Proverbs 11:23

Proverbs 11:23 "The desire of the righteous is only good: but the expectation of the wicked is wrath."
Proverbs 11:23 Church Buffalo NY
Sometimes, Solomon’s proverbs come across as mere observations with little insight or elaboration.  It’s very common for Solomon in this book to make a statement contrasting two moral parties without explaining or applying that statement.  The reader is left wondering why he made the statement.  The reader is left wondering what it really means and ultimately, how it applies to himself.  This proverb is one of those proverbs.  What was the point of writing down the difference between the desire of the righteous and the expectation of the wicked?  Was it intended to simply help us discern the righteous from the wicked?  Was it intended to help us discern what type of person we are by our desires and expectations?  Or was it just an observation that he felt important enough to write down?  

Given the wisdom God gave Solomon and given the design of Scripture, we must always look at the proverbs as opportunities to see something deeper beneath the surface.  Before ever reading this proverb, nearly everyone would know that the righteous and the wicked are vastly different.  Before ever reading this proverb, nearly everyone would expect the righteous to desire good things and most would conclude that the wicked have anger issues.  In light of these widely held beliefs, why did Solomon take the space to write down this proverb?  Was it meant to simply confirm the obvious moral differences between the righteous and the wicked?  Or was it meant to teach a slightly deeper truth that we all could apply to our lives?  I conclude the latter.
 
In this proverb, Solomon contrasts the DESIRE of the righteous to the EXPECTATION of the wicked but we should immediately realize that desire and expectation are not the same thing.  I can desire competent and cordial lawmaking in Washington but I probably shouldn’t expect it.  I can desire tropical weather in Buffalo in January but I probably shouldn’t expect it.  I can desire a million dollars showing up in my bank account today but I definitely shouldn’t expect it.  Why did Solomon contrast two different things?  A man as wise as Solomon and more importantly, a man inspired by the Spirit of God should know that a true legitimate contrast must compare apples to apples, not apples to oranges.  Like apples and oranges, desire and expectation are in the same family but they are not the same thing.  We can conclude then that Solomon is teaching something about the connection between desire and expectation.

Expectation is further down the line than desire.  Desire creates hope and hope creates expectation.  Expectation then gives way to preparation. We prepare for what we expect.  A large part of our expectation is formed by what we hope for.  We hope for what we desire.  So many Bills' fans DESIRE a Super Bowl and because they desire that, they HOPE that every new season will be the Super Bowl season.  That hope then helps a fan see all of the positive moves the team made in the off-season.  That hope combined with some sense of reality produces EXPECTATION.  Many Bills' fans expected to win a Super Bowl this season, or at least to win the Divisional round of the playoffs and PREPARED to go to Atlanta this weekend for the AFC Championship.  We prepare for what we expect and whether we like it or not, we often expect what we hope for, which is ultimately traced back to our desire.  Beneath the surface of this proverb, Solomon is teaching us something very important.  He is teaching us that we typically and even unconsciously prepare for what we desire.  Beneath the surface of this proverb is the sobering truth that we see what we want to see in life.  What we see in people is what we want to see in people.  What we anticipate in relationships is often what we want in relationships.  What we prepare for is oftentimes, what we want to happen.
 
Written on the backside of the proverb is the truth that PASSION PRECEDES PERSPECTIVE.

The wicked expect wrath because deep down in their heart, they desire conflict.  Evil men expect and prepare for a marital fight because deep down in their heart, they want a marital fight.  Evil men don’t love their wives.  Evil men want an opportunity to hurt their wives.  Cruel people prepare for heated conflict because cruel people love conflict as it brings them the opportunity to hurt feelings or even faces.  Contentious people will predict contention in relationships because deep down, they love contention.  Warmongers prophesy and prepare for war because they desire war.

