Proverbs 19:22 (ESV) “What is desired in a man is steadfast love, and a poor man is better than a liar.”
This proverb is one that makes me want to say: “This is just so obvious!” Most want steadfast love from other people. It is also safe to say that most believe that being poor isn’t a great lot in life, but it is better than being a liar. Of course, it is always easier to agree with something in principle than to live it. What is steadfast love and why should I have it?
This proverb is true because it declares that a man should mirror the person and character of God. We are to be image-bearers of the One who made us. God is loving and abounds in loving kindness. This is not emotional love, but practical giving love. It is steadfast. He continues to give in love, provide in love and protect in love. His love is steadfast. Let that sink in. He is unwavering in love. He is loyal, faithful, committed, devoted, dedicated, reliable, true and dependable.
A husband has steadfast love when he provides for, protects and cares for the needs of his wife. This should not end during life. A father has steadfast love when he seeks to nurture, encourage, protect, train and discipline his children. An employee has steadfast love when he or she seeks the good of the employer over his or her own good.
The second part of this proverb is “a poor man is better than a liar.” God isn’t poor. There is a sense in which being poor is not like God in His being or resources. However, God the Son did become poor for my sake. The truth was that we were all under God’s wrath and we needed a loving and effective rescue. He did not lie about the impact and end of sin: death. He told us the truth. But he was willing to be poor for your benefit. Now that is steadfast love. To become poor to make someone else rich.
Are you willing to be poor and have steadfast love?
2 Corinthians 8:9 (ESV) “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.”
Prov. 3:3 “Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart.”
Prov. 14:22 “Do they not go astray who devise evil? Those who devise good meet steadfast love and faithfulness.”
Prov. 16:6 “By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for, and by the fear of the Lord one turns away from evil.”
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