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Fret Not Evildoers

Proverbs 24:19-20 (ESV) – Fret not yourself because of evildoers, and be not envious of the wicked, for the evil man has no future; the lamp of the wicked will be put out.

A quick glance on social media or the news dampers our spirit. There are endless stories of abuse, murder, abandonment, theft, and other atrocities perpetrated by people. There are videos of people storming into stores to loot the products and goods. People assault innocent bystanders on sidewalks for no reason. Sin and wickedness abound in all places around the world. 

The proverb today helps us remember the truth about these situations. We read in Proverbs 24:19-20, “Fret not yourself because of evildoers, and be not envious of the wicked, for the evil man has no future; the lamp of the wicked will be put out.”

Our passage exhorts us not to fret because of evildoers. What does it mean to fret? To worry or be consumed with concern. We are also not to be envious of the wicked. In what way would we be envious of the wicked? Many see people living outside of God’s design and commands prospering and wonder what the point of obedience is. People wonder “what’s the point of obeying God when so many don’t, but still prosper?” That is envy of the wicked. 

The proverb tells us not to envy the wicked because the evil man has no future. This doesn’t mean only in this life (though that can certainly happen too), but it refers to eternal life. Eternity lasts 100 billion times longer than this life, and even that number is not accurate. Eternity is never-ending. The comparison of this life versus eternity is incomparable. The writer tells us the evil man has no future because his eternity is doomed. The lamp of the wicked will be put out. 

Every enjoyment in this life is as good as it will ever be for the wicked.
This is all they have. The righteous will have enjoyments in this life,
but their eternity will be far greater than their best moments here.

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This is why the proverb reminds us not to fret over the wicked or envy them. The godly have much more to rejoice over.

Reflection & Journal:
- Why should we not fret over what the evil man is doing?
- What are some actions we can take to battle the propensity to fret?
- How does understanding the temporary nature of the wicked's prosperity and the eternal consequences of their actions provide us with hope and assurance?

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