Proverbs of Solomon, Continued (11:1–31)
Verse 15: See Proverbs 6:1–5 and comment.
Verse 16: This proverb teaches that it is better to gain respect than to gain wealth (see Proverbs 22:1).
Verse 17: A kind (generous, merciful) man benefits himself (see Matthew 5:7). This is a spiritual principle (see verse 25).
Verse 18: The wages earned by a wicked man are deceptive—that is, they do not last. But the reward obtained by a righteous man is sure.
Verse 19: Here again we see the stark contrast between the “wages” of the righteous and the “wages” of evildoers: spiritual life versus spiritual death (see Proverbs 10:2,16).
Verses 24–25: These verses illustrate one of the most important spiritual principles in Scripture: the more we give, the more we receive. This principle was established first by God: Freely you have received, freely give (Matthew 10:8). Jesus is our example: He gave His life for us; we should give our all for others. If we do, we shall not be the losers! To give to others is the road to blessing for ourselves. This truth applies not only to us as individuals but to our churches as well (see Psalm 112:9; Proverbs 22:9; Luke 6:38; 2Corinthians 9:6–11).
Verse 26: This proverb describes a man who hoards grain in order to increase its price. But the man who is willing to sell his grain to the needy at a fair price will be blessed (see Genesis 41:53–57).
Verse 27: What we seek we shall usually find: if we seek good (mercy, justice, righteousness) we shall find it; if we seek evil in order to do evil, we shall also “find” it—it will come to us. The evil we plan will come back upon us (Proverbs 1:18).
Verse 30: The fruit of the righteous is a tree (source) of life for others (see Proverbs 3:18). Through their deeds and words, the righteous win souls; through their witness, they bring others into the kingdom of God.
Verse 31: Even the righteous receive their due (their punishment) on earth; even Moses and David were punished (Numbers 20:11–12; 2 Samuel 12:10). How much more, then, will the ungodly be punished! (see 1 Peter 4:18).