Your opinion may be the poison that kills you. When you think that you are in the right, consider what God thinks before you take action. If your enemy is in your sights consider how the human judge may turn against you and your “truth”. By all means do not try to join the evil man though. God promised to be the judge of all, including you.
17 Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth: 18 Lest the Lord see it, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him.
Is it a good idea to do the victory dance and gloat when you have a win? It gets old in sports, and it is unwise in any situation. A win should not make you overconfident. God is the source of our victory and he has no love for pride. God can see good in everyone and you don’t have a monopoly on it. But you do have an opportunity to repent.
19 Fret not thyself because of evil men, neither be thou envious at the wicked: 20 For there shall be no reward to the evil man; the candle of the wicked shall be put out.
What if your enemy wins, are you lost in despair? Has your world come to an end, or is God still on the throne? So the wise guy gets to run the show…into the ground. when God sees an evil victory he plays out the unpleasant reward that is due. By all means steer a wide path away from the temptation to be the evil from jealousy or for vengeance. In that sin you will inherit the Lord’s judgment as the evil do.
21 My son, fear thou the Lord and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change: 22 For their calamity shall rise suddenly; and who knoweth the ruin of them both?
Doesn’t it make sense to respect those who have power over your life? God ordains the leaders and he ensures that justice is done. Avoid those who want to change that stability by rebellion. God and the king will become aware of their plans, and there is a snare waiting for them.
23 These things also belong to the wise. It is not good to have respect of persons in judgment. 24 He that saith unto the wicked, Thou are righteous; him shall the people curse, nations shall abhor him: 25 But to them that rebuke him shall be delight, and a good blessing shall come upon them. 26 Every man shall kiss his lips that giveth a right answer.
Wisdom owns this understanding: do not honor the famous and powerful over the righteous. Anyone who calls the evil man good will be hated by the nations of the world. But those who have the courage to rebuke evil will be honored everywhere. Germany had a few heroes who stood against the Nazis and the world will need more in the future.
27 Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house.
We are advised to do the work of farming to assure your needs before getting preoccupied with building a big home. Perhaps we can get by with a tent or a wagon in the interest of assured provisions for the winter. Perhaps today one may consider getting education or skills developed before signing a mortgage or buying a big car.
28 Be not a witness against thy neighbour without cause; and deceive not with thy lips. 29 Say not, I will do so to him as he hath done to me: I will render to the man according to his work.
Do not falsely accuse your neighbor or tell lies about him. But also do not seek revenge against the guilty. God has claimed responsibility for vengeance, and he will not share it. Scriptures warn us repeatedly not to try to pluck the weeds because we make mistakes. We are not authorized to be vigilantes or to defy the commandment of God. If he has just promised to be the judge then we are not entitled to call him a liar by trying to do his job for him. Don’t do it. Forget your Hollywood westerns and hear your God.
30 I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; 31 And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down. 32 Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction.
The writer has seen the home of the lazy man falling into ruins. His farming is surrendered to weeds and the fences are down. The writer has been able to learn a lesson from what he has seen. Does it take a college degree?
33 Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: 34 So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man.
Oh yes, take a nap, or push the “snooze” button, you can sleep a little more. Take a day off or play the game boy for a day. There is a horrible reality stalking you as you rest, the day of being flat broke is a reality waiting. No money, no welfare, no way to pay. Poverty is a curse that you can earn by not working.