Monday, August 10, 2009

Proverbs 24: 13-22

13My son, eat honey, for it is good,
Yes, the honey from the comb is sweet to your taste;
14Know that wisdom is thus for your soul;
If you find it, then there will be a future,
And your hope will not be cut off.
15Do not lie in wait, O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous;
Do not destroy his resting place;
16For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again,
But the wicked stumble in time of calamity.
17Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,
And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles;
18Or the LORD will see it and be displeased,
And turn His anger away from him.
19Do not fret because of evildoers
Or be envious of the wicked;
20For there will be no future for the evil man;
The lamp of the wicked will be put out.
21My son, fear the LORD and the king;
Do not associate with those who are given to change,
22For their calamity will rise suddenly,
And who knows the ruin that comes from both of them?

Today's Thought Question:
  1. What proverb in today's passage spoke to you and why?
Read through verse 16 and felt secure that though I stumble and even fall, I would be lifted up again--unlike the wicked, who would continue on in calamity's wake. Then, I hit the next two verses and felt like I had just tripped over the sidewalk's curb:

"Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,
And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles;
Or the LORD will see it and be displeased,
And turn His anger away from him." (24: 17 & 18)

The wisdom here is not surprising. But, confessing as to actually having done this, I was finally awakened to what happens in these situations.

First, I really regret having that voice inside that cheers for the enemy going down. I wish I could just turn it off or walk away. If you stop to consider these situations, you'll realize that they occur more often than you think. Have you talked (or yelled) back to your TV lately in response to something someone has said--like the enemy backpedaling...sinking...stumbling? When you see someone who has done it wrong for so long, what do you say? What do you say inside?

See, as we found out in yesterday's verses--reminded again--God sees, hears and knows all. If we think we're going to slide an immoral bud of a thought by Him, forget it! When the Lord "sees," He sees completely, through and through and beyond! "Displeased" is probably putting it mildly as to how He feels. Who am I to stand in God's place and render my judgment with my attitude?

But, here's the real clincher, in the last line: "And turn His anger away from him." When the guilty in our eyes go unpunished, first we wonder why. Why does the enemy seem to go untouched? Why do they get away with it? It has nothing to do with what the enemy has done or hasn't done. It has to do with our response to the situation, God's weighing of hearts and His decision to withdraw His anger. God doesn't do this to show Himself up to us, but to maintain His integrity and that of His Word. And, perhaps for consequences....

"Lest the Lord see it and it be evil in His eyes and displease Him, and He turn away His wrath from him [to expend it upon you, the worse offender]. (AMP, emphasis mine)


* * *

Tomorrow's Scripture Focus and Thought Question:

Proverbs 24: 23-34 (of the Solomon-compiled proverbs)
  1. What proverb in today's passage spoke to you and why?

* * *

Note: I read from the New American Standard Bible translation, specifically, The MacArthur Study Bible (NASB). I will quote other sources if used in a post.
I also use Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (with notes from the King James Version).


B His Girl said...

This passage brings it back to me. The Lord does watch our attitudes. God has new mercy for me every single day. I want my heart to do the same. We know the evil man will not have a future. I saw 2 very crude bumper stickers on the way to our worship service on the beach yesterday. I was shocked how 'out there' they were. I saw that I needed to pray for the driver of that truck in front of me more than I needed to dwell on how offended I was. The offense was against God. Maybe God let me see this man's wicked ways so I would pray for him. B

Kelly Combs said...

verse 7 really hit me too, and the expanded version you included "You, the worst offender." WOW! Great words today.

Can't wait to catch up together next week. :-)

Have a great week.

Sue J. said...

I saw 2 billboards yesterday that follow in this regard. One had the classic evangelism question, "If you were going to die tomorrow, where would you spend eternity? Then, the next billboard read, "Hell is real!"

I'm sure there are some who curse the Christian for their billboards and bumper stickers, too. Woe to us all for our unloving attitudes! This was quite a set of verses for me....