Wise Saying #19:
“Be not envious of evil men, nor desire to be with them, for their hearts devise violence, and their lips talk of trouble.” (24:1-2)
Sin is pleasurable. Thus, saints desire the immoral gratification experienced by evildoers. The excitement and glitter of this world tempts believers to doubt the life of self-denial to which they are called. As we noted in Saying #14, even the great psalmist Asaph struggled with envying the carefree lives of sinners (Psalms 73:1-28). However, this saying is different from other proverbs regarding envying sinners (cf. 3:31-35; 23:17-18; 24:19-20). Here we are warned against envying evildoers, not because God’s judgment will come upon them/us, but simply because they are evil. A benefit of moral instruction is that one comes to hate evil simply because it is evil. Indeed, “The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil” (8:13). As biblical based moral teaching is increasingly removed from the public square, we, as a society, are rapidly losing the virtue of hating evil. So much of political correctness is about calling “evil good and good evil” (cf. Isaiah 5:20). So today, don’t listen to the world’s perverted teachings. Resist the temptation to envy the wicked. Instead, “O you who love the Lord, hate evil!” (Psalm 97:10).
This week’s theme: The Thirty Sayings of the Wiseman