Proverbs 24:15-16 state a sad commentary on the malice of fallen man—wicked men await, watch and exploit when another man falls.
Proverbs 24:15-16 – “Lay not wait [lie in wait; ambush; contend], O wicked [ungodly] man, against the dwelling [home; habitation] of the righteous [lawful; just]; spoil [ruin; destroy] not his resting place [dwelling place]: 16 For a just [lawful; righteous] man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked [ungodly; criminal] shall fall [stumble; be overthrown] into mischief [sin; destructive hurt; misery].”
Perhaps men think to take some solace in the midst of their own failings by observing the failure and despair of another. Observing with satisfaction the struggles of a man does not improve the state of one’s own life; however, it is the way of sinners to compare themselves in a more favorable light than their neighbors. The apostle Paul warned believers:
2 Corinthians 10:12 – “For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.”
In today’s proverbs, Solomon warns the wicked to take no satisfaction in the failure of the righteous for they are resilient souls. Good men may fall to temptation and stumble seven times over (Ecclesiastes 7:20); however, unlike the wicked; a righteous man does not wallow in the mire of sin! The pit of sin with its fleeting pleasures is contrary to his new nature in Christ. Like Peter who denied the Lord, God’s man might flee from the presence of the Lord for a season; however, the longing in his soul is the peace and forgiveness God alone can give (Psalm 139).
Solomon acknowledged what all Christians confess—just men do fall, indeed, many times they fail the Lord and, as the songwriter observed, are “prone to wander” out-of-the-way. However, God’s man rises, shakes off the dust of the world and returns to the Lord. The wicked; however, might profess salvation, but they “fall into mischief” and wallow in the mire of sin because it is their nature.
Someone reading today’s devotional might take satisfaction in observing the failure of Christians, but I remind you—watch long enough and they will by the grace of God rise from their fall and return to the Lord.
There are others who profess to be Christians; however, they fall and wallow in the pit of immorality and worldly pleasures with no sense of urgency to return to the Lord. Those poor lost souls, regardless of their profession, may learn too late they have chosen the path that leads to their own destruction.
1 John 2:15 – “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
Copyright 2014 – Travis D. Smith