What if this earthly life were all there is? You live, you die and the finale of your life is as empty as your soul? Would you not echo the words of Solomon recorded in Ecclesiastes—“11 I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun…17 Therefore I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun is grievous unto me: for all is vanity and vexation of spirit” (Ecclesiastes 2:11, 17)?
Such is the life of the wicked that reject God as their Creator and LORD. The wicked live out their days grasping fleeting joys and moments of mirth that are hollow and empty. Their presumption of life without consequences dies with them when they face the eternal judgment of a holy God (Revelation 20:11-15).
Proverbs 10:28 – “The hope [expectation] of the righteous [just; lawful] shall be [is a source of] gladness [glee; mirth; pleasure; joy]: but the expectation [presumption; hopes; the thing longed for] of the wicked [ungodly; immoral] shall perish [destroy; come to nothing; fail; be lost].”
The righteous, those declared free from the penalty of sin by the promise of redemption through the blood of Christ live with an eternal hope (Romans 3:24). The life of the redeemed may be laden with trials and sorrows; however, it is the promise of salvation and a heavenly home that is the sustaining delight of believers (John 14:1-6).
Continuing a similar theme found in verse 28, Proverbs 10:29 offers a contrast of two paths—“the way of the LORD” and that taken by “the workers of iniquity”.
Proverbs 10:29 – “The way [course; journey; path] of the LORD [Jehovah; Eternal, Self-Existent God] is strength [stronghold; fortress; defense; Rock] to the upright [innocent; integrity; complete; sound]: but destruction [ruin; terror] shall be to the workers [doers] of iniquity [complete; integrity; sound; innocent].”
“The way of the LORD” is the path, course and journey God would have all men to follow (2 Peter 3:9). It is “the way” Christ described as “straight” and “narrow” (Matthew 7:14) as opposed to the way of the wicked that is “broad…that leadeth to destruction” (Matthew 7:13). The saints choose “the way of the LORD”, not because of its ease, but because it is the way of truth and salvation. It is in “the way of the LORD” believers find courage, strength and refuge; however, the “workers of iniquity” reject God and His Law and when they draw their final breath they face the terror of God’s judgment when they hear His sentence: “Depart from me, ye cursed into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41).
We have noted “the hope of the righteous” is a source of joy (10:28) and “the way of the LORD” is a refuge (10:29). Proverbs 10:30 reminds believers we are eternally secure in Christ and will never slip, fall from God’s grace or be forsaken.
Proverbs 10:30 – “The righteous [just; lawful; blameless; innocent] shall never be removed [fall; grow weak; slip or falter]: but the wicked [guilty; ungodly; immoral; criminal] shall not inhabit [dwell; abide] the earth.”
There are times feelings betray us and passions falter; however, we are assured the fate, faith and salvation of the righteous is eternally secure in Christ. The apostle Paul, facing trials, troubles, and persecutions wrote: “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).
While the righteous have a sure hope of God’s saving grace, the wicked that have rejected God and set their affections on this world are soon cut off.
Mark 8:36 – “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”
What about you, my friend? What road are you following and where does it end?
Copyright 2015 – Travis D. Smith