Proverbs in 365 Devotions
Proverbs 24:10 If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small. 11 Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. 12 If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work?
The Day Of Adversity
First off, Solomon talks about the day of adversity when it comes to us. I suppose we all experience times in our life that are especially extremely difficult. It may be a hardship or it may be an important even critical task that is extra difficult and overwhelming. He says how if we faint in this then our strength is small. We should know that difficulty will come to us in this broken world… At the very least we are surly not so naive to not realize we will all face death which usually includes pain and ills. Knowing difficult things will come we should have been ready. Now, Solomon says “If you faint”… We know what fainting is… When our head gets light and fuzzy and we cannot stand to walk. We cannot handle the needed tasks in our life. We try to make it to a bed before plunging down… If not we may fall and even go unconscious.
Now, let’s think about the primary action Solomon is promoting in this passage… It seems he is giving us an example of this kind of important yet staggering adversity…
Verse 11: Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.
I think we can see an exhortation here for good in both the physical and spiritual. For example in the world we see many of the elderly who are lonely and feel they are without purpose… We set ourselves up as judges of the poor self-consciously calling them lazy or ignorant and so we easily dismiss them. We should have a heart for rescuing all these. And we see people in marriages being abused by their spouse. Children mistreated and taken advantage of. We see children aborted in the womb by those who impose their rationalizations about life as though they know what is right and true above Gods word. Sure… all these are experiencing adversity…
However, Solomon address his words it seems to us who have taken up the charge of God… his mission… and those of us who are able to rescue those from varying oppression… This is a daunting task for us. Solomon says if we faint our strength is small… And we know that in our self we are weaklings for sure. Only with the strength that God supplies can we rescue those who are being swallowed up in a broken world.
But the spiritual side of this is much more significant and consequential.
The world, satan, the brokenness of mans own sinful heart… all of darkness is leading people all around us to slaughter and death that never ends.
Our heart for others who face physical suffering syncs up in our heart for those in spiritual anguish.
In our text today verse 12 reminds us of our accountability to God.
12 If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work?
It’s true that good works carry a reward.
Matthew 6 speaks a lot about that.. 1st Corinthians chapter 3 breaks it down very clearly…
I want to read a passage in:
1 Corinthians 3:11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. (Paul explains it in detail then)… 14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward.
But look… only the good works motivated out of a heart for his glory actually count for good works. And we cant claim bragging rights for doing them because Gods mercy and grace brought it about in our life… He even gives us extreme joy in doing them to boot.
But sure, anyone can do good legalistic type works… I mean… if we gave money to the poor or worked at the homeless shelter or in the food kitchen… If we gave everything we had but did not do it from a changed heart with Godly Agape Love then it profits us nothing. So rewards will be handed out in Heaven and it will bring glory back to God and his work in us.
But the Bible is also very clear that we will be not only rewarded but judged by our works… that is… the works motivated by him. In other words, We become a believer by faith in Jesus without any works whatsoever… but on judgment day our works which were motivated and quickened by God will be the verification of our our salvation in Christ.
Romans 2:6 He will render to each one according to his works: 7 to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; 8 but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. (Self seeking works bring wrath and fury.)
This last verse might actually explain it best…
Ill read it then pray:
Galatians 5:6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.