7 ¶ The robbery of the wicked shall destroy them; because they refuse to do judgment.
Matthew Henry points out that this verse has to do with wicked men who steal from others because they refuse to do justice, as justice and judgment are closely linked as synonymous in many verses. A civil magistrate who refuses to judge rightly causing the innocent to be robbed is an example of someone whom God says shall be destroyed by their slovenly view of justice.
Imagine in our society how a wicked person can enter a store and pretend to slip and fall down. Even with a videotape of the person sitting down deliberately on the floor many insurance companies will insist on paying out some type of small settlement to keep from going to court and spending more. So, when a person attempts to buy liability insurance for a business they are not only faced with the legitimate reasons for the cost of the insurance but also are paying for the fraud.
The wicked here would be the insurance company as well because they refuse to do judgment or perhaps the civil magistrates who, in the past, have refused to judge rightly.
There are people who will apply for a job and then sue the prospective employer because they say they were discriminated against due to age, sex, race, or sexual orientation. Again, when a person tries to buy insurance for a new business they are not only forced to pay the cost due to legitimate injustice done in the past but also due to fraud. Not only are the liars who sue wrongfully wicked but by this verse so are those who have the authority but turn their backs on judgment.
When our government refuses to consider fraud or to work to eliminate it when executing programs from Medicare or Social Security to the money dispersed to the military or intelligence agencies they refuse to do judgment and as wicked persons cause the rest of us, or permits the rest of us, to be robbed.
As this verse literally was applied to a theocracy based on the Law given to Moses by God it has a literal application in that time. But, how does it apply to us? We Christians have a kingdom, the Kingdom of God, that is invisible and inside of each of us that unites us as the body of Christ, the house of God. We do not at present have a physical stone and brick kingdom like others on the earth. So, how can we apply this verse to us literally? We see injustice in our government and judicial system often and no one of the perpetrators is destroyed. The malefactors seem to just grow and prosper.
But, we have seen this in churches where some leader has committed a gross breech of decency and exploited someone weaker than themselves and members of the congregation report it, but the Pastor or Deacon board says, “oh well, that’s not good enough evidence” or some excuse by which they can justify not doing judgment and justice. People are used, abused, and ignored and if they leave their church they are branded trouble makers. These people have been robbed by the wicked who refused to do judgment as well. Those Pastors or Deacons deserve to be brought down for refusing to acknowledge or address the issue, refusing to do judgment.
I can see many applications for this verse among Christians and I’m sure you can if you think about it. We have had so called scholars like Norman Geisler and Bruce Metzger who refused to treat the Bible as a book like no other, God’s own words, who refused to judge the manuscripts which Christians had almost universally rejected as Egyptian trash, and who stole the Bible through which Christians had been nourished for hundreds of years and the manuscript line they had been nourished by for nearly two thousand to please the Roman Catholic scholars who indoctrinated them into unbelief. You might think it’s a bit unfair to call them “wicked” but what else can you call a Baptist scholar who gets his PH.D. from a Jesuit university and applies jesuitry in his scholarship? He has stolen the Bible, the source of the Christian’s authority in faith, practice, and doctrine because he refused to discern between good and bad and just used “old” as his main criteria, denying the work of the Holy Spirit in the history of the Bible’s work on the earth.
When you refuse to discern between right and wrong, to judge between good and evil, and to establish a truth based on its merit you can be sure that someone will be cheated. Do we dare take the threat of destruction lightly and dismiss it as a condition of living under the Law? I wonder how many young lives have been destroyed by the consequences of their elders saying, “it doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you believe in something”, or “no worries, its all good,” or “don’t be judgmental. After all, judge not lest ye be judged” or even “sin is such an old fashioned sentiment”? It would seem just if the person refusing to do judgment were judged and destroyed in these cases.
I wonder how many young people died in drunken car crashes because some idiot adult said, “well, they’re gonna drink anyway so they might as well do it under adult supervision”? I wonder how many unwanted children were conceived after a moronic parent refused to judge between right and wrong and said, “well, sex is a part of being a teenager. It just matters if they’re emotionally ready for it”? By this Proverb, those wicked fools have robbed someone of some part of their life by their refusal to do judgment and deserve to be destroyed themselves.
Finally, leaving Henry and other commentators for a moment, let’s look at the verse this way; when you choose to do wrong because you refuse to judge between right and wrong, you will destroy yourself. Think about it, the next time you have to make that choice. There is an old maxim called “the Doctrine of Peccability”. It says that when something is presented before our eyes it is not sin, its just there. This is called Presentation. But we see that choosing to do it or view it will be sin. That’s Illumination. Still, no sin has been committed. Something has crossed in front of your vision and you realize that to pursue it would be wicked. But, now comes Debate. Once you start to argue about whether or not you can get away with it you have sinned. You have chosen not to discern that something is good or bad, right or wrong. Many Christians when faced with the battle of temptation simply surrender immediately rather than make the right choice. Inevitably, this will be your destruction.