“The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them…The righteousness of the blameless keeps his way straight, but the wicked falls by his own wickedness. The righteousness of the upright delivers them, but the treacherous are taken captive by their lust.” (11:3, 5-6)
There is so much going on in the world today that we must screen out everything but that which is important to us. “A new study shows everyone is bombarded by the equivalent of 174 newspapers of data a day… Every day the average person produces six newspapers worth of information compared with just two and a half pages 24 years ago – nearly a 200-fold increase.” (1) Unfortunately, the habit of screening out what we do not want to see, or that which is uninteresting to us spills over into our Bible study. We tent to skip over passages like the one above, perhaps believing that it has nothing to teach us, since we are not crooked, wicked, or treacherous, having the righteousness of Christ, being redeemed and regenerated by him.
Believers in Christ are righteous with his holiness, but we are still sinners. Therefore, inside every Christian is some crookedness and betrayal, along with sinfulness, which is the same as wickedness and evil. Those who deny this destroy the gospel, which is only valuable to save us if there is something from which we need to be saved. We have been saved (past tense) by Christ at conversion. We are presently being saved through our sanctification as we grow in holiness. And we will be completely saved (future) when we are perfectly glorified, without sin. Materialism and self-centeredness are treacherous traps these days when the world glories in Christmas sales and special offers. Idolatry and gluttony will entrap us if we aren’t vigilant in guarding against temptation. Integrity and righteousness will characterize our choices and decisions if we remember whose we are and act accordingly. Otherwise, wickedness and treachery will entrap us. “Evil carries within it the seeds of its own destruction…it recoils on itself. You fall into the pit you have dug for others…Remember this until you are not intimidated, discouraged, or tempted by the wrongdoing you see around you.” (2)
How will these truths influence your choices and decisions today? Christ’s righteousness lives in us, but will we exhibit it in the form of resistance to the world’s powerful push to live as indulgent consumers? Let’s pray that we will, to the glory of God.
(1) Alleyne, Richard, “Welcome to the Information Age,” The Telegraph, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/8316534/Welcome-to-the-information-age-174-newspapers-a-day.html
(2) Keller, Timothy with Kathy Keller, “The Songs of Jesus,” Ps. 7:12-17, January 11:, Viking, New York, 2015