The good man has faith

A good man obtains favor from the LORD,
but a man of evil devices he condemns.

via Passage: Proverbs 12 (ESV Bible Online).

That word favor is tranlated charis in the Greek Septuagint. It is a word that could be easily rendered “grace” in English. And notice that this favor seems to include the blessing of justification since the man of evil devices is condemned–the other way a forensic verdict could be rendered.

But a “good man” here is not one who relies on the merit of his works. Rather, he is one who trusts in God and therefore follows in his way. Proverbs is talking about the same thing as the author of Hebrews:

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.

By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.

These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.

What Proverbs reveals to us is that even the day to day grind involves this same faith. The very next proverb says:

No one is established by wickedness,
but the root of the righteous will never be moved.

But it seems as if everyone is established by wickedness. Think of all the rich and powerful people you know about from the national media. See? It looks as if wickedness is the means of establishing oneself.

But that is a delusion. They won’t last. You have trouble remembering many of the ones who were famous and powerful a couple of decades ago. If you trust God you will pursue his way and he will take care of you and your children.

Be assured, an evil person will not go unpunished,
but the offspring of the righteous will be delivered.

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