Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
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July 17 – Beware The Fate Of The Wicked

“Lie not in wait as a wicked man against the dwelling of the righteous; do no violence to his home; for the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity.” Proverbs 24:15,16

Devotional Thought For The Day

The distinction between the “wicked man” and the “righteous” is significant, even though the unbelieving are for the most part unaware of just how significant the difference is.  It is not a matter of “not sinning” – for even “the righteous falls seven times.”  The number seven is a number that signifies completeness – so the thought is that even the righteous falls many times.  Rather, the dramatic difference is one of heart, mind, intent, and finally repentance and faith, for the “righteous shall live by faith.” [Hab. 2:4; Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:10; Heb. 10:38] We clearly see the difference between one who in ignorance or by accident harms us, as opposed to the one who lies in wait and intentionally hurts or harms us. Even our criminal code takes such realities into account and imposes far greater punishment on those who act wickedly with premeditation and malice. God also clearly sees the difference of heart and soul.

The outcome for these different “kinds” of people is also remarkable.  The wicked “stumble in time of calamity,” and in distinction to the righteous, they do not rise.  However, those who fall into sin, who “do the evil that they don’t want to do” [Rom. 7:16], but who repent of it and turn to Christ for cleansing and forgiveness, God enables to rise.  Again, seven is a number that signifies completeness – the righteous rise every time they fall into sin because they repent and are cleansed in Christ’s blood through faith. The wicked [unbelieving as they are] view this as unfairness on God’s part, favoritism against them and injustice.  They just don’t get it.  This only tends to make their hearts even more wicked and opposed to God’s good and gracious will – and as we see in example of Cain, viciously opposed to the “righteous.” Believers humbly and tremblingly rejoice in God’s gracious forgiveness, and eagerly seek to “go and sin no more.”

The warning in this proverb is addressed to the “righteous,” for the wicked are deaf to the Word of God and reject it. The warning is for us not to fall into the habits and patterns of the wicked – lest we forfeit the benefits of God’s forgiveness and blessing upon the faithful and become one of the wicked – with selfishness, malice, and forethought in our sinning.  The warning especially pertains to property and safety – the “dwelling” or “resting place” of others. For so many today there are issues with their mortgage, the threat of losing their home.  For many others there is danger of people actually breaking in and stealing from them.  We even hear of instances of wicked people setting fire to someone’s home.  With this proverb God reveals the principle of the sanctity of a person’s home, and warns against “lying in wait against the dwelling of the righteous.” God especially warns us in regard to such sin against His dear children of faith.

Life is never a matter of “business as usual” for children of God, for the “righteous.”  We dare not fall into the practices of the “wicked,” with little or no regard for the good of others – especially when it comes to how we deal with God’s dear people of faith, the “righteous.”  If we have fallen, let us repent and return to God for forgiveness and mercy – and He will raise us up again in Christ Jesus. But let us take care never to fall from repentance and faith and take up the ways of the wicked – for there is no rising from the calamity that comes upon them.

Prayer For The Day

Dear Lord Jesus Christ, our hearts are also inclined to evil, and the devil and the world around us seek constantly to suck us into the ways of the wicked. Forbid, Lord, that we should succumb and fall into such horrid sin of denuding others of their property and home. Forgive us for all such sin, and embolden and empower us to do all we can for the good and welfare of others, especially when it comes to the sanctity of their dwelling.  Amen.