Proverbs 24:10-16

In Proverbs 24:10-16 Solomon warns us that we need to stand strong when under adversity. The day of adversity comes to everyone. The godliest and the most evil will experience their own adversity, and that is a test to see whether or not they will faint. “If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small”. The day of adversity did not make your strength small; it revealed your strength to be small. There is a sense in which we should welcome the day of adversity as a revelation of our strength or weakness. Bridges wrote “Commit yourself daily to him, for his supply of grace is sufficient for you. So go forward, weak and strong at the same time—weak in order to be strong, strong in your weakness.”

Solomon next addresses our need to be protectors of those who are on the path toward death. The idea is of those who are on their way towards destruction, those stumbling to the slaughter. If we have the opportunity, we should deliver them, to hold back their progress to slaughter. “Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work?” We shouldn’t be indifferent towards those headed toward death. Since they often reject God’s wisdom and are hostile, it is easy to give up on them or ignore them. Yet God, who weighs the heart, does know and consider this.

He then reminds us that wisdom is about as sweet as it gets.  He compares it to the drippings of the honeycomb. The gaining of wisdom rewards the life the way the sweetness of taste is the reward of honey. We should learn to discern and appreciate the sweetness of wisdom. Once we appreciate the reward of wisdom, our hope will not be cut off. “My son, eat honey, for it is good, and the drippings of the honeycomb are sweet to your taste. Know that wisdom is such to your soul; if you find it, there will be a future, and your hope will not be cut off.” There may be difficulty and challenge in the pursuit of wisdom, but finding it will make it all worthwhile.

Solomon again reminds us of the outcome of life for the wicked. They may appear to get away with things, and seem to have a positive outcome, but that is not in fact what is happening. The reason why the wicked man should not rob the righteous is that in the end, the righteous man will not be defeated. Even when he may fall – even seven times! – he shall rise again. “Lie not in wait as a wicked man against the dwelling of the righteous; do no violence to his home; for the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity.” The wicked have a different destiny than the righteous. God will protect and preserve His righteous ones, but the wicked shall fall and stay fallen.

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