“30 The righteous will never be removed,
But the wicked will not inhabit the earth.”
What can make this proverb so hard to comment on is that it leaves little area for compromise. The righteous will not be moved but the wicked will not live anywhere! How do we approach a proverb like this?
Truth be told, this isn’t the most inflammatory verse in the Bible, but it sure raises some people’s hackles!
The basic truth of the righteous and wicked is that it’s about whom they trust in. The righteous will trust in God for their deliverance and salvation, and the wicked seeks his own way out of trouble. It really comes to a head when the wicked strive against the righteous. They seek to take advantage of less clever or opportunistic people. This has forever been a concern for those who are just being faithful to God.
Is there going to be justice and a reckoning for atrocities that are committed? The Bible says “yes”!
The wicked have their day now, but death comes to all of us eventually, and when God raises us up to new life with Him, the wicked will be no more a terror or thorn in your side. Their punishment for rebelling against their Creator is hell. They will not inherit the earth.
Read Psalm 37:1-10 for the call to trust God and to be vigilant in seeking God and to call others to do so, too.
The next two proverbs are about mouths, tongues, and lips. Something gets chopped off. Nasty.
“31 The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom,
But the perverse tongue will be cut out.
As we have seen before in Proverbs, as we think, so we speak. The issue with the perverse person is not their tongue, it’s their heart. Their heart is dark and so what they say is full of darkness. Humans’ hearts are desperately sick, because of our rejection of God and inability to reach to him.
We speak a lot of things, both good and bad, but don’t expect to be a giver of wisdom without God.
Should tongues be cut out? Most certainly, and mine first (not to mention my brain), but God is not just very concerned about judgement, He also is merciful to the lost. If we realise our need for God we can receive salvation and not get what we deserve, which is death and punishment.
32 The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable,
But the mouth of the wicked what is perverse.”
In verse 32, knowing and acting on that knowledge is so closely linked that you can’t really separate them. It’s implied that because the righteous and wicked have knowledge, they will act on it. What it states is that the righteous/wicked person knows what is acceptable/perverse. They know it off-by-heart. They plan to speak it, and do so joyfully. It is a rather horrible thing to witness some people I know spout rubbish and laugh about it, but a terrific thing to hear good speech from a friend. And that could be a proverb!
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.