Like apples of gold…

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The violence…

The wicked will be swept away by their own violence, according to this verse. God must have a big broom!

The New International Version says, “The violence of the wicked will drag them away, for they refuse to do what is right.” But that broom will overlook every person the Lord considers righteous! 

Why will the wicked be cleaned away like cobwebs? It’s really simple. They refuse to do the just thing. Which means they – the wicked – would rather do the unjust thing!

Keep this verse in mind the next time you have an important decision to make. And do the right thing.

The wicked versus the righteous

What the wicked dread will overtake them; what the righteous desire will be granted. ~Proverbs 10:24 NIV

WorryThis verse sets forth the simple proposition that evil people, along with the righteous, will both get what they think about most.

What do wicked people worry about? First, to know who they are, we must define wicked. According to Merriam-Webster.com, the short definition is, “morally very bad; evil.”

In C.S. Lewis’ book God in the Dock, he wrote: “Imagine a set of people all living in the same building. Half of them think it is a hotel, the other half think it is a prison. Those who think it a hotel might regard it as quite intolerable, and those who thought it was a prison might decide that it was really surprisingly comfortable.”

Lewis cleverly used this contrast between a hotel and a prison to illustrate how we view life based on our expectations. He says, “If you think of this world as a place intended simply for our happiness, you find it quite intolerable; think of it as a place of training and correction and it’s not so bad.”

So what do evil people dread? A clue is given to us in Galatians 5:19-21:

The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

And what about the righteous? What are they thinking about? Galatians 5:22-24 finishes the thought:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Which one describes you?

Pay attention to wisdom

My son, pay attention to my wisdom, turn your ear to my words of insight, that you may maintain discretion and your lips may preserve knowledge. For the lips of the adulterous woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave. She gives no thought to the way of life; her paths wander aimlessly, but she does not know it. ~Proverbs 5:1-6 NIV

WomanWhether or not you accept wisdom from God could save your life. Not only does this passage imply that, it also serves as an introduction to the rest of chapter five.

You are urged to pay attention to God’s wisdom. “Attention” means:

  • the act or power of carefully thinking about, listening to, or watching someone or something,
  • notice, interest, or awareness, or
  • special care or treatment.

You’re expected to know this, and to do something about it. As you incline your ears toward the Lord, he has special words of insight on this. Why? So that you can make intelligent decisions, while your lips repeat God’s word quietly to yourself.

By contrast, the lips of an “immoral woman” drip with honey. They look good, and sound good. But in the end, you’ll find they are meaningless. Such an immoral woman doesn’t even know the course her life is on.

This chapter of Proverbs ends with verses 22-23, which say, “The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare them; the cords of their sins hold them fast. For lack of discipline they will die, led astray by their own great folly.”

God knows you’ll be tempted. But through prayer, rather than your own great foolishness, you can be forgiven.

Everything you need

Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many. I instruct you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble. Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life. ~Proverbs 4:10-13 NIV

Accept-RejectGod promises here that if you accept what he says, the years of your life will be long. That’s no small promise.

In Genesis 5:27, the word says, “Altogether, Methuselah lived a total of 969 years, and then he died.” Methuselah is the longest-lived character in the Bible.

The Bible is full of examples of people who were granted long life by the Lord. Likewise, the scriptures have plenty of examples of people whose lives were cut short because they didn’t do what God wanted. Among them are Ananias and Sapphira, in Acts chapter 5, verses 1-11:

Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet.

Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.”

When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. Then some young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.

About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. Peter asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?”

“Yes,” she said, “that is the price.”

Peter said to her, “How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.”

At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.

Your steps will not be disrupted. When you run, you will not trip and fall. In fact, the Amplified Version translates verse 12 as, “When you walk, your steps shall not be hampered [your path will be clear and open]; and when you run, you shall not stumble.”

Instruction is the essence of God’s plan for your life. Guard it carefully. That’s quite a promise. You may not get another chance.

Are you safe?

Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse, who have left the straight paths to walk in dark ways, who delight in doing wrong and rejoice in the perverseness of evil, whose paths are crooked and who are devious in their ways. ~Proverbs 2:12-15

besenHomosexual activist Wayne Besen is shown here shouting through a bullhorn into the window of a Boston church. He’s using a megaphone because he’s uninvited; He’s not in front of the group of former homosexuals. He is talking, though, hoping to be disruptive with words the crowd will be confused by.

Besen is just one of many often called upon by the media to discuss tolerance and hate, two subjects that arise when discussing homosexuality. He’s one example of many who are eager to pull people onto a wicked path.

Wisdom, on the other hand, is there to save you from the wicked ways of men. Men who are perverse. Men who have traded straight paths for twisted, dark ways. Men who delight in doing the very things God says are wrong. Men who are willing to lie and trick people in order to get what is wanted.

Perverse is defined by Merriam-Webster online as “wrong, or different in a way that others feel is strange or offensive.” Psalm 101:4 says, “The perverse of heart shall be far from me; I will have nothing to do with what is evil.”

God offers his wisdom to protect you. Are you safe?