Expositor's Dictionary of Texts
A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight.The Christian's Highest Reward
I. I understand the emphatic words to be, 'in the earth'. There never had been any doubt about the final reward of the righteous; but there were evidently some who were beginning to say: 'It must be reserved for another world; this earth of ours is indifferent to moral distinctions'. The writer of this proverb cries, 'No; my reward will be here'. I do not think he meant that it must come in his present life. Remember, the Jew held that he was to come back to this earth again on the Resurrection morning. The whole point of the passage is that, either now or hereafter, either today or tomorrow, the righteous man will see the rectification of things below—the crooked made straight, the rough places made plain, the mountains abased and the valleys exalted. I doubt if a son of Israel would have thanked you for the fairest flowers and the loveliest woods in a world divorced from earthly memories; his whole notion of immortality was the future glorifying of his present actions.
II. And I believe that this is also the immortal hope of every Christian. Did you ever ask yourself, what is that recompense which a Christian saint desires? Is it a paradise in the seventh heaven which the tumult of earth will not reach? Is it a flight to regions unknown and at present unknowable? Is it the wearing of foreign purple and the hearing of foreign music and the engagement in foreign embassies? A Christian in the future life may occasionally have all these things; but he will deem none of them his recompense. What he wants is not a redemption from the past but a redemption of the past. He seeks a river clear as crystal; but he seeks it in the muddy haunts of time—'in the midst of the street'. He desires a tree whose leaves are life-giving; but he wants it for 'the healing of the nations'. He craves a song of exquisite melody; but its subject is to be the glory of a human cross—'worthy is the Lamb that was slain'. He searches for a precious emerald; but he does so in a rainbow of earthly tears. He longs to be able to cry, 'Who are these that are arrayed in white robes?' but the answer he would like to receive is this: 'These are they that came out of great tribulation'.
—G. Matheson, Messages of Hope, p. 153.
References.—XII. 1.—W. Arnot, Laws from Heaven for Life on Earth, p. 235. XII. 1-15.—A. Maclaren, Expositions of Holy Scripture—Esther, Job, Proverbs, etc., p. 155. XII. 4.—W. Arnot, Laws from Heaven for Life on Earth, p. 238. XII. 10, 13.—Ibid. p. 240.
When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.
The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.
Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death.
The righteousness of the perfect shall direct his way: but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness.
The righteousness of the upright shall deliver them: but transgressors shall be taken in their own naughtiness.
When a wicked man dieth, his expectation shall perish: and the hope of unjust men perisheth.
The righteous is delivered out of trouble, and the wicked cometh in his stead.
An hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbour: but through knowledge shall the just be delivered.
When it goeth well with the righteous, the city rejoiceth: and when the wicked perish, there is shouting.
By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted: but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.
He that is void of wisdom despiseth his neighbour: but a man of understanding holdeth his peace.
A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.
Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellers there is safety.
He that is surety for a stranger shall smart for it: and he that hateth suretiship is sure.
A gracious woman retaineth honour: and strong men retain riches.
The merciful man doeth good to his own soul: but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh.
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.
They that are of a froward heart are abomination to the LORD: but such as are upright in their way are his delight.
Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished: but the seed of the righteous shall be delivered.
As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion.
The desire of the righteous is only good: but the expectation of the wicked is wrath.
There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty.
The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.
He that withholdeth corn, the people shall curse him: but blessing shall be upon the head of him that selleth it.
He that diligently seeketh good procureth favour: but he that seeketh mischief, it shall come unto him.
He that trusteth in his riches shall fall: but the righteous shall flourish as a branch.
He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart.
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.
Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth: much more the wicked and the sinner.