Lesson 20

Proverbs 3:33-36 says

The Lord’s curse is on the house of the wicked,
but he blesses the home of the righteous.
He mocks proud mockers
but gives grace to the humble.
The wise inherit honor,
but fools he holds up to shame. (NIV)

I have to admit that first line kind of made me glad.  I cannot stand to see the wicked success so I’m watching for that curse!  Come on, God.  Curse.  Wicked.  Where is it?
That is how many people feel when they look at the evil actions of others.  Where is their punishment?  It doesn’t seem that they get it.  You seem them gain more money on their dishonest ways.  They seem to get more popular though they are hurting others and stepping on them.  They seem to get totally away with telling lies and slandering others.  We get frustrated because we are watching for that ground to open up and swallow them.
But remember that God’s ways are not our ways and His timing is not our timing.  You don’t know how unhappy that person is sitting amongst all that money, or dreading every time all their fair-weathered friends show up, or lose friendships because of their loose tongues.  We don’t see it all.  We can’t know what goes on in private.  We also don’t know how it will be in the future.  Just like  you might not receive your reward today, punishment could be further down the road.  We have to wait on His timing which is not hard but is the right thing to do.

Now, let’s address the fact that you and I just admitted that we eagerly await the punishment of others.  Do you see a problem in this?  There is one.  Our thoughts are on someone’s faults and how they should be punished.  Is this the thoughts of a righteous person?  A righteous person should have their eyes totally on Jesus.  That is when you begin to sink in the waves and that was what was happening with us just a minute ago.  We took our eyes off Him and began to sink into the same mire that those “wicked” people are struggling.  We were on our way to asking to be cursed.  That is why this is worded this way.  You usually remember the very last thing that you read or hear.  If Solomon had sad the blessing first and then the curse, we would still be fixed on that curse thing.  We need to make sure that as we pull away from the Word that our eyes stay on Him.  He wants to bless you, not curse you.

Now, that we have righted ourselves and we’re righteous again we are given a warning as we might at this point swing TOO far the other way.  Don’t get too proud that you just corrected that error and reminded yourself that you are not in the mire anymore like THEY are.  We are still called to be humble.  Just be thanking God that He reminded you and helped redirect you because of humility.  1 Peter 5:5 says,” ….God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”  He wants us to be humble.  That is a study ALL by itself.  But let’s just say that if you did truly apply the proverbs teachings to your life, humility will be achievable.

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