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Jesus Paul THE EVANGELISM HANDBOOK

Sowing Righteousness

Proverbs 11:18 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
18 The wicked man earns deceptive wages,
    but the one who sows righteousness, a reward of truth.[1]

The wicked man earns deceptive wages: The Hebrew word rendered wicked (rasha) here is an unrighteous man that is evil, with the focus on his guilt of violating God’s standards. The Hebrew verb (asah) that is rendered earns means to do or make. Deceptive (Heb. sheqer) wages is being fraudulent, misleading, utterly false. In other words, the wicked man’s wages, rewards, or income is not what it seems to be, for his wages are misleading, illusory, or valueless, insignificant and so are not what the wicked had expected to receive.

but the one who sows righteousness, a reward of truth: This person, in contrast, who sows righteousness is one who is doing good, walking with God, living an upright life, and acts justly in all of his dealings. A reward of truth is a true reward, a sure or genuine reward. These ones spend their entire lives chasing money and riches, looking for the one big score. These ones gamble both figuratively and literally. These ones are piling on debt believing that there are riches just around the corner.

Young Christians

What we have here is a contrast between the lazy man and one who is diligent, hardworking, productive. The lazy person is taking on debt by doing risky, short-term, immediate gratification work, trying to acquire something for nothing. The man sowing with righteousness, on the other hand, gives an honest day’s work for an acceptable wage. This righteous man of God, in his sincerity, sows righteousness in helping others to come to a knowledge of the truth of God’s Word, taking care of his loved ones, making an effort on behalf of God’s people. He does not take on deceptive wages through short-term earnings that have no real basis in the reality of a long life of happiness.

The wicked man with his deceptive wages has no moral compass, and he does not accept any authority except himself. For him, there is no giving the glory to God. His earnings are his own glory. He has his own rules and moral standards, which are at odds with the rules, principles, and moral standards set out in God’s Word. These ones live by their ruthless business practices. They gamble with other people’s money, they cheat and steal, using false scales in all that they do, deceiving all who come to buy what they are selling.

[1] I.e. a sure, certain, or genuine reward

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