Proverbs 11:18-19

Proverbs 11:18-19 "The wicked worketh a deceitful work: but to him that soweth righteousness shall be a sure reward. As righteousness tendeth to life: so he that pursueth evil pursueth it to his own death."
Proverbs 11:18-19 Buffalo NY Baptist Church Calvary Heights Baptist Church
Man's greatest weakness is his natural inclination to see what he wants to see.  We are masters at convincing ourselves that we need something that we really don't need or that something will be good for us when it really won't be good for us.  According to the prophet Jeremiah, the deceit within our hearts is the most deceitful thing we'll face in our lives (Jeremiah 17:9).  From a young age and all the way through life, we easily see bad things as good things and we easily convince ourselves that pursuing unhealthy choices is somehow healthy.

The Scriptures teach us through these proverbs that righteousness is always right and evil is always evil.  Doing right is always right to do and doing wrong is always wrong to do.  The Bible promises a SURE reward for sowing righteousness.  That reward "tendeth" to life but it doesn't always result in life.  Such was the case this month when a missionary was martyred in the Middle East.  Even when doing right is met with lethal resistance from evildoers, a SURE reward still awaits the righteous.  This dear saint awoke in glory to a crown of life according to Revelation 2:10.

To the self-centered natural heart, doing right is easily seen as doing wrong.  Because of the deceit in our heart, we easily persuade ourselves that doing the right thing isn't the right thing to do.  For the husband in a strained marriage, he easily persuades himself that loving his wife will only empower her to continue to be disrespectful.  For the wife in the same marriage, she easily persuades herself that respecting her husband will only prevent him from making necessary changes to his character.  In both cases, this unhappy couple convinces themselves that doing the right thing is the wrong thing.  It is quite common for people in our culture to see all of the corruption, fraud and government waste and foolishly conclude that it's a bad thing to do the right thing in paying taxes, vote or to be honest.
The human heart is deeply flawed in that it easily detects and gathers evidence for why righteousness isn't really right.  Because some men have abused their power, many women disregard God's role for men in society and think it wrong to honor men.  Because some pastors have failed to preserve the financial integrity of their churches, many Christians think it wrong to give their tithes and offerings to the local church.  Because some marriages have failed, many children grow up convinced that marriage is unnecessary or even ill-advised.  Because some believers are blatant hypocrites, many unbelievers think Christianity should be avoided at all costs. Sadly, the human heart is quick to find reasons for which it justifies doing unrighteousness.  The Scriptures tell us however, that doing right is always right and that it always comes with a SURE reward.  Honoring the role of each gender as our Maker intended is always right regardless of how men or women act.  Paying your taxes and being honest with your income is always right regardless of how the government uses that money.  Giving your tithes and offerings to the local church is always right regardless of how church leadership manages the finances.  Valuing marriage as the only true path to the bedroom is always right, regardless of how many marriages that have ended in bitter divorce.  Christianity and Biblical principles are always right to observe regardless of how many hypocrites there are within Christianity.

Doing right is always right and God will always reward it.  That reward may come in this life or it may come in the next life.  That reward may be seen or it may not be seen.  That reward may be felt in the soul or it may be felt in the belly.  That reward may be found in the present or it may be discovered in the future.  That reward may be temporary or it may be permanent.  The reward of righteousness can be anything at any time but know that is SURE.  The righteous understand this truth and use it to combat the deceit within their heart. The righteous soul uses this promise to close the eyes of his deceptive heart as it looks for evidence for which to justify doing evil.

The wicked however, listen to the deceptive reasoning of their hearts to do a wicked work.  The woman whose husband has been far from Christ-like will hear temptation from within in the form of whispers.  Those whispers will point out her husband's legitimate flaws and then propose a scenario that sounds noble.  Those internal whispers will seek to convince a wife that her children will be better off with a different man in the home or no man at all.  Those internal whispers will even convince an unloved wife that she will be more useful to God with a godly husband.  If that dear woman listens to the deceit of her natural heart, she will partake in wickedness and pursue an illegitimate divorce or worse, adultery.  This happens all the time in our world. On two separate occasions, I have met a couple who shouldn't have been a couple because they each had their own spouse and both of these couples were convinced that they were doing right because they were doing Bible studies together.  The adulterous couples thought they were doing right because their legal marriages weren't sound or spiritual marriages.  One of the couples knew adultery was wrong but were convinced that once they divorced their spouses and got married to each other, they would be used of God in a mighty way just as He used David and Bathsheba after their infidelity.  This unrighteous couple worked a deceitful work and they pursued it to their detriment.

In our society now more than ever, people have convinced themselves that what they're doing is right when it is clearly not right in God's eyes.  Clinics all over our nation have been established to murder people and the people running these abortion clinics legitimately believe they are doing righteousness.  Organizations and especially government agencies all over our land have been set up to promote sexual chaos and the people running these agencies sincerely believe that they are doing the right thing.  Counselors, therapists, professors, teachers and psychiatrists in our communities are breaking up marriages and families while thinking they're doing the right thing.  Scientists all over the world think they are doing the world right by attacking Creation.  The list of deceitful works in our world is long.

From these proverbs we can conclude an important principle as it pertains to discerning righteousness from unrighteousness.  When we have to convince ourselves that something in the Bible is not right in any given scenario, we are doing a deceptive work that is ultimately a wicked work.  Furthermore, when we convince ourselves that we need to see the reward in order to do righteousness, we're in danger of working a deceptive work.  If we ever deviate from the position that doing right is always right and that there is always a reward that God sees fit to give, we are in danger of becoming prey to the deceit within our natural hearts.

"WOE unto them that call evil good, and good evil."  Isaiah 5:20





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