Do not let your heart envy sinners, but rather be zealous in fearing the Lord all the time. For surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off. (Prov. 23: 17-18)
What Solomon wrote above is similar with his father’s song in Psalm 37. These two great men, Solomon and David were in a perplexing situation where wicked people and liars seemed to be doing well in their lives, while the righteous looked oppressed and ignored. The following questions might arise, even when we know the truth: Why does injustice happen to us? Why are the saints ridiculed? If we are righteous, born-again Christian why does God allow evil things to happen to us?
People are looking for wisdom, yet wisdom is calling out in the streets and in the malls, waiting to be put on as a necklace around our necks (Prov. 1:20-33). So, it is for human beings to look for wisdom and take hold of it. When we search for wisdom with all our hearts as we look for silver, we will understand about fearing the Lord and knowing who God is (Prov. 2:3-5).
Fearing the Lord is something that needs to be sought after. It is an understanding that needs discipline and a constant love relationship with the Father.
As believers, it is so easy to read the book of Psalms and Proverbs about God’s punishment of the wicked, and then in our minds to impose these judgement verses on those who do wrong to us. We all are inclined to do this. Yet wisdom cries out in our conscience led by the Spirit.
One of the pearls of wisdom God revealed to me in Scripture is this:
Do not rejoice when your enemy falls and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles, lest the LORD see it and be displeased, and turn away his wrath from them.
We know that God’s heart does not want anyone to perish (2 Pet. 3:9). If we claim to be righteous and yet we hold grudges, waiting eagerly to hear of punishment happening to our adversaries, then there is something wrong with our relationship with our Father. When God said to Abram in Genesis 15, how his descendant will seize the fertile land which the wicked Canaanites possessed, God revealed some very interesting words:
In the fourth generation your descendants will return here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its limit.
(Gen 15: 16)
Even though God knew that the Amorites’ utter wickedness was beyond healing, God gave them time (long enough!) to repent in way we may never know.
So, we can absolutely believe in His grace and justice for both sinner and saint.
Remember, God gives the rain and the sunshine to the wicked and the righteous alike (Matt. 5: 45). Therefore, consider how much more He will look after the interests of those of us who are His true followers even though we may be victims of injustice.
Let God’s wisdom speak to your soul today: fear God and trust Him.