The fear of the wicked, it shall come upon him: but the desire of the righteous shall be granted.
What will happen to you this year? Things you dread? Or things you desire? The choice is yours. The great God of heaven will hand out rewards and punishments over the next year. If you are living wickedly, then expect to have your fears come true and confound your life. If you are pursuing righteousness, then expect to have your desires granted.
Moses warned Israel, “Be sure your sin will find you out” (Num 32:23). This is an axiom of life that should be taught to every child. These eight simple words can be a constant check of your conduct. You cannot hide sin from God; He will not overlook your sins; He will repay foolishness on your own head (Pr 5:22; 8:36; 11:5-6,17,19; Ps 7:16).
God knows you better than you know you. Think about it. He knows exactly what you dread or fear, but He also knows what would terrify you that you have not even thought of yet. He will cause your worst nightmare to come to pass, if you foolishly or stubbornly rebel against Him. On the other hand, He is also able to bring peace and pleasure into your life that exceeds anything you have experienced or thought about before.
Are you a backslider in heart? Have you slipped from your first love of God and wisdom? Are you lukewarm in your devotion to Jesus Christ? You are in serious trouble, for every backslider will be filled with his own ways (Pr 14:14; Rev 2:4-5; 3:15-16). If you mind earthly things, you are a belly-worshipping enemy of Jesus Christ (Phil 3:18-19).
What do you fear? It is coming! Solomon already wrote, “Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you” (Pr 1:24-27).
But the righteous shall be blessed! God will grant him the desires of his heart, because he delighted in the LORD rather than the foolish and vain soap bubbles of life (Ps 21:1-7; 37:4; 145:19). “The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked. So that a man shall say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth” (Ps 58:10-11).
What good things do you desire? Surely you have a wish list either short or long. The truly good things of life are only for those who walk uprightly – the righteous of this proverb. “For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly” (Ps 84:11).
Solomon observed this law of life: “Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him: But it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he prolong his days, which are as a shadow; because he feareth not before God” (Eccl 8:12-13).
Sociologists, psychologists, philosophers, and historians can study all about differences among men, but this proverb is far more true and valuable than any of their conclusions. Reader, what will you do with the lesson? Ignore it, and experience your fears in the near future? Or humble yourself by repentance and obtain your desires? The choice is yours.