Proverbs in 365 Devotions
Proverbs 24:15 Lie not in wait as a wicked man against the dwelling of the righteous; do no violence to his home; 16 for the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity.
Responding To A Fall
It seems a man with wickedness in his heart is a man prone to lash out against those who walk in righteousness. They might be jealous for any number of reasons… They may manufacture and rationalize reasons to dislike godly people in their own mind saying things like their pleasantries are fake or self-righteous… If the godly person is well off and respected in the community, this wicked person may hope for their downfall and they may even rejoice when they sin and their holier than thou image is brought down.
But there is a big difference in how a godly and a wicked person deal with failure.
First let’s think about the wicked man Solomon speaks of.
If he is reprimanded at work for tardiness or some other infringement… Thats a failure of sorts right? How does he respond? He defends himself and talks trash about his boss or others involved… Instead of getting back up he stumbles in his bitterness. Let’s say he looses his job… Instead of humbling himself and owning up… Instead of learning from his mistakes he badmouths the company. With his gossip he is does violence to those who have acted righteously like our text indicates. His continual stumbling in grumbling and bitterness poisons his heart toward the righteous.
The worst part of this mans failure is not so much in his misconduct at work… we all stumble at work and home and in all of life… and yes it is a real failure… but in their heart this person becomes crippled for life as long as they remain bitter towards others.
Solomon says: “16 for the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity.”
Look, maybe you have lost your job or been publicly humiliated… Guess what, even if it was not your fault and others have truly mistreated you… don’t stumble in bitterness toward them. Even if you were in the right… when our heart dwells on wrongs it becomes tainted with the same kind of bitterness that the unrepentant man experienced and we stumble until we forgive and love those who have done us wrong.
Only then do we become the person Solomon spoke of saying: for the righteous falls seven times and rises again…
I love what Joseph said to his brothers years after they sold him into slavery: Genesis 50:20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.
Father Im reminded of Jesus call to Peter on the Sea of Galilee saying follow me and then the last words Jesus spoke in the book of John which were to Peter again… after he had just found out he would be a martyr for the Lord and Peter looked at John and asked Jesus: “what about this man”…
John 21:22 Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!”
So Lord please help us keep our eyes on you whether we have been done wrong or not… help us not to manufacture or dwell on wrongs… but no matter what comes to get up and walk in the righteousness of Jesus and be motivated by him to love others and live for the Lord.