Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 10:30
"The righteous will never be shaken, but the wicked will not dwell in the land"
This is the Hebrew word sedaqa or tsaddiq which means just, righteous, blameless.
Too many people believe that going to church makes them righteous. No, connecting to God through repentance, faith, service, worship, study, prayer, and love is what righteousness in this context means. It is a righteousness given by God through faith; but it is also a participatory righteousness that interacts with God and lives out His will, drawing on His grace and power.
It is important to point out the positive quality of righteousness in the Old Testament. Righteousness is not just a person who stays away from certain things, living inside the Ten Commandment boundaries. Righteousness is one who is full of God's love, spreading it around to all those who know him or her. The righteous person is one who fulfills the servant leader/lover role in the relationships of their life. One would not see the negative legalistic Pharisee as a righteous person because nothing of love, beauty, dignity, and compassion is produced out of his life. His life is all about what you can't do instead of doing good things for others that you can do.
A truly righteous person is one who is a positive source of energy, encouragement, help, service, and benefit to those who they meet. The good Samaritan in the story that Jesus told – this was the righteous person.
This is the Hebrew word raash which means to totter, shake, slip, fall. Those who have discovered the wonder of making a positive difference in the lives of others through holy love will not be shattered by misfortune or trouble. They expect that in a fallen world there will be selfish people who devise schemes, devices, and deception to oppress others.
God is still in heaven. He has created a world in which the free choice of sin of His creatures does not change His plan and does not derail His plan for mankind. He knew all of the selfish choices that we would make. He knew all the evil that our nation would perpetrate on others. He knew the devastation of allowing Adam and Eve to plunge the world into sin, and yet He still executed the creation of the universe. The finding of worshippers who will worship Him in spirit and truth was worth the hardship of a fallen world.
Those who are righteous are not destroyed by difficult times because they are connected deeply to the One who is outside of time and space. This does not mean that the righteous aren't discouraged or depressed or struggling with doubt from time to time. But they will not be shaken so as to fall completely. Their house of faith will not crumble under the earthquakes of a sinful world.
Are you ready today to make a positive difference in the lives of those you meet today: the waiters, airline attendants, other drivers, colleagues, family members, etc? The glow of the love of God within you must shine out or you are not a righteous person – someone who appears as a light shining in a crooked and perverse world. This is how the Christians turned the world upside down. They energized themselves with the love and grace of God so that they could make a positive difference everywhere they went.
but the wicked will not dwell in the land
This is the Hebrew word rasha which means wicked, criminal. The idea, as we have discussed elsewhere, is these are people who have allowed selfishness to become the controlling impulse of their lives and they no longer recognize normal moral boundaries like the Ten Commandments. They live in the jungle of do unto others before they do unto you. They can expect to eat or be eaten.
This is the Hebrew word shakan which means to settle down, abide dwell. The idea here is that Solomon notices that those who have embraced selfishness as their guiding principle with no moral boundaries are unable to really settle anywhere. They are restless and hounded from within and from without. The internal impulses to selfishness drive them to keep moving. The jungle no-rules world that they have joined means that they are always on the edge of disaster. They will not make a long-term stay. They will not exist over generations. When down times come, they will be swept away. When pressure builds, their relationships will break under the strain. They will not survive the pressure of a fallen world.
If you are living a wicked life outside of the moral boundaries of God or of the government, repent and stop right now. Go in a different direction. There will come a time when all your gain will be washed away and you will need to admit that you live in somebody else's world under somebody else's rules. The sooner that you repent and come back inside the moral boundaries of God, the better it will be. Even wicked people can repent and find forgiveness in God. Never forget that.
Solomon says that they will not dwell or abide in the land; their selfishness will cause them to keep moving.