Proverbs – News From The Source – Part 20 D
“Do not devise evil against your neighbor, for he dwells by you for safety’s sake. Do not strive with a man without cause, if he has done you no harm. Do not envy the oppressor, and choose none of his ways; for the perverse person is an abomination to the Lord, but His secret counsel is with the upright. The curse of the Lord is on the house of the wicked, but He blesses the home of the just. Surely He scorns the scornful, but gives grace to the humble. The wise shall inherit glory, but shame shall be the legacy of fools." Proverbs 3:29-35
We’ve probably all heard someone say that God is not an angry judge with a big bludgeon waiting to crush anyone who comes near Him. Those who say that are doing so in an attempt to portray God as loving and compassionate to a culture or individuals who have been taught the God is mad with everyone.
The truth is in the Word. God is not an ogre but He’s also not a mushy harmless little fuzz ball. He is God. [Deuteronomy 4:35] He Is Love and He is Just. [1 John 4:8; Romans 3:25-27] He is All-Powerful, a Fierce Force for Righteousness and He is against all evil. [Matthew 28:18; Psalm 119:142; Hebrews 1:8] He is Angry everyday at sin. [Psalm 7:11] He hates evil and the oppressor [Proverbs 6:16; Psalm 72:4]. He loves justice and mercy. [Psalm 37:28; 1 Chronicles 16:41]. He is kind and He is gracious. [Luke 6:35; Psalm 145:8]
The scornful ones will find no “safe place” in the presence of God. Their scorn will be met with the overwhelming force of God’s greater contempt and derision. But, the grace of God is always extended to the humble. To the broken and contrite heart God’s grace is richly available. God’s mercy welcomes the humble, but He abhors the proud and arrogant. He is uncompromising in His justice and makes no excuse for the merciless and evil. They have no place in the kingdom of God.
Consider Jesus, how He responded to the arrogance and pride of the religious oppressors of His day, how he responded to the moneychangers in the temple, how he called out the Pharisees and Sadducees. He called them snakes, a brood of vipers. [Matthew 23-32-33; Luke 7] He didn’t act violently toward them, but He was not gentle in His rebuke of them either. He exposed them as being of their father the devil. [John 8:43-45]
Now let me say, affirmatively, Jesus did not direct his anger toward people who opposed Him or disagreed with His teaching. He did not act violently toward them or call for their harm in any way, and He taught His disciples to do the same. He loved all people and His desire was always to lay down His life for them whether they embraced His teaching or not. He lived as the Father, Who sends His rain on the just and the unjust. He came to seek and save the lost especially those who rejected Him. But, if anyone did not want to receive Him He loved them anyway, but He did not force them to accept Him or perpetrate some evil on them because they rejected Him.
When the message was rejected by any city He just told them to shake the dust of that city off their feet and move on. But the humble are welcomed into the presence of the Lord. They are favored and they will always be kept in remembrance by the Lord.
“For thus says the High and Lofty One, Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” Isaiah 57:15
We are therefore called to be humble before God.
“Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’” 1 Peter 5:5