Friday, August 12, 2011

Proverbs 23:17-18 commentary; wait on the Lord

17 ¶ Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long. 18 For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off.

Here is a Proverb of hope for the discouraged and downhearted. Don’t look at those around you who are having good fortune and good times and wish for what they have. Fear the Lord, trust Him, and wait. Only someone who has been down and out or flat on their back can truly understand this one.

The believer has eternal life with God. But the prosperity of the wicked is their portion in this world. See Psalm 17:13 - 15.

Psalm 17:13 Arise, O LORD, disappoint him, cast him down: deliver my soul from the wicked, which is thy sword: 14 From men which are thy hand, O LORD, from men of the world, which have their portion in this life, and whose belly thou fillest with thy hid treasure: they are full of children, and leave the rest of their substance to their babes. 15 As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.

That prosperity of fools will destroy them. See Proverbs 1:32.

Proverbs 1:32 For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.

But be devoted to the fear, the awe, the reverence of God as per Pslam 119:38.

Psalm 119:38 ¶ Stablish thy word unto thy servant, who is devoted to thy fear.

Remember what God told the Jews in captivity in Jeremiah 29:11.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

And read Psalm 73.

1 ¶ «A Psalm of Asaph.» Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart. 2 But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped. 3 For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. 4 For there are no bands in their death: but their strength is firm. 5 They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men. 6 Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain; violence covereth them as a garment. 7 Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish. 8 They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression: they speak loftily. 9 They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walketh through the earth. 10 Therefore his people return hither: and waters of a full cup are wrung out to them. 11 And they say, How doth God know? and is there knowledge in the most High? 12 Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches. 13 Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency. 14 For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning.
15 ¶ If I say, I will speak thus; behold, I should offend against the generation of thy children. 16 When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me; 17 Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end. 18 Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction. 19 How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors. 20 As a dream when one awaketh; so, O Lord, when thou awakest, thou shalt despise their image.
21 ¶ Thus my heart was grieved, and I was pricked in my reins. 22 So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee. 23 Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand. 24 Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. 25 Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. 26 My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever. 27 For, lo, they that are far from thee shall perish: thou hast destroyed all them that go a whoring from thee. 28 But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works.

Many people are struggling these days in America but, remember, many people are also doing well. Don’t envy those who are prospering unless they are doing it in a Godly manner. Then, you should look to them as an ensample to learn from but you must know them personally for that as you can’t believe anything the media says and you certainly don’t want to be taken in by someone’s own press that they say about themselves. It is better simply not to look to others but look only to the Lord and wait, pray and patiently wait for His deliverance. Don’t let the success of other’s turn your head because Satan, the god of this world, takes care of his own and promotes our love of the wrong things, unnecessary things, things that God doesn’t want in our life.

America has long been a land where coveting has been a virtue, where we think we need things that we really don’t. In the end, you only need God, and at the end of your life, if He is all you have, then you have everything. No wealthy man or successful man who doesn’t have Christ, have God in their life has anything when all is said and done. Be thankful for Christ and His salvation and don’t despair at what others have or have accomplished that you haven’t. Its not about you anyway, it’s about Him.

We are not saved by our own efforts but by Christ’s. Even Jeremiah wasn’t lifted out of the mud and muck by his own efforts in Jeremiah 38. He only received the knotted rags that were offered to him. He was lifted out. He wasn’t even holding on. The men who lifted him did all the work. Let Christ do for you, to you, and with you what His will is and be happy for your part in it and quit struggling so much and trying to do things yourself. Don’t envy others.

Be faithful to God. He’ll lift you up.

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