On the contrary, this proverb informs us that a righteous person desires “only good.”  This means that the expectation of the righteous will almost always be good.  A righteous man desires a good marriage and as a result, will hope for a good marriage.  That hope brings expectations of a good marriage.  A righteous man in such a case will prepare for a lifetime of love.  He won’t build in protections against loss into his marital legal documentations.  He won’t have a romantic back-up plan.  He won’t jump to conclusions when there is friction.  He doesn’t expect wrath in their marriage and therefore, doesn’t prepare for wrath in their marriage.  A righteous man has a perspective that feeds marital success because he has a desire for marital success.  Righteous souls don’t expect relationships to fail because they don’t want them to fail.  Righteous people don’t even expect relationships with unusual or challenging people to fail because they don’t want them to fail.  They don’t want relationships with anyone to fail because they desire “only good.”  The righteous don’t expect conflict in their relationships because they don’t desire conflict – they don’t expect conflict because they plan on doing everything possible to avoid conflict.
 
Passion Precedes Perspective.

We can discern what type of person we are by looking at our own expectations in life.  If we’re constantly expecting relationships to fail in our life, that is most likely because we want them to fail and don’t even realize it.  If you’re expecting a fight from someone, there is a very good chance that you want a fight with that person.  If you’re expecting wrath in a particular scenario, there is a good chance you want conflict in that scenario.  In recent years where doomsday prophesying and preparing has dramatically increased, it has been my observation that those who are doing the prophesying and preparing are the ones who actually desire doomsday.  More and more, I can see that the people who expect our society to fail actually want it to fail.  More and more, I can see the people who expect chaos to come are the ones who actually have an appetite for it.  

Let’s not fool ourselves, “the heart is deceitful above all things” (Jeremiah 17:9).  Our expectations are shaped largely by our desires.  Over time, we convince ourselves that our hopes will come true; hopes that are based entirely on our desires.  How we view our world is a direct consequence of what we want in our world.  This is ultimately why Solomon wrote this proverb because it teaches us that our morality is what ultimately leads to our outlook on life.  The righteous have “only good” desires while the wicked have only evil desires.  These passions produce the perspectives in our lives. 

