Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Proverbs 11: 7 & 8 Results of Wickedness

Our two verses for today give more examples of the results of following a path of “wickedness,” and where it will lead…

Proverbs 11: 7 & 8 (NKJV)

7 When a wicked man dies, his expectation will perish,
And the hope of the unjust perishes.
8 The righteous is delivered from trouble,
And it comes to the wicked instead.

Way back in March when we were in Chapter 1, we looked at the way Jewish poetry is written. I thought it might be a good idea to review that information again for anyone new that may have joined us recently, as it helps us understand the book of Proverbs better.

The structure of Hebrew poetry is called “parallelism or intensification.” This means that the lines of each verse are parallel in some way and the second line intensifies or “concentrates” the meaning of the first one… if there is a third line, then the idea is even more powerful.

There are 4 main different types of parallelism. Sometimes the first and second lines are sort of the same, and the first just adds more emphasis to the second as in today’s first verse: “When a wicked man dies, his expectation will perish, and the hope of the unjust perishes.”

Sometimes, the second line is an illustration of the OPPOSITE of the first line, which enhances the meaning by doing something like illustrating a point from another angle as seen in the second verse of today’s study: “The righteous is delivered from trouble, and it comes to the wicked instead.”

Another type of parallelism paints a word picture to get the point across like we saw in the word pictures painted in the story of the grasshopper and the ant. The last type, continues the same thought in the second line as was introduced in the first, intensifying the idea presented, such as Prov. 1:19 which says, “Such is the end of all who go after ill-gotten gain; it takes away the lives of those who get it.”

Verse 7 tells us that the expectations and hopes of those that are wicked or unjust will perish. The online Dictionary give this as a definition of the word “expectiation:” something looked forward to, whether feared or hoped for. It gives the definition of the word “hope” as being, “A wish or desire accompanied by confident expectation of its fulfillment.”

With these definitions, we can see that the “wicked” or “unjust” will die sooner or later, and when they do, they will have nothing to look forward too being fulfilled. There will be no hope or expectation of seeing Heaven, for these people. Verse 8 goes on to say that they will receive the trouble that the people that follow God will be delivered from. We need to ask ourselves if we want to have God on our side to deliver us from trouble by following His ways and His righteousness that He gives freely, or if we would rather not follow God and lose all hope of any kind.

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