19 As righteousness tendeth to life: so he that pursueth evil pursueth it to his own death.
When considering ideas that deal with the “wicked” and the “righteous,” it’s good to remember the perfect righteousness of Jesus as a standard that we all fall short of. We are all unrighteous in some measure, and sometimes we can get so caught up in the wickedness of others that we neglect to consider ourselves.
However, it is still true that the degree of righteousness or unrighteousness that we live will have a somewhat measured effect in our lives. Usually.
For example, as this proverb states, those that are generally “good” people by human standards will live in a way that brings good things to themselves and others. On the other hand, those who live to destroy others wind up bringing misery and death to themselves.
Sometimes this doesn’t seem to be true. Especially when we think of destructive people with a lot of power. When we think of the evils done by the government or big business, it seems as if they are the last ones to suffer. They can kill people and get rich off the blood of those they trample.
It seems like the powerful wicked people get away with everything. It does not seem like they are pursuing evil “to his own death.”
As Christians, we know that all sinners will face condemnation and death because of their actions in this earth and we know that we have all done this in some measure. That’s why we need the blood of Jesus that cleanses us in the sight of God.
We also know that God sees everything and although it seems like those in power get away with murder, they will not truly get away with it. They might live an outwardly or materially prosperous life. They might even feel completely content. However, they will have to pay for all the crimes they committed in this earth.
They will have to face Jesus—He who is the truth and light of life. How can those who brought death, destruction, pain, misery, and lies stand in His presence without being totally consumed?
We see this to some degree already. We see how painful goodness and truth can be for those who want to live destruction and lies. Simply using words that state what is good and true is considered so hazardous to their health that they have to “cancel” or outlaw free speech.
How much more will they suffer when standing before Jesus?
They will not get away with it.
Knowing this, it seems like there are a few things we should do as Christians.
For one, we take the calling we have in Christ seriously. We know that we are only able to stand in the judgement because of the sacrifice of Jesus. Having received this, we should remember that we were paid for with the price of the blood of the Son of God. Therefore, we should get to know Jesus better and learn what He expects us to do in service to Him—not to gain salvation—but because we truly believe in Him and what He says.
As our ambitions in this world are transformed into His ambitions which are of His kingdom and not this world, we will find that our aim and our actions are more aligned with His. This should be the natural result of true faith.
This means showing patience with others as much as possible with humility and not self-righteousness, pride, or a hunger for vengeance and wrath.
This means not getting so consumed with the sins of others that we fail to look at ourselves and work on our growth in Christ, which is needful so that we can serve Him better.
This means helping our brethren overcome challenges to the faith so they might repent of sin as needed, be strengthened, and in some cases converted from false faith to that which is true and substantial.
This also means that we learn what is good and true and we seek the Lord to make us strong in these things, no matter how much the powerful hate Him and His ways.
He makes us strong in truth, love, humility, courage, righteous judgement and justice, and a love of mercy. He strengthens our ability to trust in God and not in others or in ourselves. He strengthens our ability to sacrifice self-gratification, gain, and comfort for the good of others and for the honor of His Holy Name.
If we tend to the things we received in Jesus, which are righteousness—not just through imputation judicially by the blood of Jesus, but through the way we live and the goodness and truth we stand by—then we are tending to life and in Christ we will live.
Those who destroy will be destroyed. As the scriptures say, “he that leads into captivity will go into captivity. He that kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and faith of the saints.”
PREVIOUS STUDY: Considering Proverbs 11:18 – “The wicked worketh a deceitful work: but to him that soweth righteousness shall be a sure reward.”
The purpose of this bible study in The Proverbs is to consider present-day events in terms of the teachings and wisdom of Jesus Christ. Follow in WordPress or subscribe by email (red button at the bottom of each page below the comments) if you would like to join this discussion and receive updates of future posts. Visit the link above for easy access to all posts within this series.