Recent

Archive

Categories

Tags

Rehoboam Solomon fear of God health pride self-sufficiency wisdom 1 Corinthians 1 John 2020 5th Commandment Aaron Abel Abigail Abortion Abraham Absalom Accident Accomplishment Achan Acts 17 Acts Adam & Eve Adam Adolescence Adolf Hitler Adulterer Adulteress Aesop's Fable Aesop\'s Fable Aesop\\\'s Fable Affair Age Ahijah Ahithophel Albany Alcoholism Alive Ally Alone Amazon Ambition American America Amnon Andrew Finch Animal Abuse Animals Answered Prayer Applause Apple of Eye Approval Arrogance Arthritis Asaph Ashamed Athletes Athletics Backbone Back Balaam Balance Bank Accounts Bathsheba Beauty Bedroom Beecher Behavior Benefit Benjamin BestBuy Bethlehem Bezaleel Bible reading Bible teacher Bible-reading Bible Biblical instruction Big Mouths Big Picture Bin Laden Birth Blog Boasting Bonar Bondage Boomerang Boyfriend Brutal Brutish Budget Buffalo Bills Building CA Rt 1 Cable News Calamity Call of Duty Calming Calvin Canaan Cancer Candidates Careers Cares of Life Casey Viner Character Cheesecake Factory Christian upbringing Christ Churches Circumspect Clamor Clinton Clothes Clothing Coaches College Commend Communication Companionship Conceit Conception Condemnation of God Confession Confidentiality Conflict Conservation Contrast Conversation Conviction Corinthians Corrupt Cosigner Cosigning Cosign Countenance Courting Coworkers Creation Creator Creatures Crime Criminals Crooked Cruel Curiosity Currency Danger Daniel Data Dating Daughters David Days Death Deceit Deceptive Delilah Democracy Democratic Desires Desire Deuteronomy Devil Diligent Diploma Discovery Diseases Disease Dishonesty Dishonor Dislikes Divorce Domestic Violence Doorhanger Dreams Dress Drink Drug lords Drunk Driver Drunk Early Adulthood Ears Eastern Culture Ecclesiastes Economic Stability Eden Elderly Elihu Elijah Eliphaz Emerson Emmies Employers Encouragement Engagement Enoch Ephesians Ephraimites Esau Esther Eternity Evening Eve Evolution Excellence Excel Exodus Expectations Expectation Experience FaceBook Face Faithful False Fame Families Famine Farming Fashion Favor of God Fear of the Lord Fearing God Feast of Purim Financial Advisor Financial Security Fingers Food Foolish Football Free-will Freedom Friendships Friendship Friend Froward Fruit Fumble GPS Gadarenes Galatians 6:7 Galatians Gamble Gang Garden of Eden Garden of Gethsemane Garden Gender Differences Genesis Gideon Gileadites Girlfriend Girls Giving Glad Goals God's Kingdom God\'s Kingdom Godhead Goliath Goodness Gossip Graciousness Grammies Grandchildren Gratitude Grave Grief Guide Guilt Culture Gun Control Gun Violence Guns Gutters Hagar Haman Hamlet Hannah Hard Work Hard-Working Harlot Hate Evil Hatred Head Healthcare Healthy Hearing Heaven Heaviness Heavy Heart Hebrews Helicopters Hell Herod Highway History Hollywood Holy Spirit Home Depot Homeowner Homes Homicide Honesty House Humble Humility Hunting Hypocrisy Hypocrites Ian Brady Illness Immorality Independence Industrious Inherit Insecurity Insight Instagram Instructing Integrity Internet Interview Intoxication Inventions Isaac Israel Jacob Jairus James Jealousy Jeffrey Dahmer Jeremiah Jeroboam Jerusalem Jesus Christ Jesus Jewish Law Jewish Jimmy Soul Jobs Job John the Apostle John Jonah Joseph Joshua Josiah Joy Judah Judaism Judas Iscariot Judges Judging Judgmental Jury Justice System Kindness King David King Hezekiah Kings King Know-it-all Language Law Enforcement Law Leaders Learn Liars Liar Lies Life Lesson Likes Lion Loan Longevity Look Looting Lori Loughlin Loss of Health Loss of LIfe Loss Lottery Love Triangle Lowliness Luke 7 Luke Luther Lying MLB Magazines Majority Maker Makeup Maniac Manna Mansion Maple Trees Mark Martyrs Martyr Marvel Mary Matthew Media Memories Mentors Men Merciful Merriness Mike Tyson Mindset Ministers Mob Mocker Mocking Monarchy Monopoly Month Moody Morality Mordecai Morning Moses Mouths Murder NBA NFL NHL Natural Disaster Naughtiness Nebuchadnezzar Negative Nehemiah New Tricks News Anchors Noah Nobles Numbers O.J. Simpson Obama Observation Obtain Old Dogs Olive Garden Order Others Paint Parenting Passion Pastors Paul the Apostle Paul Perspective Perverse Perversion Peter Pharisees Pharoah Philippians Physical Appearance Plant Pleasure Politicians Politics Polygamy Poor Popularity Portrait Positive Possessions Potiphar's Wife Potiphar\'s Wife Potiphar\\\'s Wife Potiphar\\\\\\\'s Wife Praise Prate Prating Preacher Pregnancy Pregnant Preparation Princes Prince Principal Thing Principal Procrastinate Procrastinator Profit Prophecy Prophet Prosperity Gospel Prostitute Protests Proverbs Proverb Psalm 21 Psalm 35 Psalm 37 Psalms 37 Psalms Psalm Punishment Pure Purity Purpose QVC Questions Rachel Rage Ransom Rebekkah Red Lobster Reels Rehoboam Rehoboma Relationship Religion Remember Repentance Reporter Reprove Republican Reputation Research Responsibilities Resume Resurrection Retirement Revealing Revelation Reward Rich & Famous Rich Man Rich Ridicule Righteouness Right Riot Road Romania Romans 