Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 10:28
"The hope of the righteous is gladness, but the expectation of the wicked perishes"
This is the Hebrew word tocheleth which means hope, expectation. This is much stronger than a wish or doubtful desire. It is an expectation built on the faithfulness of God. The righteous know that God will come through. They have built their life on the faithfulness of God and the rules He has built into the universe. They have seen Him act both in their lives and in the Scripture. They are not wishing for material wealth or desiring power that may or may not come. They do pursue full development of their lot in life, but that is not their hope.
The righteous is one who lives within the boundaries of the Ten Commandments even as the wicked live outside of them, but the righteous is far more than just not doing sin. They are positively loving God and others. This is why Jesus says the two great commandments are to love God and to love others. The righteous person gets it. They allow themselves to be filled every morning with God and then they dispense His love and grace everywhere they go.
The righteous do not define themselves by what they don't do. They define themselves by the good they were able to do.
This is the Hebrew word simchah which means joy, gladness, delight, mirth. The firm expectation of the righteous is that they will have joy in the depth of their being and will be able to share that with others. God will meet and/or exceed their expectations for the relationships of their life. This brings joy to their soul. Their expectation is not selfish pursuit but instead deep connected, positive relationships with those around them. In this expectation they are not disappointed and because they add so much to every relationship, they are a self-fulfilling prophecy of their own expectations.
The question: Are you a positive, righteous person injecting joy, delight, and gladness into your relationships? Or are you a negative, self-centered individual? Which has the better life? The positive, righteous person who seeks to bless every person with whom they come in contact.
The classic biblical example is Joseph. Everywhere he was he injected positive benefit and met or exceeded the expectations of those around him. His father loved him and had great joy in his presence. When his brothers hated him and were jealous of him, they chose to be wicked rather than emulate his example. But when he was sold as a slave, he was positive and exceeded the expectations of Potaphar. Then when he was thrown in jail, he was positive and exceeded the expectations of the jailer. Then when he was introduced to Pharoah, he was positive and exceeded the expectations of the ruler. In each case Joseph was the definition of a righteous man – not just for what he did not do but for what he did.
This is the Hebrew word tiqvah which means hope, expectation, longing. The wicked who live outside the Ten Commandments grasping and clutching after what they want in the end will find that their selfish desires cannot be fulfilled. They will grow old and die.
This is the Hebrew word abad which means to perish, to annihilate, broken, destroy. The idea here is that the selfish desires of the wicked fade as they cannot find the way to accomplish them. Their hoped-for dreams and aspirations crumble in their shriveled soul. It is a terrible thing to realize that you will not be able to accomplish your desires.
But the contrast with the righteous is extreme. They just want to be a blessing to all the people they meet. They want to bring gladness, love, and connection wherever they go, and they are fulfilled in this function and gain so much more on top of that. All they want to do is be a positive light of God's love to the people they will meet that day. The rest is in God's hand. But God can powerfully use a person who is willing to be a channel of His love to each day.