Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Proverbs 26:10 commentary; God's patience with fools

10 ¶ The great God that formed all things both rewardeth the fool, and rewardeth transgressors.

There is a lot of conflict in the commentators I have read on the meaning of this verse. I think, though, that it goes well with other verses in the Bible which show that there are certain benefits that the people of God share with fools, certain facts of existence that might disturb the most self righteous of us. For instance, in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says;

Matthew 5:43 ¶ Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

One of God’s character traits is that He gives the chance of life to the evil and the good, to fools and wise men. Fools, too, enjoy the pleasures of life, the possibilities. They dream, they hope, and they have access to the little joys that make life pleasurable. God rewards fools and those who have transgressed against Him, sometimes with long life and the enjoyments pursuant to it. The Bible and our experience make it clear that evil people just don’t usually drop over dead because they are evil or burst into flames. Not only are our prisons filled with evil people who disregard God, His statutes, and Laws, and His love and sacrifice but also our businesses, schools, government, and, yes, even our churches. God settles accounts in His own time and gives unrepentant men a long, long time to repent and turn to Him before He visits them with what they deserve.

Job complained;

Job 21:7 ¶ Wherefore (Why) do the wicked live, become old, yea, are mighty in power? 8 Their seed is established in their sight with them, and their offspring before their eyes. 9 Their houses are safe from fear, neither is the rod of God upon them. 10 Their bull gendereth, and faileth not; their cow calveth, and casteth not her calf. 11 They send forth their little ones like a flock, and their children dance. 12 They take the timbrel and harp, and rejoice at the sound of the organ. 13 They spend their days in wealth, and in a moment go down to the grave. 14 Therefore they say unto God, Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways. 15 What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? and what profit should we have, if we pray unto him?

Jeremiah, too, complained;

Jeremiah 12:1 Righteous art thou, O LORD, when I plead with thee: yet let me talk with thee of thy judgments: Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper? wherefore are all they happy that deal very treacherously?

Jesus statement in Matthew, chapter 5, shows us that, for the Christian, God’s forbearance, His mercy on those who regard Him not, is an example for us to follow in treating those who hate us. If He can be patient and longsuffering, then so can we. The time of the fool and the transgressor is coming but don’t be angry that it is not yet. After all, aren’t you glad He had patience with you and didn’t terminate your life before the light of the truth dawned on you?

No comments: