Scripture Reading: Proverbs 14:34
A. Advice is easy to give, but consistently more difficult to follow.
B. Solomon proved both parts of this proverb during his reign.
I. “Righteousness exalts a nation.”
A. In his righteousness Solomon won the respect of many nations (1 Kings 3:28, 34; 5:7; 10:6–9, 24–25).
B. Solomon’s righteousness led Israel to unprecedented peace and prosperity (1 Kings 4:20–25; 5:12; 10:16–23).
C. Because of his righteousness, God blessed Israel with His abiding presence (1 Kings 6:12–13; 8:10–11; 9:3–5).
D. Solomon’s righteousness had a tremendous effect on the people (1 Kings 8:22, 66).
II. “But sin is a reproach to any people.”
A. The conjunction “but” introduces the failures of Solomon as king of Israel (1 Kings 11:1–8; cf. Deuteronomy 7:3–4).
B. Because of his iniquity, he fell from God’s favor, and the nation was divided (1 Kings 11:9–13).
C. Because of his iniquity, God raised multiple adversaries against Israel (1 Kings 11:14–40).
III. This proverb embodies a timeless principle.
A. Many of Israel’s leaders discovered both truths during their reigns (2 Chronicles 15:15; 16:12; 2 Chronicles 32:25).
B. The principle applies just as much in the church and in our homes today.
We can exalt our communities, the nation, our homes, and the church by living righteous lives and by encouraging others about us to do the same.