The righteous ruins the wicked

harmless“He’d never harm a flea.” We hear that phrase said about certain people. But certainly such a person would not be a servant of God.

The righteous one considers the house of the wicked,
Turning the wicked to ruin.
Proverbs 21.12 NASB

Some versions take the “righteous” to refer to God, but it would appear that Proverbs doesn’t use the term to describe the Lord. They resort to this possibility, evidently, because of modern sensibilities that cannot imagine the righteous harming anyone.

Such sentiments at times even want to remove God from the role of veangeful judge who punishes evil. People prefer to think that transgressors suffer only the consequences of their own evil. Some, including pastors, even deny the existence of hell as the place of eternal punishment.

But from first to last, the Bible presents evil as something to be opposed, both on God’s part, as well as by his people.

When the righteous work for the success of righteousness, their efforts contribute to the ruin of the wicked. It is impossible to work for good and leave evil intact.

It’s not necessary to think that in this verse, as some commentators do, the righteous one would be a human judge or king, whose function is to judge crimes. All of God’s righteous ones work, as their Father does, for the defeat of evil!

In the Christian age, no physical violence is involved, no physical punishment at the hands of God’s saints. For that, God instituted government, Rm 13.

The righteous one turns the wicked to ruin by the teaching of truth, by refuting false doctrines, by exhorting others to follow what is right, by evangelism, by denouncing the works of darkness for what they are, Ep 5.11.

The work of the righteous is not negative, but positive. But there will be, inevitably, destructive effects, both on earth and in heaven.

Father, we want, as you do, the salvation of all. May those who oppose your grace be defeated.

Hold this thought: Consider evil in the world and stop the wicked from having success.

J. Randal Matheny

Be pithy.

What do you think?