Proverbs in 365 Devotions
Proverbs 21:10 The soul of the wicked desires evil; his neighbor finds no mercy in his eyes. 11 When a scoffer is punished, the simple becomes wise; when a wise man is instructed, he gains knowledge. 12 The Righteous One observes the house of the wicked; he throws the wicked down to ruin.
Mercy In His Eyes
We covered verse 11 in Proverbs 19:25 and will again in Proverbs 24:23-26. We learned how discernment plays an important role in our relationship with scoffers. In reproving them our hope is not to drive them away from Christ ... but for their sake to discern when to wait until they seem more open to the Lord, then speak that they might believe. However there are other times we may rebuke them publicly that those who might learn wisdom will see their lifestyle and learn the truth of sin and how pride does not end well.
Verse 10 will be the central focus of today's devotion.
10 The soul of the wicked desires evil; his neighbor finds no mercy in his eyes.
Let’s think about this thing called mercy. Mercy is a part of relationships. If you want to be better in social situations… and learn to love your neighbor as yourself… you will need it.
It is no secret we are all broken sinful people. But if you have looked away from sin to Christ and have delighted in him you have received his mercy. We are 100% righteous positionally because Jesus has taken our sin and given us his righteousness. Still in this body we are functionally a work in progress. So we walk in circles of repentance as we grow in him practically, coming to him daily for mercy as he is at work in us. That is our relationship with God as we live in this broken world.
Back to our relationship with man… we need mercy from one another as well to live peaceful and fruitful lives. In our homes, with our spouse, with our children… we must give out mercy and receive mercy every day… all this mixed with accountability motivated by love. That's how God works on us in relationship to him as well.
Verse 10 of Proverbs 21 says how the neighbor of a wicked person does not see any mercy in him.
If your dog poohs on his yard he wants you to clean it up… If you apologize he doesn’t seem to be satisfied. He would be only moderately content if you kneel at his feet when you ask for forgiveness. Even if you apologize he wants you to keep your dog chained up from now on. He doesn’t want to ever hear him bark again… Mute that dogs mouth! I don’t want to be reminded of his transgression! Get rid of it! This neighbor has no mercy in his eyes towards you and may hold a grudge forever.
Look, we all need mercy in order to have peace. We need it at home with family, with neighbors, at work… everywhere… we need to hand it out and accept it graciously.
Thankfully, when anyone looks to the Lord they will always find mercy in his eyes. No matter what you have done and for all you have done… even for a heart bent on sinning which is what we all come into this world with. But now in repentance, in looking away from sin towards Christ he gives us his righteousness positionally and begins a work in progress for righteousness in our life practically.
Father, thank you for your mercy through Jesus your Son who took the wages of our sin on the Cross and defeated death that we might have that same power for victory over sin in our life… and as he was raised we too will be raised incorruptible no longer subject to sin along with all the fear and pain and death it brings. Help us to come to you daily for mercy as we grow practically in your righteousness and may we be merciful to others as we share your glory with them and tell them of Jesus.