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Proverbs 12 March 2014 by Doug

Proverbs 12:3 poses a conundrum. By our tally system, there are quite a few men established by wickedness. In fact, it seems the quickest way to becoming established as a leader in church life or government life is through questionable means. After all, what’s a little baksheesh to grease the wheels?

It is, however, like building a castle in the swamp. Sure, you can put up great big walls and battlements. It may even look like it is a strong and mighty fortress.

It will, however, sink into the swamp. Rebuilding it will only result in more castle sunk into the swamp. People will say you are daft, and they’ll be right.

Our difficulty is that we see only the immediate time frame. We see the New York Times Bestseller list or the current political poll. We do not see the warp and woof of history. We certainly do not see beyond the curve of our own mortality.

The question at stake in seeing the application of this Proverb is not whether or not one establishes temporary or temporal power through wickedness. We know that men can. We have seen it. We continue to see it. There are men in pulpits, politicians in offices, criminals in power and these will remain until the end of all things.

Yet when time stops ticking and justice is done, the root of the righteous is all that will remain. First consider this: the root is what survives after a massive destructive event. Much of the upper, visible things possessed by the righteous will be gone. It will need to grow back, but you will have eternity for that.

Second, though, is this: there is no one truly righteous but God Himself. Jesus provides that righteousness—we use the term “imputed righteousness” in English theology. If we are relying on anything else, there is no establishment for us.

Only destruction. Which will we be? Rooted in Christ? Or shall we burn down, fall over, and sink into the swamp?


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