The wicked earn no real gain,
but those who sow righteousness get a true reward.
Whoever is steadfast in righteousness will live,
but whoever pursues evil will die.
Crooked minds are an abomination to the Lord,
but those of blameless ways are his delight.
Be assured, the wicked will not go unpunished,
but those who are righteous will escape.
A great deal of time in Proverbs is spent drawing distinctions between a life lived in line with God’s Word and will (often called righteousness), and a life lived in a different manner (wickedness, evil, crookedness to name a few examples.)
The writer of Proverbs reminds us that, in contrast to the lack of gain for the wicked, the righteous get a true reward. The evil will die while the righteous will live.
The crooked are an abomination to the Lord while the blameless are God’s delight.
There are times in this life that we see how this happens. Sometimes the good guys do finish first. And yet there are other times good things happen to bad people, when right behavior (and following the path God wishes for us) has to be its own reward, at least for now.
When I think about the rewards for righteous behavior, I remember a little wall hanging that read:
Work for the Lord. The pay isn’t great, but the retirement is out of this world.
Dear God, help me to go the right thing today, causing Your delight, and trusting that Your rewards come in due time. Amen.