Picking and choosing pieces out of the Bible is no fun. You tend to miss the hard-to-explain bits as well as the strange and profound.
In these next three proverbs, we will have to deal with the futile life and death of the wicked. There seems to be no point in their life and their death seems tragic. I pray as we read, we will deeply dwell on this message and be changed and motivated by its power.
Life appears to be shortened or lengthened depending on whether we fear God or not. If only they had this in daytime telly info-mercials!
“Studies from the reading of the BIBLE have discovered a NEW way to PROLONG LIFE! No longer do you need anti-aging pills or cream, just choose to FEAR GOD! TURN from your wicked ways and RELY on His mercy! KNOW that your sin separates you and Him! CALL on HIM now to receive FORGIVENESS and NEW LIFE!
That would never happen, but we must remember the opposite is also true; the wicked have shortened days. This is a curse and a punishment, without a doubt, and one that you and I richly deserve.
I also consider this a merciful thing. Think about it. If God does this, the evil perpetrated by men is lessened, because as we age we all get smarter about committing sin.
God is good to give life to any of us, knowing we all will fail to live out His way. We can be thankful that he allows the wicked (such as you and me) to repent and be recipients of His kingdom.
“28 The hope of the righteous will be gladness,
But the expectation of the wicked will perish.
I feel this proverb is talking about the priorities of the righteous and wicked men. The righteous man is seeking to live honourably before God. He studies God’s Word and discovers what God is like and imitates Him. He will desire things that God desires and work daily to glorify Him. That will be his happiness.
The wicked, worldly man has no knowledge of God. He doesn’t know what God wants and wouldn’t obey Him anyway.
His hope in life is futile; he wants a dream house, a beautiful sheila, maybe a kid (not too many), a fortune (One Powerball!), security (CrimSafe™), and a legacy. All are very short lasting, as death wipes the slate clean on all these. He can only see into the future so far, and what happens after death is obviously beyond his eyesight however much he might expect and hypothesise.
God’s way is always to best way to live. It always helps to follow God as He created us to. God’s way is the upright man’s strength, because he can then know how he is to live before God. He can know that God mercifully saves him from His anger.
The workers of iniquity reject that truth, however. Choosing to ignore Gods’ way and setting out on their own sinful path, people will unfailingly fall to ruin. Why?
Because there is grace through God’s way of salvation, and judgement through man’s way to achieving merit. Man can’t meet God’s high standard or moral perfection, but neither does he particularly want to. He wants to live with compromises and expect God to let him into Heaven anyway. Now that is arrogant and God will not be mocked by that behaviour. Amen.
Thoughts or questions? Write them down in the comment section below!
Note: All scripture is taken from Bible Gateway and is the New King James Version. I am using a commentary by John Kitchen for help with difficult concepts and words.