The evil will bow down before the good, And the wicked at the gates of the righteous.
The word good in today's Proverb is so key to understanding this verse. It means that which is truly good - to its very core. This kind of good has love itself as its guiding principle. These men tend to rise in the world - or at least are ones who are still standing when the wicked man comes to the end that he deserves. It is at that point in their lives that they wind up bowing down before the good - and before the gates of the righteous.
Consider the story of Joseph and his brothers in the book of Genesis. Joseph was a good man - maybe a little proud in his early years - but still a good man. He faced a great deal of adversity in his life, starting with being sold into slavery by his own brothers. His brothers, on a different trek, seemed to be doing well for most of their lives after their evil deed of selling their brother into slavery. Then came the famine that struck the Middle East so hard that all nations wound up coming to Egypt for grain because of Joseph's wise stewardship of their years of abundance. That was when things changed.
The brothers who at one time stood above the pit where Joseph pleaded for mercy, were now coming before an Egyptian ruler begging for food. When their youngest brother was found to have a golden cup in his sack of food - they tore their clothes and begged for mercy before one to whom they had shown no mercy. What they found was that he was a good man - and after testing their hearts to see if they had changed - he spoke kindly to them, fed them, and sent them back to get his father. This was truly the picture of the evil and the wicked bowing down before the good and godly man.
The ultimate picture of this though is seen in our approach to the throne of God. We are truly the evil and wicked when it comes to standing in the judgment before our God. There is no way that we can have favor there - and should only expect judgment. Yet the Only One who is truly good will be standing there - or more properly - will be sitting on that throne of judgment. In that day as we bow before Him, we will find that if we responded to the gospel with repentance and faith - we will be graciously received. As we approach the gate of the righteous we will also find that the Righteous One is there awaiting us with His blood by which we are forgiven, made righteous, and accepted into the presence of God. There has never been more of a reason to joyfully shout to God - than for the grace that will be poured out upon us in that day. We will gladly bow before Him - and acknowledge our wickedness and sin - finding in him the only thing by which we can be saved.
Proverb a Day
Each day, we'll take a look at a verse from the chapter of Proverbs for the day. Our hope is to gain wisdom each day - and from that wisdom - to have understanding to make godly decisions in the throes of everyday life.
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