Monday, May 1, 2023

Who Are the Wicked? (Proverbs 10:6, 7, 11; 20:9)

"The name of the wicked will not" (Prov. 10:7).

Interwoven into the fabric of humanity is a common thread. Despite all the diversity, the different colors, forms, and shapes that constitute the human race, we are all fastened by the cords of sin. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” We cannot get around the plain teaching of Scripture on this point. No matter how much we wish it weren’t true, no matter how much liberal theology tries to deny the reality of man’s sinfulness, we cannot ignore the truth. Man is naturally sinful, separated from God, and in desperate need of redemption.

I preface this study with a statement on the sinfulness of man because it is important to understand this point when reading the book of Proverbs. Throughout Solomon’s teaching, he warns his son to beware of the wicked. He describes with honest and plain language the fate of the wicked—both in this world and the next. He incessantly reminds his son of the consequences of wicked actions. He clearly did not want his son to forget the reality and danger of sin.

Neither does God want us to forget the danger of sin. He warns us through the pen of Solomon to beware of the way of the wicked. But why would Solomon take such pains to warn his son, who was the heir to his throne, against wickedness? Shouldn’t he have stressed grace and love? Wasn’t his son secure by God’s own covenant and promise? Yes, but Solomon knew the deceitfulness of the heart. He understood the need to keep the conscience of his son tender by warning him against wickedness. As a good father, Solomon knew that if his son were to grow in knowledge and wisdom, he would have to keep in mind the hopeless, frightening portrait of sin.

The “wicked” in Scripture are all those who have not put their faith in Christ and who are not covered by His righteousness. The wicked are those who hold self in the highest esteem. Unlike the redeemed, whose purpose is to glorify God, the end of the wicked is to glorify self. As a result, their fate is sealed with cursing instead of blessing. All they accomplish and gain in this life will be lost. They hope in themselves, and when they die, their hope perishes with them.

How does the reality of sin and its consequences impact your life? Do you think of friends and family members who don’t know Christ as “wicked” and cursed by God? Do you tell others the Gospel because you know them to be “wicked” and lost? Ask God to give you the opportunity to tell the Gospel to someone this week.