Proverbs 2:7 (The VOICE)
He has stored up the essentials of sound wisdom for those who do right;
He acts as a shield for those who value integrity.
I like the subtle assumption that if we do what is right, then we essentially will do what is wise. The “stores” of “sound wisdom” will be tapped into by those do what is right. And what is right? A life lived with integrity. Being the same behind closed doors as we are in front of others. Being whole and undivided in purpose, position, and practice.
Why would God need to act as a shield for those who value integrity? Because when you’re the same person at all times and in all places, you become easier to manipulate. You can become predictable. You become a target. It is the downside to being open and honest rather than scheming and deceitful. It is also the thing that will cause some to flock to you and some to run from you.
I do, however, wonder how true it is that God protects those with integrity. I mean, Jesus seems like the case study of someone who got jacked up particularly because he lived with integrity and purpose that went against the powers that be. At least in a physical, earthly sense it seems as though God’s protection was a bit lacking. The author of Proverbs could not have known this though. Perhaps it is a shout out to having survived the Babylonian Exile as a distinct people. They made it through relatively in one piece with their identity as Jews in tact. When seen through that lens, it is easier to see God shielding them in that way.
Be true to God and yourself. Be open and honest about who you are and then live that life. Some will love you. Some will hate you. That’s okay. I write this letter to you having just received a hand-written letter of my own from someone I do not know. The letter told me that I am going against “God’s Holy Word” because I preach and teach Jesus’ inclusive love and compassion for all. If that takes me against the “Word” as they know it, then that’s alright with me. At least I have lived a life that is in line with the words I speak. Love your lives with integrity and you will tap into God’s wisdom.