What the wicked dread will come upon them, but the desire of the righteous will be granted. The hope of the righteous ends in gladness, but the expectation of the wicked comes to nothing. Proverbs 10:24, 28 (NRSV)
The caption for Proverbs 10 is “The Proverbs of Solomon.” Two predominant themes emerge from the thirty-two verses of this chapter. The first, wisdom vs. foolishness, was examined yesterday. The second, righteousness vs. wickedness, is examined today.
I enjoy going to the movies, but I don’t go as often as I would like. The genres of films that most appeal to me are: animated, comedies, dramas, and musicals. I want to be entertained! I want to feel better when I leave! Perhaps because I like terra firma so much, I have not been attracted to science fiction films. Horror and thriller films do not make their profits on me because I can stay at home for free and look at my lap! As the violence intensifies and blood spills, I close my eyes and I most likely would have walked out if I had ever walked into the theater in the first place.
There are two films of the thriller genre that I admit terrified me from the portions of the films I saw on cable. Both were made in the 1980s and both had characters that I would describe as wicked, if not that way from birth, then certainly having become that way from their experiences of life. Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction and Robert de Niro in Cape Fear really frightened me. I realize that these were fictional stories and I am grateful that the characters we cared for escaped; wounded, but not mortally so, and scarred, while the villains reign of terror ended in their deaths.
If only the wicked were fictional then life on this earth would not be what we see on television, hear on radio, and read in the newspapers. It is sad but true, that there are wicked people who take delight in terrorizing, inflicting pain and mental anguish on others and showing little or no regard for human life. It is so sad that there are so many who are wicked in our world today!
Verse 25 provides comfort and hope for us: “When the tempest passes, the wicked are no more, but the righteous are established forever.” Verses 29 and 30 affirm that too! “The way of the Lord is a stronghold for the upright, but destruction for evildoers. The righteous will never be removed, but the wicked will not remain in the land.”
Most Holy God, we know that You see the good, the bad, and the ugly in all of us. We thank You for looking at us with eyes of love … loving us for who we are and yet hating the things we do that displease You. Forgive us! Help us to remember that as You love us in that way, so You love those who are wicked and evildoers. Enable us to look at them through Your loving eyes too! In the name of Jesus, who died for the sins of the entire world, we pray. Amen.