The righteous shall never be removed: but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth.
The Bible is not redundant. Though repeating its promises and warnings many times, the Bible is not excessive, superfluous, or wasteful by confronting you with similar truth again and again. The God of heaven does not waste words. One of the most important lessons of the Bible is repeated numerous times in Proverbs – the righteous will be blessed, and the wicked will be cursed. The issue is what you will do with the warning.
From beginning to end, the Bible describes the blessed lives of the righteous. They are men and women who fear and love God, trust and obey His word for every decision in life, and despise and reject the false and deceitful lifestyles of the world around them. Consider Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Ruth, David, Esther, and others in the Old Testament. Consider Zacharias, Mary, Simeon, Anna, Luke, and Gaius in the New.
In stark contrast, the Bible also describes the cursed lives of the wicked. They are men and women who fear men and love money, trust and obey the world’s ideas, and despise and reject the wisdom of God offered to them in creation and the Word of God. Consider Cain, Nimrod, Lot, Lot’s wife, Ishmael, Esau, Reuben, Samson, Saul, Jezebel, and others in the Old. Consider Herod, Pilate, Judas Iscariot, Sapphira, and Demas in the New.
If your future success or suffering in this world and the next is at stake, how many times should you be warned, and how loud should you be warned? God has sent His prophets early and often to warn His people about their sins (II Chron 36:15-16; Jer 7:25). And He has commanded them to do it loudly (Is 40:9; 58:1). You will never be able to blame God, but you will be able to blame yourself for rejecting the many warnings (Pr 5:7-14).
A wicked lifestyle will shorten your life, and it will damn you for eternity. Where are Adolph, Alexander, Benito, Darwin, Josef, Mao, Nietzsche, Sigmund, Temujin, and countless others? “God shall likewise destroy thee for ever, he shall take thee away, and pluck thee out of thy dwelling place, and root thee out of the land of the living” (Ps 52:5). And what will Jesus say in the great Day of Judgment? “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matt 25:41).
A righteous lifestyle will lengthen your life, and it will bless you for eternity. It is these blessings that Solomon repeated over and over as motivation to choose godliness and wisdom over wickedness. Consider just a very few examples (Pr 10:6,16,24-25,27-29; 11:3,5-8,18-21,31; 12:2-3,7,21; 13:6,9,15,21-22,25). If you want to learn wisdom from King Solomon’s proverbs, then grasp his most common warning found in this proverb.
Some ask, “What about the martyrs? They were righteous, and they were cut off early in life, and they died horribly painful deaths.” You must see the big picture. The blessed God has countless more factors involving each life than you can see with your limited vision and intelligence. The martyrs were blessed with joy, peace, and contentment far exceeding their bodily pain. It may be helpful to understand the proverb this way,
“The righteous shall never be removed; that is, they shall live long and happily on earth, when God deems this best for them, and then they shall live eternally in heaven. But the wicked shall not inhabit the earth; that is, they shall not even have a long and quiet time on earth, unless God intends a curse and trouble to them by extending their earthly lives, and then they shall be cast into the lake of fire for eternal torment.”
The Bible is not redundant. Though repeating its promises and warnings many times, the Bible is not excessive, superfluous, or wasteful by confronting you with similar truth again and again. The God of heaven does not waste words. But consider how many have read its repetitive warnings and how few have altered their lives to please Him and obtain His blessings. Reader, what will you do? Will you be a fool and say, “I have heard all this before”? It is your choice. But the blessed God will have the last laugh (Ps 59:5-8).