This chapter is laden with proverbs concerning righteousness, justice, and evil. Consider verses 7 and 10:
The violence of the wicked will sweep them away,
because they refuse to do what is just.
The soul of the wicked desires evil;
his neighbor finds no mercy in his eyes.
That there are people in this world that are simply evil is demonstrated to us at various times in our lives, but it often takes by surprise nonetheless. We want to believe in the inherent good of man for the most part, and are sometimes shocked at how easily some can do evil – from the fearless and brazen thief to the cold calculating killer, our faith in humanity sometimes gets shaken as we learn of someone who has behaved with depravity, sometimes for years on end.
The truth is that there are wicked people who do horrible things not because they just cannot help themselves, but instead they do so eagerly and without remorse. They have no mercy on their fellow man because they are ruthless. But such evil will not escape punishment forever. Eventually, their evil and violence will destroy them. God wants everyone to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4). But not everyone will be. And so, there is no shame for us in the truth of verse 15:
When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous
but terror to evildoers.
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
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