Proverbs 2:21

For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it.

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Good men live best. Your future is best served by wisdom. Security and confidence are results of godly living. Establish your life on solid ground today. Good men also die best.

This proverb is part of a long paragraph (Pr 2:10-22). A person obtaining wisdom and knowledge (Pr 2:10) will have discretion and understanding (Pr 2:11). This foundation will keep him from evil men (Pr 2:12-15) and women (Pr 2:16-19), and it will lead to the lifestyle of good men (Pr 2:20), who are rewarded, but the evil are punished (Pr 2:21-22).

Wisdom has rewards (Is 58:1-11). God promises longevity, peace, and safety to good men. They will be established and live happily. They will remain long after others have been removed. The result is very different from how the wicked are judged (Pr 2:22). And eternity magnifies this contrast even further with the difference of heaven and hell.

The context warns about the danger of wicked men (Pr 2:10-15) and whorish women (Pr 2:16-19). Solomon taught his son to save him from evil companions and to guide him into the way of righteous men (Pr 2:20). In the proverb before you, the reward of good men is described as having a secure future, but God will destroy the lives of wicked men.

Jehovah delivered His chosen people Israel out of Egypt, and He gave them the land of Canaan for an inheritance, rooting all their enemies out of the land before them (Gen 15:18-21; Deut 7:1-3). But the Promised Land was given to them on the condition of their obedience. Rebellion and sin would cause Him to take it away (Lev 26:1-46; Deut 28:1-68). Any Israelite understood this proverb in a very profound and powerful way.

Longevity, peace, prosperity, and safety are the blessings of God upon the righteous. These rewards are mentioned often in Proverbs by Solomon and as well by David in the Psalms (Pr 1:33; 3:2,13-18; 4:10; 9:11; 16:7; 28:2; Ps 37:3,9,11,22,29). A happy life with good days is obtained by obeying the Lord, especially by ruling your speech and treating others kindly (Ps 34:12-16; I Pet 3:10-12). Righteousness brings blessings (Is 3:10)!

Consider God’s first commandment with an attached promise. He demands that children honor their parents, which is much broader than mere obedience. It means to exalt parents and treat them with special reverence at all times, even in thoughts, speech, facial expressions, and support (Pr 20:20; 30:17; Deut 27:16; I Tim 5:4,8). But look at the reward for honoring them – a good life and a long life (Eph 6:2-3)! Believe this today!

The “Midas touch” refers to a foolish legend. But the story of Job is inspired history! God put a hedge around Job to bless all that he did and had, because he was a righteous man that feared God (Job 1:1-5,10). And even though God tested Job severely, He blessed him with more in the end – there is truly a reward for the righteous (Job 42:10-17; Jas 5:11).

But the greatest reward is in the future – living forever in heaven with God, Jesus Christ, the elect angels, and all the just men that have gone there before (Heb 11:8-16). Jesus Christ forsook evil men and women during His life, following the perfect path of God in every aspect of living, and He is now on the throne of God forever and ever. Have you confessed Him to be Lord of the universe and confirmed it by baptism and good works?