Proverbs 11:31

Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth: much more the wicked and the sinner.

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Your eternal reward or punishment – heaven or hell – will far exceed any earthly reward or punishment. But there are definite payments made to the righteous and the wicked in this life. The righteous should not despair that there is no reward for them now, and the wicked should not presume to think they can live today with impunity (I Pet 4:17-18).

Solomon wanted your attention – Behold! You should soberly consider God’s dealings with men. He will repay men on earth for their actions. You are not hid from His eyes; you are not lost in the crowd. The righteous will be blessed; the wicked will be punished.

Both the righteous and wicked suffer adversity on earth – so that natural men cannot discern God’s love or hatred (Eccl 8:14; 9:1-3). However, the Bible reveals very great differences, which natural men cannot learn. God treats the righteous and the wicked very differently. Spiritual men know this: they understand His present and future dealings.

God sends adversity in love to chasten and perfect the righteous (Pr 3:11-12; Ps 11:5; Amos 3:2; I Cor 11:32; Heb 12:5-17). His thoughts are only good toward them; He hears their prayers and gives them their desires (Ps 34:10-16; 37:4; 84:11). He blesses them with riches, or things better than riches, or both (Pr 15:16-17; 21:21; 22:4; I Tim 6:6).

God sends prosperity in hatred to the wicked (Pr 1:32; Ps 17:14; 73:1-20). And He sends adversity as a warning of greater judgment to come. His thoughts are evil toward them; He does not hear their prayers; He laughs at their calamities (Pr 15:8; 28:9; 1:20-31). Their foolish joys will condemn them in the Day of Judgment (Ac 14:15-17; Ro 1:18-32).

The proverb and its interpretation are true (Pr 11:20; Ps 58:10-11). Will you believe it and live accordingly? Righteous reader, take comfort! Sinner, beware! Read this:

“The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD’S throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men. The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth. Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup. For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright” (Ps 11:4-7).

Life is hard, but the righteous are loved now and later; the wicked are despised now and later. Though God presently loves and blesses the righteous, eternity is still the best view of life (Ps 49:1-20; 73:1-28; I Cor 15:19; II Cor 4:17-18; Phil 3:18-21; Col 3:1-4).