10 When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices;
when the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy.
11 Through the blessing of the upright a city is exalted,
but by the mouth of the wicked it is destroyed.
Rejoicing and joyful shouts of the city are reflective of two things: the tendency to observe and the longing for justice. The prosperity of the righteous does not go unnoticed, and neither does the demise of the wicked. They are examples to all who see them, and as such are ambassadors of the paths they have chosen. Most of us long for justice – to see good rewarded and evil punished – especially when it comes to public figures. What does this longing tell us about our hearts?
“Through the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, but by the mouth of the wicked it is destroyed.” The upright seek to leverage what they have for good. They are generous with their money and humble in their authority. They seek to benefit others in all they do, bringing the best out of the city they call home. The wicked, by contrast, leverage what they have for their own gain – which is rarely for their own good. They sow the seeds of pride and envy, stirring up self-pity and discontent. They sever the bonds of trust and goodwill which hold a city together, what else can come but destruction?