways a bother to your way of life?  Are God’s ways always getting in your way?  Are they constantly ruining your plans?  Do you view God’s ways as wrong ways?  The Israelites viewed God’s ways as distorted during Ezekiel’s day based on the prophet’s words in Ezekiel 33 when he wrote, “Yet the children of thy people say, The way of the Lord is not equal.”  Do you view Biblical principles as old-fashioned and out of touch?  Do you view Biblical teachings as offensive and unfair?

How do you view church attendance?  Is it inconvenient and burdensome or is it critical for your spiritual success?
 
How do you view Bible reading?  Is it irrelevant to your life or is it the strength of your life?

How do you view honesty?  Do you view it as noble but impractical in a crooked world or do you view it as the pathway to God’s blessings?

How do you view Biblical wisdom?  Is it something you wouldn’t mind having some day or is it something you’re desperate to get today?

How do you view personal holiness?  Is it something you haven’t thought about or is it something you believe is crucial for moral success?

If God’s ways don’t impress you, then you won’t follow them.  If God’s ways bother you, then you definitely won’t follow them.  In either case, your character will be defined by how you view virtue.  In either case, your character will produce an outcome that will surely disappoint.  The upright experience a much better outcome because they place a much higher value on virtue. The upright see God’s ways as strength and as critical for their success.

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