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Briefing: How often in your law enforcement career have you been asked to judge between what is right and wrong? For most law enforcement this is part of what we do. We enforce the law based on what is right (legal) and what is wrong (illegal).

Dispatch (Assignment): Before we go on, just because something is legal does not make it right. Can you think of some examples?

On the Street: There have been volumes and volumes of books written on righteousness. The purpose here is not to add another opinion but to compile and provide Proverbs that speak to the subject of righteousness.

As much as I would love to debate laws and actions by our government that are “legal”, that is not the purpose. Our righteousness must be based on God’s Word, not mans. Here are some Proverbs from God’s Word concerning righteousness:

Proverbs 3:33 (NIV), “The Lord’s curse is on the house of the wicked, but He blesses the home of the righteous.”

Proverbs 9:9 (HCSB), “Instruct a wise man, and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man, and he will learn more.”

Proverbs 10:2-3 (HCSB), “Ill-gotten gains do not profit anyone, but righteousness rescues from death. The Lord will not let the righteous go hungry, but He denies the wicked what they crave.”

Proverbs 10:6-7 (HCSB), “Blessings are on the head of the righteous, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence. The remembrance of the righteous is a blessing, but the name of the wicked will rot.”

Proverbs 10:20-21 (NIV), “The tongue of the righteous is choice silver, but the heart of the wicked is of little value. The lips of the righteous nourish many, but fools die for lack of sense.”

Proverbs 10:24 (HCSB), “What the wicked dreads will come to him, but what the righteous desire will be given to them.”

Proverbs 10:29-32 (HCSB), “The way of the Lord is a stronghold for the honorable, but destruction awaits the malicious. The righteous will never be shaken, but the wicked will not remain on the earth. The mouth of the righteous produces wisdom, but a perverse tongue will be cut out. The lips of the righteous know what is appropriate, but the mouth of the wicked, only what is perverse.”

Proverbs 11:4-10 (NIV), “Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death. The righteousness of the blameless makes their paths straight, but the wicked are brought down by their own wickedness. The righteousness of the upright delivers them, but the unfaithful are trapped by evil desires. Hopes placed in mortals die with them; all the promise of their power comes to nothing. The righteous person is rescued from trouble, and it falls on the wicked instead. With their mouths the godless destroy their neighbors, but through knowledge the righteous escape. When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices; when the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy.”

Proverbs 11:18-31 (NKJV), “The wicked man does deceptive work, but he who sows righteousness will have a sure reward. As righteousness leads to life, so he who pursues evil pursues it to his own death. Those who are of a perverse heart are an abomination to the Lord, but the blameless in their ways are His delight. Though they join forces, the wicked will not go unpunished; But the posterity of the righteous will be delivered. As a ring of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a lovely woman who lacks discretion. The desire of the righteous is only good, but the expectation of the wicked is wrath. There is one who scatters, yet increases more; and there is one who withholds more than is right, but it leads to poverty. The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself. The people will curse him who withholds grain, but blessing will be on the head of him who sells it. He who earnestly seeks good finds favor, but trouble will come to him who seeks evil. He who trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like foliage. He who troubles his own house will inherit the wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise of heart. The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise. If the righteous will be recompensed on the earth, how much more the ungodly and the sinner!”

Proverbs 12:3 (HCSB), “Man cannot be made secure by wickedness, but the root of the righteous is immovable.”

Proverbs 12:5 (HCSB), “The thoughts of the righteous are just, but guidance from the wicked leads to deceit.”

Proverbs 12:12-13 (NKJV), “The wicked covet the catch of evil men, but the root of the righteous yields fruit. The wicked is ensnared by the transgression of his lips, but the righteous will come through trouble.”

Proverbs 12:21 (NKJV), “No grave trouble will overtake the righteous, but the wicked shall be filled with evil.”

Proverbs 12:28 (NKJV), “In the way of righteousness is life, and in its pathway there is no death.”

Proverbs 13:5-6 (HCSB), “The righteous hate lying, but the wicked act disgustingly and disgracefully. Righteousness guards people of integrity, but wickedness undermines the sinner.”

Proverbs 13:9 (NKJV), “The light of the righteous rejoices, but the lamp of the wicked will be put out.”

Proverbs 13:21 (NKJV), “Evil pursues sinners, but to the righteous, good shall be repaid.”

Proverbs 13:25 (HCSB), “A righteous man eats until he is satisfied, but the stomach of the wicked is empty.”

Proverbs 14:1-2 (NKJV), “The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands. He who walks in his uprightness fears the Lord, but he who is perverse in his ways despises Him.”

Proverbs 14:9 (HCSB), “Fools mock at making restitution, but there is goodwill among the upright.”

Proverbs 14:32 (NKJV), “The wicked is banished in his wickedness, but the righteous has a refuge in his death.”

Proverbs 15:6-9 (NKJV), “In the house of the righteous there is much treasure, but in the revenue of the wicked is trouble. The lips of the wise disperse knowledge, but the heart of the fool does not do so. The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but the prayer of the upright is His delight. The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but He loves him who follows righteousness.”

Proverbs 15:28 (NKJV), “The heart of the righteous studies how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours forth evil.”

Proverbs 16:12 (NKJV), “It is an abomination for kings to commit wickedness, for a throne is established by righteousness.”

Proverbs 16:17 (NKJV), “The highway of the upright is to depart from evil; he who keeps his way preserves his soul.”

Proverbs 16:31 (NKJV), “The silver-haired head is a crown of glory, if it is found in the way of righteousness.”

Proverbs 20:7 (HCSB), “The one who lives with integrity is righteous; his children who come after him will be happy.”

Proverbs 21:3 (NKJV), “To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.”

Proverbs 21:8 (NKJV), “The way of a guilty man is perverse; but as for the pure, his work is right.”

Proverbs 21:15 (NKJV), “It is a joy for the just to do justice, but destruction will come to the workers of iniquity.”

Proverbs 21:26 (HCSB), “He is filled with craving all day long, but the righteous give and don’t hold back.”

Proverbs 25:4-5 (HCSB), “Remove impurities from silver, and a vessel will be produced for a silversmith. Remove the wicked from the king’s presence, and his throne will be established in righteousness.”

Proverbs 25:26 (NKJV), “A righteous man who falters before the wicked is like a murky spring and a polluted well.”

Proverbs 28:1 (NKJV), “The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.”

Proverbs 28:12 (NKJV), “When the righteous rejoice, there is great glory; but when the wicked arise, men hide themselves.”

Proverbs 29:2 (NKJV), “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when a wicked man rules, the people groan.”

Proverbs 29:7 (NKJV), “The righteous considers the cause of the poor, but the wicked does not understand such knowledge.”

Proverbs 29:25 (HCSB), “The fear of man is a snare, but the one who trusts in the Lord is protected.”

Proverbs 29:27 (NKJV), “Correct your son, and he will give you rest; yes, he will give delight to your soul.”

Investigational Resources: Matthew 9:13, Hosea 6:6

Officer Safety Principle: We are called to be a righteous people.

from The Book of Proverbs Through the Eyes of a Cop
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
Click here to check out the entire Through the Eyes of a Cop series!