by Bible League International
Verse of the Day and Devotion
Let not your heart envy sinners, but continue in the fear of the Lord all the day. Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off. – Proverbs 23:17-18 ESV
Sometimes, you wondered if it would ever pay off. Sometimes, that is, you wondered if being a Christian would ever make any kind of sense. After all, didn’t sinners seem to be doing just fine? Didn’t they seem to have everything under control despite their wanton and willful ways? It took a while, but you finally had to admit that your heart wasn’t right. Like the psalmist, you had to admit, “I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.” (Psalm 73:3)
You had to admit it because you finally came to your senses. Like the psalmist, you began to see that your envy was stupid and foolish, for it was sign that you had nearly lost your way: “But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled, my steps had nearly slipped.” (Psalm 73:2) It was a sign because, when you finally stopped to think about it, sinners are in a bad way. The Lord makes sure of that-“Truly you set them in slippery places; you make them fall to ruin. How they are destroyed in a moment, swept away utterly by terrors.” (Psalm 73:18-19)
You, on the other hand, are in a good way, a very good way. Your feet are on a solid rock. (Psalm 40:2). Although things don’t always go the way you would like them to go, although you have trials and troubles of various kinds, you have a future that’s better than good. You have a future in this life and the life to come that’s good beyond measure. As a result, sinners should envy you, instead of you envying sinners. They should stop for once and take note of the solid rock you’re standing on as compared to the slippery slope they’re standing on.
Even more, no one can take your future away from you. As our verse for today says, “your hope will not be cut off.” The sinner’s hope is just a slippery slide from utter ruin, but your hope is kept in the safest place possible. It is kept in heaven for you. (I Peter 1:4)
It makes sense, doesn’t it? Continuing in “the fear of the Lord all the day” makes some real sense.