Proverbs 11:8 – Law of Retribution: God often spares the righteous and punishes the wicked

JusticeThe application of today’s proverb resonates with me since I recently preached from Daniel 6 where God delivered His prophet Daniel from the Den of Lions (Daniel 6). Solomon writes:

Proverbs 11:8“The righteous [just; lawful] is delivered out [rescued] of trouble [distress; adversity], and the wicked [ungodly] cometh in his stead [instead of the righteous].”

Solomon’s observation is one I define as “The Law of Retribution”: God often delivers the righteous out of the snares and schemes the wicked have laid for them, who themselves fall victim to their own entangling lies, deceptions and malicious plans.

Consider Daniel 6: Daniel’s enemies plotted to have the king issue a decree prohibiting any man to pray to God for 30 days. Knowing Daniel was a man of integrity and conviction, his enemies were certain he would violate the king’s edict by praying and making petitions to God. Learning the king had signed the decree and the penalty of violating it was to be cast into the den of lions, Daniel went home and prayed as was his habit and pattern (Daniel 6:10).

Daniel in the Lions DenDaniel’s devotion did not spare him from the Den of Lions. However, God did spare His servant from the jaws of the lions (Daniel 6:22-23). The king, rejoicing in God sparing Daniel’s life, ordered the men who had slandered and plotted against him to be cast into the Den of Lions along with their wives and children (Daniel 6:24).

I close with several scriptures that give further evidence of the Law of Retribution: God spares the righteous and punishes the wicked by allowing them to fall victim to their wicked devices and schemes against God’s people.

Proverbs 26:27Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him.”

prisonPsalm 7:15-16 – “ [The wicked] He made a pit, and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made. 16  His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate.”

Psalm 9:15-16 – “The heathen are sunk down in the pit that they made: in the net which they hid is their own foot taken. 16  The LORD is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands.”

Copyright 2014 – Travis D. Smith