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  • Dr. Stieglitz

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 10:24

"What the wicked fears will come upon him, but the desire of the righteous will be granted"


This is the Hebrew word resa, which means one who lives outside of God's moral boundaries in the Ten Commandments. These people are so selfish that they will do whatever they have to to accomplish what they want. They no longer respect God's moral boundaries of private property, of marital faithfulness, of truth, of honor for authorities, or of focus and worship of the one true God. These boundaries are to be broken if it means that they can get more of what they want.


This is the Hebrew word megora, which means fear or terror. Selfish, wicked people are always fighting a rear-guard action to protect their selfishly obtained pursuits. They are always concerned about losing what they have gained. The level of their selfishness bends all thoughts back to their own desires. It therefore causes them to be afraid that what pleases them will be taken.

This verse is a truism in that the selfish people dwell on what they fear and can spot the weaknesses in their defenses. They are consumed with themselves and not having what they want is a great fear. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. They gain these fears through watching the natural consequences of others like themselves.

The difference is striking between the wicked and the righteous. The wicked are self-consumed; the righteous think of others and are God-oriented. One group is longing to benefit others; the other group is trying to gain more to consume themselves. One is longing to accomplish something positive for people; the other is fearful of losing what they have.


This is the Hebrew word taawa, which means desire. This is an interesting word in that it is most often used as something bad. It refers often to lust, selfish desire, covetousness. It is what a person deeply wants, dreams about, lusts after. In this context Solomon is using it to speak about the godly achievement or goal that those who are righteous want in their life. Their goal or dream is a godly one. It is a good one that has powerful positive impact. It is the goal that God births in the heart of the person. They have sought to love God and benefit their fellow man, and they can see a specific benefit they want to be a part of or accomplish for God or others. It is this benefit, goal, dream that God gives them or, in many cases, allows them to accomplish for Him.

It is important to not see this as though it will drop out of the sky like a Christmas package. God will allow the path to that goal to be pursued. It will take hard work. It will require all your prayers, abilities, involvement, etc. But it has been granted. If you don't act, it won't happen. Do not see this as the idea that if you live within God's standards, He will drop your desires in your lap. No, He will not block you from accomplishing the dreams He has put on your heart. He will aid you to accomplish the dreams that He has given you.


This is the Hebrew word sedaqa, which means conformity to an ethical standard. Practically speaking, to be righteous in the Old Testament was one who lived within the boundaries of the Ten Commandments while doing the first and second great commandments. In other words, they did not willfully violate any of the Ten Commandments and they pursued, on the positive side, loving God and loving their neighbor.

It is important to say that righteousness must have this positive dimension. One is not righteous by what one does not do. People are righteous by the love they express within God's moral boundaries. There are a number of religious people who are declaring themselves righteous or believing that they are righteous because they do everything in their power to live in the Ten Commandments box; but they are bitter, angry, hateful, judgmental, spiteful people. This is not righteous.

It is also important to say that one must be loving from within God's moral standards. There are people who are selfishly wicked and pursue what they want, in any way they want, and then they throw a little money at the hurting or homeless and believe that they have been righteous. They accept all kinds of deviant behavior as tolerable as long as it doesn't personally and negatively impact them; and they call this tolerance of sin, love. It is not. It does not meet the needs of others to allow deviants to practice their craft on others.

In the ultimate sense of righteousness there is no one righteous; no, not one. But in this general more practical sense, it is possible for people to fit this description and to be "righteous." It is this definition that was meant when it was said about Mary and Joseph that they were righteous. They lived their lives within the boundaries of the Ten Commandments. They did not blatantly trespass across those moral boundaries nor live in violation of those standards.


This is the Hebrew word natan, which means gift, reward, bestow. The idea is that God blesses the righteous with the fulfillment of what they desire because what they desire is righteous. He can give it to them without destroying them. It is all grace and unmerited because none is righteous; no, not one. But God delights to shower down on those who seek to follow His rules.

Until tomorrow,

Gil Stieglitz

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