(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)
This is another eight-word Scripture, this time from Proverbs 11:21 (King James Version): “…the seed of the righteous shall be delivered.” The question is, delivered from what? Although Proverbs, from chapter 10 through chapter 25, consists mostly of what seems like stand-alone wise snippets, there is a context which will give us a better idea from what “…the seed of the righteous shall be delivered.” Here is Proverbs 11:17 through 21, this time from the New King James Version (with verse numbers) :
17 “The merciful man does good for his own soul, but he who is cruel troubles his own flesh.” 18 “The wicked man does deceptive work, but he who sows righteousness will have a sure reward.” 19 “As righteousness leads to life, so he who pursues evil pursues it to his own death.” 20 “Those who are of a perverse heart are an abomina- tion to the Lord, but the blameless in their ways are His delight.” 21 “Though they join forces, the wicked will not go unpunished; but the posterity of the righteous will be delivered.”
Do you see the pattern in these five verses? The first part of each verse is just the opposite of the second part.
- In the first part of verses 17 and 19, the merciful man and those who have righteousness in their life are highlighted.
- In the first part of verses 18, 20, and 21, the wicked man, and those who have a perverse heart are brought to the fore.
- And in each verse the opposite of the first part is emphasized in the second part!
Let’s take a look at verse 21, remembering that, according to I Kings 4:29 through 34, Solomon, who spoke these proverbs, was the wisest mortal man in history!
Proverbs 11:21 – “Though they join forces, the wicked will not go unpunished; but the posterity of the righteous will be delivered.”
- We will tackle the wicked part first. “Though they join forces, the wicked will not go unpunished….”
There are several instances in the Bible where the wicked have joined forces, but it didn’t do them much good! Here are a four examples: ✡ Genesis 14:9 (Jewish Publication Society Bible) – “...Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of Goiim, and Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar...” banded together and defeated five kings of the plain of Jordan, including the king of Sodom. Then they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their provisions and went their way. They also took Lot, Abraham’s brother’s son who dwelt in Sodom and his goods, and departed. (Genesis 14:11, 12). ✡ Genesis 14:14 through 16 – We don’t know the num- ber of the enemy troops, but Abraham gathered together an army of “...his 318 trained servants who were born in his own house, and went in pur- suit of them....north of Damascus... [about 180 miles north!]” And the patriarch defeated the four enemy kings, and brought back all the cap- tured people as well as the spoil from the enemy raids! ✡ Joshua 11:1 through 5 – Several Canaanite kings came together, “as many people as the sand that is on the seashore, and very many horses and chariots.” (verse 4). But such an enemy army is no match for our great God Almighty! For it says in Joshua 11:8, “And the LORD delivered them [all] into the hand of Israel, who defeated them ....” ✞ According to Ephesians 6:12 (International Stan- dard Version), “For our struggle is not against h uman opponents, but against rulers, authorities, cosmic powers in the darkness around us, and evil spiritual forces in the heavenly realm.” That is a vast number of the enemy! But we are told in I Corinthians 15:24, Jesus “...puts an end to all rule and all authority and power.”
Our God is powerful! And, no matter the size and/or strength of the enemy we are facing, “…thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (I Corinthians 15:57).
- “…but the posterity of the righteous will be delivered.”
✞ Posterity means “...all future generations....” (the Thesaurus of Word Perfect) ...our children and grand children! ✡ As a matter of fact, it goes way beyond our grandchildren! In the second commandment of the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20:5 and 6, God told Moses: For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity on the child- ren to the third and fouth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to the thousands [of genrerations], to those who love Me and keep My command- ments.
From what shall “…the posterity of the righteous…be delivered…” ?
- First of all, they shall be delivered from eternal judgment and spiritual death – which is being in hell, separated from God and His goodness forever!
✡ Isaiah 59:2 – “But your iniquities have separated you from your God....” And if this condition is not rectified, our sins will take us down to hell!
But it is rectified!
✞ Galatians 3:13 – “Christ has redeemed us us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us....” ➔ He took our sins (and their curse of death) upon Himself, while on the cross, and paid for them fully before the Father! And He proved the payment of His own life was ac- ceptable to redeem us, because Jesus rose from the dead three days later! ➔ I Peter 1:18 and 19 – “...you were not re- deemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ....” ➔ Hebrews 9:26 – We are washed clean by the sacrifice of Jesus!
- “…the posterity of the righteous…” shall also be delivered from anything that will overcome them!
✞ ...delivered from destructive habits! I have been psychologically diagnosed as having an extremely addictive personality! ➔ I have experienced addiction to food, nico- tine, alcohol, drugs, pornography, and about anything else which can one can enslave a person! By God’s grace and power, I have been delivered from all these addictions, and my life has been brought back into balance! ➔ As Paul wrote in I Corinthians 6:12, “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” ✞ ...delivered from soul-endangering situations! In Jude 1:24 it says, God “...is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy....”
However, the Lord does not promise to keep us from persecution. Just the opposite, “...all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecu- tion.” Millions of believers living in places hostile to Christianity suffer persecution – even unto death! But Jesus said in Matthew 10:28, “...do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul....”
Thank and praise God that I, and so many others who love the Lord Jesus, have relative peace, prosperity and security living in America! Take advantage of it, and…
- …share the gospel with the lost! (see Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8).
- …give generously of the resources God has given us! (see Luke 6:38; II Corinthians 9:6-8).
- …gather regularly for worship and fellowship! (see Hebrews 10:24, 25).
- …love and serve God fully! (see Mark 12:30; John 14:15).
So as it applies to our children – our posterity as well as ourselves, Jesus assures us in John 16:33,
These things I have spoken to you,
that in Me you may have peace.
In the world you will have tribulation:
but be of good cheer;
I have overcome the world.