This chapter was an study in contrasts. The righteous will have thus and such happen, the wicked will have thus and such. And generally written in terms of opposites. for instance, verse 17 tells us that A man who is kind benefits himself,
but a cruel man hurts himself. How much more opposite could you get?
The verses we are focusing on today in the ESV read
27Whoever diligently seeks good seeks favor,
but evil comes to him who searches for it.
28 Whoever trusts in his riches will fall,
but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf.
29 Whoever troubles his own household will inherit the wind,
and the fool will be servant to the wise of heart.
30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
and whoever captures souls is wise.
31 If the righteous is repaid on earth,
how much more the wicked and the sinner!
These verses continue to show the difference in what the wicked and the righteous should expect. When I read through this chapter it just makes me wonder why a person would choose to be wicked? Over and over again I'm told how the righteous will flourish, the wicked will perish. The righteous will live, the wicked will fall. The wicked earn deception, the righteous get rewarded. Do the wicked merely not open their eyes to see what is happening to them?
But I suppose it is just that most people don't see the value in God and don't really think they are wicked. But God sees people as wicked regardless. If they don't love him and serve him, ergo they are wicked. Belief in God is what makes a person truly live. But how do I help people to truly know that God is real? I wasn't raised in such a way that I was encouraged to talk about my faith beyond the doors of my family, so I do at times find it a difficult thing to do. It is so much easier to keep it all to myself. But God calls me to do more than that. He doesn't want people to be wicked, he doesn't want people to fail, even though he knows full well that some will, doesn't mean he likes it. He creates us in his own image.
I'm reading a Dan Brown novel right now and he's trying to make the point that since God made us in his own image that therefore we are equal to God. And I just feel like snorting... being made in the image of doesn't mean that we are exactly the same. Look at all the artists out there who make sculptures of people, or who render portraits. All these things are made in the image of their creator, doesn't mean they are equal to their creator. Does the spirit of God reside in those who love God and seek after him? Yes, the bible tells us that it does, but at doesn't mean we ARE God, just means his spirit resides within.
Last week I read a book about a guy who killed someone in a fit of passion. I found the book really interesting to read but the whole time I was noting that this guy did something horribly wrong, but the book was written in such a way that I was rooting for him to come through it all okay in the end. But at the end of the book I realized that he should have been caught and punished for his crime. he should not have gotten away with it. What Proverbs does is remind me that at the end of it all He will pay for his crimes. It's sad though... we should not glorify in being wicked.
We should seek after God. We should love him desperately. It is the ONLY way that in the end we will prosper.
Do you not truly wish to prosper?