8:28 Romans Rulers Ruler Rules Sabbath Sadness Samson Samuel Sarah Satan Satisfaction Satisfy Saul Saving Scale Scam Science Scientist Scoffer Scripture Sea of Galilee Seasons Secrets Seduce Seed Seek Self-Confidence Selfies Selfishness Servitude Sexual Chaos Sexual Confusion Shakespeare Shame Culture Shame Shane Gaskill Shenandoah Valley Shoe Laces Siblings Sickness Silence Simon Peter Simon Slothful Social Media Social Society Solomon Song of Solomon Sons Sorrow Source Speaking Speak Speech Spies Spiritual Security Sporting Sports Sport Spouses Stanley Cup Steal Stephen Stock Market Strange Woman Strangers Stratego Strength Stress Super Bowl Rings Surely Surety Swatting Sweat Talebearer Talkative Talking Tamar Taylor Teachers Teaching Teenagers Teens Tendency Texas Roadhouse Theft Theocracy Tik Tok Timothy Tithes To be or not to be Toddlers Tolerance Tomb Tongue Tour Guide Travel Treasure Treatment Tribute Trickery Trinity Trips Trouble True Love True Wisdom True Turner Tyler Barriss Uber Eats Understanding Unforgiveness Unhealthy Universities Unjust Unrighteous Uprightness Upright Vain Value Vanity Vehicle Vengeance Videos Virtuous Vision Votes Voting Walk Walmart Washington Watsom Way of Life Way Weight Western Culture Winking Wink Wise Men Witnessing Womb Women Work Ethic Worth Wrong X Yankees YouTube Zechariah addiction adultery advertisements advertiser advertising advice advisor affection affirmation aggression alcohol amos angels anointing ant anxiety appetite argument assumption as attractions authority background backyard bankrupt battle beginning birds bitterness blessed brain bright broken nose buckler campfire cardinal sins career carelessness car cause certainty charity chastening childhood childrearing children child choices church attendance church command confidence confident consequences considerate contention contentment conversaion correction counselor counsel covetousness criticism cruelty cynicism dads dad darkness dark daughter debt deception decisions defend defense demands destruction determination diamonds diligence direction disappointment discernment discipleship disciples disciple discipline discontentment discord discretion distractions distress doctrine dogs drinking drugs dying ear education effort emotions employee employer employment enemies enticement enticing envy equity evil communications evil men evil women evil example eyelids eyes ezekiel facts failure fairness faith family fathers father favor fear of God fear of man fear feelings feminine fighting fight filthy finances fire flattery focus following foolishness foolishnes fools fool forgiveness fornication friends future gambling gangs gender gold good men good government grace greed guard guilt happiness happy harm hate headlights health heart hear hold your peace holiness home honor hope hunger husbands husband ignorance illustration income inequality infidelity influence iniquity insomnia instincts instruction intimacy investigation investing isaiah issued issue jabs jewelry judgment justice just kidnapper kidney kids knowledge labor law of sowing and reaping laziness lazy leadership learning legacy length of days lessons let life light lips listening listen little liver living loans loneliness long life longterm love lucifer lust man marketing marriage math memorization memory mercy messenger millions mind ministry mischief misery loves company misery mistakes mom money mothers mother motive mouth movies nature necklace neck neighbor obscenity observant oil oppression oppressor organs ornaments parable paranoia parenthood parents parent pastoring path peace peculiarity peer pressure peers peer permission personification pleasant politician ponder pornography pottymouth poverty power prayer preservation pride priests private procrastination prodigal profanity prosperity prostitution protection protect prudence public restroom purchases reading reaping reason rebellion rebuke regret rejection relate relationships relevant remedy remembrance remorse repetition replacement reproof respect responsibility responsible retain retention riches righteousness righteous risk robber romance rubies safety sailor salvation schools scorner secret security seduction seeing see self-sufficiency self-sufficient serpent seven deadly sins seven sexist sexual sin sex short-term silver simple simplicity sinners sin skepticism slander sleeplessness sleep slothfulness sluggard smoke to the eyes smoke son soul sowing spleen spouse stability stranger strange strife striving successful success suicide surgeon sword talents talk taxes teacher television temptation tendencies thief thieves thinking think thoughtfulness thoughts thought threats time tithe tree of life trust truth tv vehicles vice video games vinegar to the teeth vinegar violence violent virtue virtuous woman visual voice of God voice vulgar walking war wealth well wickedness wicked wife will wine wisdom wise sayings wise wives woman word of God words workplace work worry young man young people young youth