A man will not be established by wickedness,
But the root of the righteous will not be moved. Proverbs 12:3 (NASB)
As I sit and type many of these devotionals from my living room, I have settled on a comfortable place on my couch. Off to my right are a set of pictures that I acquired from mission trips to Honduras. These are paintings on canvas that capture some of the shapes and colors of village life in Honduras. Above them is a plaque that reads “Dios es Amor” or God is love. Our room is painted with a “crimson red” and cream color accent wall. These paintings hang on the accent wall to bring the contrast with their deep shade of blues and greens.
When you read Proverbs you experience Solomon’s wisdom displayed more like art rather than linear sequential wisdom. In our academic climate, we would have expected a proper outline for the development of his ideas. They would have a slick power point presentation with theme, sub-points, and finally an illustrated conclusion story based in real life.
However, Solomon’s words have transcended time and cultures because of their “art” type quality. As you read Proverbs, it’s like walking through God’s art gallery of wisdom for “how, then shall we live”. At each painting (verse) we should pause and reflect on the contrast of the words, the angle from which this is viewed, what is not in the picture and the weightiness of the brush strokes to which he is drawing our attention. And like a famous painter that is on display at an art gallery, you walk through the whole place looking for themes, continuity, and the maturity of his work, These vivid pictures are easily recalled at the appropriate time in our lives when we say, “now I understand what Solomon was saying and how this applies to my life.”
Today’s verse is one of those mental “pictures”. As I was reading, I quickly ran by this verse searching for one with more “meat” in which to meditate. Then I stopped long enough to ponder the contrast between the wicked and the righteous. Both are trying to be established. Both are trying to make a name for themselves. Both are living life and interacting with lots of people. Both have decisions that they need to make every day. Both will leave a legacy of their lives. Both will be noticed by God and others as to their value in society. But only ONE will be able to resist and stand strong in the storm.
It would be easy to make right choices if they were highlighted with a “neon sign”, but we have no such blaring visual reminder to help us. We do have the pictures that Solomon captured in words. These pictures let us know that the “little things” add up. The wicked man only has to lie a little, deceive a little, cheat a little, be unfaithful a little, gossip a little, get drunk a little, not follow God’s way a little in order to end up “a little” wicked. To be righteous (which can only come fully with a relationship with Jesus) is also defined by the little choices that we make with the use of our time, how we use our money, how we control our thoughts, resisting the urge to compromise, or how we use our tongue to build up or tear down.
We are required in school to take art classes in which we have to memorize some of the most famous paintings from around the world. Why not ask God, to help you become so familiar with His “Word Art”, you can recognize where it needs to “hang” in your life?
Blessings Love y’all