Proverbs 11:6, 8
The Righteousness of the Righteous
The righteousness of the upright shall deliver them…
1. This verse fits into a context of proverbs that speaks of the benefits of righteousness.
a. Vs. 3 – Integrity will guide the upright through life.
b. Vs. 5 – the righteousness of the perfect will direct his ways.
c. Vs. 6 – now he speaks of another benefit of righteousness: it will deliver you!
2. The righteousness of the upright.
a. The upright: straight; upright; correct; right (this is the kind of person he is describing… the one who does things the RIGHT way.
b. The righteousness spoken of here refers to practical righteousness… or good works… a righteous lifestyle… righteous behavior…
c. Solomon is stating that the righteous behavior of men will serve to DELIVER him.
3. But deliver him from what?
a. Not hell! Isa. 64:6 – all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags in the sight of God. They will never deliver us from hell. But the term is used here as a synonym for good works… righteous works…
b. From trouble – 10:8 – delivered out of trouble… and the wicked man takes his place in that trouble…
• 21:12 – “The righteous man wisely considereth the house of the wicked.” Thus, the righteous man is delivered from much of the trouble that the wicked bring upon themselves.
• You want to be delivered from trouble? Consider the house of the wicked; learn from it; and follow the way of the righteous!
c. From sin – 10:16 – labor of the righteous (good works) tends to life and is the opposite of that which leads to sin. (You want to keep away from sin? Keep busy doing that which is right!)
d. From folly – 8:20 – wisdom leads in the way of righteousness… and that way will keep us out of the path of folly.
• In other words, staying in the path of righteousness—determined to do what is right… will keep a young man OUT OF the way of fools.
• Fools will constantly entice a young man to follow their path of folly and sin.
• 1:10-16 – Fools enticing a young man to follow their sinful ways. The young man who manifests wisdom and refuses to depart from the RIGHT way… will be delivered from all that awaits the fools:
• Vs. 17-18 – they lay wait for their own blood—they are about to fall into a trap!
e. From spiritual barrenness – 11:28 – the righteous shall flourish as a branch… and be fruitful.
• If you do things right, fruit is the result.
• In a garden if you provide good soil, plenty of sunlight, and water, the garden will be fruitful!
• If you do it right, it works… it produces fruit.
• So too in the life of a believer. If we do things right (according to God’s word) fruit will result.
• 12:12 – the root of the righteous yields fruit. Guaranteed!
• 10:3 – the righteous soul shall never famish!
f. From God’s curse – 3:32-33 – God’s secret (circle of friends; counsel; intimacy) is with the righteous.
• That intimate counsel will deliver us from the curse that inhabits the house of the wicked. There is blessing instead!
• God gives intimate, person counsel to those who walk in righteousness. That counsel will deliver us from all kinds of trouble we might otherwise bring upon ourselves!
g. From the trouble our mouth can stir up – 10:11-12 – the mouth of the wicked stirs up trouble and creates violence.
• The righteous man who has a righteous tongue is delivered from all that kind of trouble.
• Do you know someone who is constantly saying things he shouldn’t say? (other than self—of course!) That person is setting himself up for all sorts of problems in life.
• The righteousness of a man will manifest itself in his speech—and a righteous tongue will deliver him from all kinds of trouble.
h. From a ruined life – 10:24-25 –
• Vs.2 4 – This proverb states that the righteous get their desires (what they want), but the wicked get what they fear and dread!
• A whirlwind or a storm of life blows the wicked away, but the righteous man is delivered from that kind of ruin. He is an everlasting foundation… solid… immovable…
» 10:30 – shall never be moved…
» 12:3 – the root of the righteous shall not be moved.
» 12:7 – the house of the righteous shall stand…
• The righteousness of the upright delivers them from a ruined, wasted life.
i. From a life of sadness – 10:28 –
• The righteous man can expect gladness and joy;
• The opposite (the wicked) can have no expectation or hope of gladness, but his hope and joy will perish… be ruined.
• Ps. 64:10 – “The righteous shall be glad in the LORD, and shall trust in him; and all the upright in heart shall glory.”
• How many sad souls are there pining away in prison cells and in flop houses—because they didn’t do things right in life… always cheating… avoiding work… sliding through life… cutting corners and refusing to choose the right pathway… how miserable those souls are!
j. Delivered from a hopeless death – 14:32 – he has hope in his death… the wicked do not.
k. Delivered from poverty – 15:6 in the house of the righteous is much treasure.
• This simply means that the man who does things righteously will have all he needs.
• If he does things righteously then he will be a hard worker—and that work will be rewarded.
• If he does things righteously he will not squander his wealth.
• If he does things righteously he will not waste his wealth on frivolous things.
l. Delivered from getting stuck in mischief – 24:15-16 –
• Solomon states here that righteous men and wicked men both stumble in life. All men fall on occasion.
• The difference is that the righteous or just man falls but gets up again!! He doesn’t stay stuck in the pit… in his fall…
• A righteous man may fall, but he gets back up, makes things right with God, and continues walking in the right path.
• Righteousness delivers us from getting STUCK in our sin!
m. Delivered from fear – 28:1 – Righteousness will give us courage in the face of our enemies.
• The wicked have no courage. They flee when the battle rages.
• The righteous man does not flee. He sticks it out.
• Why fear? Why run when we have done nothing wrong? If we are doing what is right, there is no need to flee.
• Righteousness delivers us from fear and instill us with courage.
n. Delivered from vanity in old age. Prov.16:31 – The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.
• Those who follow the way of righteousness are delivered from a sense of worthlessness in old age.
• Instead, their old age is a “crown of glory.”
• The glory of old age is found only IF it be found in the way of righteousness.
SUMMARY: So from what does “Righteousness” deliver a man?
Trouble, sin folly, spiritual barrenness, God’s curse, trouble our mouth brings, ruined life; sadness; a hopeless death, poverty, stuck in mischief, fear, and vanity in old age…
But transgressors shall be taken in their own naughtiness.
1. Righteousness will deliver the upright, but there is no deliverance for transgressors.
2. They shall be “taken” (captured; seized) in their naughtiness (evil desires).
3. Ps. 34:15-16 – the eyes and ears of the Lord are over the righteous… but He is against the transgressors. One is the way of safety… the other, well, look out!