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Proverbs 10:3

The Lord will not allow the righteous soul to famish, but He casts away the desire of the wicked.”

This follows up on the previous proverb. In Old Testament times God blessed Israelites who lived righteous lives, but He brought trouble on those who were wicked (Deut 28).

Note the name of God here, the LORD, the God of the covenant who shows His mercy to Israel. What the Lord promised in his covenant to Israel he would accomplish and bring to pass, both the blessing and the curse.

The righteous may view their circumstances as dire and hopeless, as victims of circumstances, ground under the wheels of life. The Lord would not allow that. God is not bound by circumstances but is Lord over them. He works through such, even allowing the righteous to suffer so they will call on him and seek him, lean on and trust in him rather than themselves or something else.

Never worry about the essential things of life but seek the Lord and live and do what he has said you should do (cf. Matt 6:33). This doesn’t mean be lazy and just sit and wait for God’s provision (see vv. 4–5!). Rather, the whole idea of being righteous is conforming to God’s character in life (here, “soul”) and demonstrating such by whole-souled obedience to him. Thus, rather than a presumptuous laziness, the righteous exercise confident labor. They work hard, knowing the Lord will not allow them to famish but will meet their needs.

In contrast to this, no matter what the wicked may desire, God the righteous judge dismisses such entirely and completely (“casts away”).

  1. It’s easy to evaluate by externals—“so-and-so has everything, God must have blessed them!” Why is this wrong?
  2. From this proverb, what’s really the most important thing? Is that the most important thing to you?
  3. From this proverb, what is the real reason your needs are met?
  4. Who—what—do you ultimately trust for your daily, essential needs?
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