The Blessings of the Righteous

A Study from Proverbs Chapter 10. We know that God is faithful to bring blessing and reward to those who do his will, but what does this blessing look like?

Toby Janicki

Faith

blessings foolishness Proverbs reward righteousness wisdom World to Come

The book of Proverbs is primarily dedicated to instructing us in the wisdom and knowledge of a Torah lifestyle. It is from the perspective of a father who is instructing his son and imploring him to walk in righteousness.

Not only does the writer of Proverbs tell us what to do but he also reveals to us some of the rewards of living a Godly life. These blessings come to those who live uprightly in obedience to the Father.

Give and Take

Proverbs chapter 10 begins with a contrast between a wise son and a foolish son. The foolish son will bring shame upon his parents, while the wise son will bring them joy. This is because children are the continuation and extension of their parents. They, by their actions, represent who their parents are. How the parents have raised their children is reflected in the children.

It is the same with us in our relationship to our Father in heaven. When we live righteous lives, we reflect the character of God himself and bring him immense joy; when we fail to do that, we bring him sorrow. By living an unrighteous lifestyle while proclaiming to be one of his children, we bring shame upon his reputation.

When we live a righteous lifestyle it is not without its rewards:

Blessings are on the head of the righteous, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence. (Proverbs 10:6)

A famous Jewish Bible expert from the Middle Ages, Eliyahu ben Shlomo Zalman, otherwise known as the Vilna Gaon, commented on this verse that “since the righteous is always blessing others, God will bless him in return.” [1] One of the major aspects of a righteous lifestyle is meeting the needs of and blessing others. We see this principle repeatedly emphasized in the teachings of our Master Yeshua. For example:

He who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward. (Matthew 10:41)

We know that God is faithful to bring blessing and reward to those who do his will, but what does this blessing look like?

Treasures in Heaven

When we examine Proverbs chapter 10, we see that the promised rewards are not necessarily material in nature. Notice that in verse 3 Proverbs tells us:

The LORD will not allow the righteous to hunger, but He will reject the craving of the wicked. (Proverbs 10:3)

While we are promised that we will not hunger, a promise of overabundance is not given. In other words, the blessing that will come is that our needs will be provided for but not necessarily our wants.

We often think that the blessings that should come from obedience will make us prosperous and wealthy. While sometimes the Father wishes to bless us with abundance, it is not always the case. Just because we don’t have that abundance does not mean we aren’t receiving a reward. Remember that the Master tells us not to seek the kind of treasures that will perish and fade away:

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven. (Matthew 6:19-20)

We must be careful not to impose upon God how we feel he should bless us. True rewards come not in this world but the next.

Through Proverbs 10 many more blessings are listed:

  • Rescue from death (verse 2)
  • Security (verse 9)
  • Life (verse 11)
  • Wisdom (verse 13)
  • Increased days (verse 27)
  • Gladness (verse 28)
  • Not shaken (verse 30)

All these blessings are worth their weight in gold and are not things that money can buy. Many men would gladly give up their wealth for blessings such as these. Ultimately, the hand of God will be upon those who pursue the path of Torah wisdom; he will be faithful to take care of those who are faithful to him.

Footnotes:
  1. Rabbi Eliezer Ginsburg, Mishlei Proverbs: A New translation with a Commentary Anthologized from Talmudic, Midrashic, and Rabbinic Sources, (Brooklyn, NY: Mesorah Publications Ltd, 1998), 177.
  2. Rabbi Charles Wengrov, Malbim on Mishley: the Commentary of Rabbi Meir Leibush Malbim on the book of Proverbs, (New York, NY: Feldheim Publishers, 1982), 97.
About the Author

Toby Janicki is the director of the 12-21 youth initiative, as well as a teacher and writer for First Fruits of Zion. He contributes regularly to Messiah Journal and has authored several books including God-Fearers and a comprehensive commentary on the Didache titled: The Way of Life.

Faith

blessings foolishness Proverbs reward righteousness wisdom World to Come

Hoard of gold coins from Epidaurus, 3rd Century BC, at Numismatic Museum of Athens. (Wikimedia Commons)

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