24 The fear of the wicked, it shall come upon him: but the desire of the righteous shall be granted.
What do the wicked fear? In this context, I don’t want to think of run-of-the-mill sinners. I want to think in terms of that which we war against as Christians: “principalities, powers, and rulers of darkness in high places.”
The supremely wicked things in this world are not mere individuals. They are ideologies, corrupt policies, enshrined systems (religiously and politically), and any entity that unjustly rules over, oppresses, and destroys mankind.
As with Legion, “there are many.”
And as with Legion, Jesus will cast it all out. What a day that will be, eh?
Do they not fear it?
The greatest fear of the wicked is God, whether they fully realize it or not. They fear exposure. They fear judgment and justice. They fear that those who stand for what is true and just will overthrow their power.
So, they do all they can to keep these things from happening.
In order to avoid exposure, they simply lie. When that does not work, they gaslight or blame shift. They even go so far as to call the wicked things they do righteous, and righteousness is turned into wickedness. With the latter, they no longer have to hide the evils they do because that which was once taboo is praised. That is a great trick, isn’t it?
In order to prevent judgement and justice, they simply bribe those who are in charge of judgment and justice. They say, “one rule for thee and not for me.” They re-write laws—even re-write history—so that they can escape judgement and justice. They say that the ultimate source of judgment and justice—God Himself—is not real. Truth is subjective, they say. They bend truth, confuse minds, and escape justice as they trample everyone who could become a threat.
All things that the wicked do: the ideologies, corrupt policies, enshrined systems (religiously and politically), and any entity that unjustly rules over, oppresses, and destroys mankind, have similar motivations. They have similar tactics too.
Large and small, the wicked are easy to predict.
God is also, if we know Him well enough. At least, He is easy to predict in some ways.
We know that no matter how the wicked try, they cannot hide from God. They cannot escape judgment and justice. They cannot retain power, and though they might rise to great power one day, Jesus will overthrow it all “with the brightness of His coming.”
Their fears will come on them.
Those who trust in Jesus alone will be saved.
If we face our own wickedness, repent, and approach God for mercy and forgiveness through the sacrifice of Jesus the Son, we are spared.
Yet, if we are truly saved from this world, we will enter the service of the Kingdom of God. In serving Him, we will continue to be purged from sinful living as we walk in self accountability and repentance, righteous judgment, justice, mercy, and humility. We do not seek our own power or glory, but the power and glory of our Lord. We work in His Kingdom with faith that His Kingdom will come.
Meanwhile, we are to “occupy” until He comes. As Christians, we fight against the Legion of injustice, corruption, and murder also. However, we do not do so as man does. We do not fight flesh with mankind’s weapons of flesh. There is no power there. Not the kind of power a child of God should wield. We fight in Spirit against that which is spirit.
What does this mean? How do we fight in Spirit against that which is spirit?
Our weapons are of the Spirit of God that allows us to wield the very word of God: a word that makes alive and destroys (not as man does, but as God does). His Word exposes the wicked, shows us what is true, defends us, and shows us how to live our lives. Our faith keeps us as we rest in the promises of God.
We begin with ourselves as we “seek first the kingdom of God and its righteousness.”
Get to know Jesus. Know His words. Live His words. Speak His words. Shield yourself with faith.
We always seek to our own sin and growth so that we have the right perspective to fight in the world around us. Then, we fight to make our homes a more upright place. We fight to better our communities. As for the public sphere, we fight according to whatever Jesus calls us to do. Most importantly, we fight by living and preaching the gospel of the kingdom of heaven.
Our warfare does not have to be some big and glamourous thing. In-fact, the big and glamourous things are usually corrupted and become one with that very “Legion” we fight against.
Small is good. Humility is good. A lot of small, humble deeds amount to much, especially for us as individuals. We will hear “well done good and faithful servant.”
As Jesus says, “he that is faithful in that which is least is faithful in much. He that is corrupt in that which is least is corrupt in much.”
Focus on being faithful in the small things, and Jesus will give us more. Run our homes uprightly. Bring peace to our families. Serve our communities. Live and preach the Kingdom of Heaven.
Pray that the wicked turn. Show patience and mercy as much as possible, knowing that our God is one who will remove justice from our enemies and turn in onto those who desire to see the ruin of others.
Put on the armor of God (Ephesians 6). Have faith and know that our Lord will bring the fears of the wicked onto them and praise Him and thank Him for sparing us because we deserve no better.
As for the desire of the righteous, what do we desire?
We desire to see the God’s perfect and pleasing will be done as His Kingdom is established. We seek to see Jesus reign in our hearts first, then we seek to see Jesus reign in those around us as we lead them to Him. We look forward to a kingdom that will come to the whole world in a very real and present way when Jesus returns. The Kingdom of Heaven should be our first desire, and we will see that Kingdom.
The fear of the wicked and the desire of the righteous are the same: God and His Kingdom. “He shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.” This Kingdom will come. Both in small and large ways, and in one ultimate way that the whole world will see when Jesus returns in the same manner He left. How wonderful!
This is part of a series of articles considering the Proverbs from a Christian mindset and applying these lessons to present-day events. You can find all of the Considering Proverbs writings here. Subscribe to receive future posts by email.