Well, here is a proverb that many would rather leave alone. But the good thing about disciplining yourself to walk through the Scriptures is that you have to deal with verses like this one. So . . . let's take a few moments to consider this little bit of wisdom.
The first thing we run into is the fact that God made all things. The simplest sense of the Hebrew word "made" is that God is the maker of all things. This comes as a shock to those who hold to evolutionary theory. Yet even their theory does not explain where all things came from - because their theory never explains why matter itself existed. Their theory, whether they realize it or not, has far more to do with their own pride and unwillingness to submit to a god - any god, than it has to do with valid science. The proverb gives the reason why this is so.
God has made everything for His purpose! The evolutionist and the atheist chaffe at this statement. They reject God so it is only consistent with their beliefs that they also reject His purposes. Yet, God HAS made everything for His purpose. This world - even as it rebels against God - is fulfilling His ultimate purpose. Oh how angry this makes them. Yet we see at the close of this proverb the most brazen statement yet. Even the wicked are fulfilling God's ultimate purposes when the day of evil comes. This presents to some a very real problem with God.
God makes the wicked for the day of evil? That is what this passage says. So the question arises, "Does God make wicked people - is He responsible for wickedness?" The answer to this question is a resounding NO. God is incapable of doing wickedness or evil. He will not - in fact, He cannot sin. Thus this speaks of those who have descended from Adam - who were made after his image and likeness. It refers to God working in spite of the fall of man to accomplish His eternal counsel and plans. He does so in spite of man's wickedness. He is not responsible for it - but He will indeed judge it. Thus even the wicked God works into His purposes.
But what is His purpose for them? That is a sobering reality as we see it revealed in Scripture. God's ultimate purposes for those who sin - and then who reject His grace in Jesus Christ - is that they are reserved for the day of evil. This "day of evil" could be just an ordinary day when the just desserts of wickedness are served. But when we consider this view we run into problems because even with the righteous there are days when "bad" things happen to them. This day of evil I believe refers ultimately to the day when God's judgment falls upon them. They rejected God all their lives. They rejected Him with their sinful choices and desires. When God offers forgiveness and grace they reject Him again. They continue rejecting Christ until the day of their death - thus culminating a lifelong wickedness. What remains for them is the day of evil. The day when God brings the ultimate punishment and "bad day" that will last forever.
This my dear friend is wisdom. Wisdom is acknowledging God as Creator of all that there is. Wisdom is then realizing that everything He made - though originally made good - is truly messed up due to sin. Wisdom is seeing that sin is not just some ethereal concept - it is a choice. Wisdom is seeing that sin is personal - you've committed it every day of your life by disobeying God's laws and commandments. Wisdom is then realizing God's ultimate purpose by embracing Jesus Christ as His way of paying for sin and providing salvation. Wisdom is receiving the conviction of the Holy Spirit and rejoicing when you are granted repentance and faith! Wisdom is then turning from your sins and trusting Jesus Christ to pay for them with His work on the cross and resurrection! Wisdom is then living for God's purposes all the remaining days of your life - embracing His glory as your ultimate pursuit!
Interesting isn't it - how a proverb that seems like a can of worms can wind up being a gracious gift from God? If we will only learn the wisdom of seeing God as the Ultimate - then living for His ultimate purpose and plan. That will be the day when we truly embrace what is wise!