The City Rejoices
Proverbs 11:10 (ESV) -- When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices, and when the wicked perish there are shouts of gladness.
Footage of cities being liberated from Nazi tyranny are stirring to watch. As Allied forces move into towns and cities previously under Nazi control, the crowds cheer and celebrate. People are crying, waving flags, and dancing in the streets. The joy coming from the people is evident in the old footage. Why are they so happy? Because for many of them, the previous several years had been under the yoke and oppression of German occupiers. Their freedoms were limited. Many were killed. The wicked ruled the city and a dark gloom hung over the city.
Our passage today helps us to understand what is happening in footage of this nature. It also shows us the reality of common grace to the world when righteousness flourishes and evil is vanquished. The proverb reads, “When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices, and when the wicked perish there are shouts of gladness.”
When the righteous in the city prevail, the city rejoices. Why? Because everything flourishes under the prospering of the righteous and their ways. When good rulers promote justice, law and order, and liberty to the people, the city benefits. Even those who do not know the LORD benefit from the righteous prospering. The city receives blessing from the common grace of the righteous experiencing blessing. Likewise, the city languishes under a curse when the wicked prosper. When unrighteousness rules, the people suffer. The city suffers. This is why there are shouts of gladness when the wicked perish.
This common grace is true in all places and all times in history. Where God prospers the righteous, all benefit. But when the wicked reign, it is a curse on all. We’ve learned that in recent history of the last hundred years. But we are encouraged to remember anew for today. We should promote the prosperity of the righteous and their ways. It blesses everyone when this happens. In the same way, the wicked should not prosper in their dealings, for it only empowers more wickedness, and brings devastation to the city.
Reflection & Journal:
- What are ways or examples of the righteous prospering?
- What are ways or examples of the wicked prospering?
- How is the city affected by these things? How is common grace a part of this equation?
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