Four Conditions of Well Being
Proverbs 10:2-6
Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivers from death.…

That we may enjoy a prosperity which is truly human, we must do well and be well in three directions - in our circumstances, in our mind (our intellectual powers), and in our character. And that which tends to build up on the one hand, or to destroy on the other hand, will be found to affect us in these three spheres. The conditions of well being as suggested by the passage are -

I. RECTITUDE. (Vers. 2, 3.) Righteousness before God is essential to all prosperity:

1. Because, if we deliberately choose the path of iniquity, we shall have to work against the arm of Omnipotence. "He casteth away the substance of the wicked" (ver. 3).

2. Because, on the contrary, if we walk in moral and spiritual integrity, we may count on the direction and even the interposition of the Divine hand. "The Lord will not suffer," etc. (ver. 3).

3. Because righteousness means virtue and prudence; it means those qualities which work for health and for security, which "relieve from death" (ver. 2).

4. Because the gains of ungodliness are never satisfactory; "they profit nothing."

(1) They are unattended by the joy of gratitude, and they are (often) accompanied by the miseries of self-reproach;

(2) they are spoilt by the condemnation of the good and the holy;

(3) they are apt to be dispersed far more freely than they are acquired;

(4) they cannot and they do not satisfy the soul, though they may continue to fill the treasury, - they leave the heart empty, aching and hungering for a good which is beyond, for a blessing which is from above.

II. DILIGENCE. (Ver. 4.)

1. The inattentive and sluggish worker is constantly descending; he is on an incline, and is going downwards. All things connected with his vocation, or with his own mind, or with his moral and spiritual condition, are gradually but seriously suffering; decline, decay, disease, have set in and will spread from day to day, from year to year.

2. The earnest and energetic worker is continually ascending; he is moving upwards; his hand is "making rich" - it may be in material wealth, or (what is better) in useful and elevating knowledge, or (what is best) in the acquisitions of spiritual culture, in the virtues and graces of Christian character.

III. WAKEFULNESS. (Ver. 5.) This is a very important qualification; we must be ready to avail ourselves of the hour of opportunity. To gather when the corn is ripe is necessary if the toil of the husbandman is to bear its fruit; to let the crop alone when it is ready for the sickle is to waste the labour of many weeks. Readiness to reap is of as much consequence as willingness to work. The wakeful eye must be on every field of human activity, or energy and patience will be thrown away. We must covet and must cultivate mental alertness, spiritual promptitude, readiness to strike when the hour has come, or we shall miss much of "the fruit of our labour." It is the general who knows when to give the word to "charge" that wins the battle.

IV. PEACEABLENESS. (Ver. 6.) The consequences of violence shut the mouth of the wicked. He that "seeks peace and ensues it will see good days (1 Peter 3:10, 11). - C.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivereth from death.

WEB: Treasures of wickedness profit nothing, but righteousness delivers from death.

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