Righteousness keepeth him that is upright in the way: but wickedness overthroweth the sinner.
Be sure your sin will find you out! Moses first preached this warning, but Solomon repeated it here in this proverb (Nu 32:23). You cannot get away with sin. It will catch up to you and destroy you. Sinners are going down for sure. They cannot succeed. They will suffer. They think they are right, but they are heading toward death (Pr 14:12; 16:25). But righteousness will keep the godly man from being destroyed by the sinner’s folly.
Righteousness is doing what is right and pleasing in God’s sight (Deut 6:25; Ps 45:7). It has nothing to do with your habits, preferences, or traditions. God does not care what the ACLU, PETA, or the PTA thinks on any subject (Is 8:20; I Tim 4:7). A good man is upright in the way – he journeys through life doing what is right. The Lord honors his righteousness by keeping him from the troubles and destruction He brings on sinners.
Wickedness is rejecting God and doing things your way. This foolish choice will hurt you three ways – (1) a dysfunctional life now, (2) God’s judgment now, and then (3) eternal torment. Fear God and keep His commandments (Eccl 12:13-14). Solomon warned that a sinful lifestyle brings destruction (Pr 3:33; 11:3-6,19; 12:7; 13:20; 14:11,34).
Lot made it to heaven. He was a just man (II Pet 2:7-8). But worldly compromise cost him dearly here on earth. His life was filled with misery and pain. He lost everything. His family’s dysfunction was tragic and terrible. Friendship with Sodom ruined his family. His sin overthrew his life, while righteousness kept Abraham very safe and prosperous.
Joseph and David were both tempted by adultery. Joseph chose righteousness, so the Lord exalted him in Egypt. But David chose wickedness, so the Lord raised up enemies against him (II Sam 12:10-11). He married Bathsheba and had Solomon, but God chastened him for the rest of his life. You will reap what you sow (Pr 15:9; Ps 34:12-16).
A rich man lived carelessly and extravagantly – playing with sin. A destitute beggar suffered at his gate, wishing for just a little of the rich man’s food and comfort. Sin eventually overthrew the rich man, and he woke up in hell a nanosecond after dying. But the angels of God carried the righteous beggar to heaven forever (Luke 16:19-31).
Reader, you will make choices when you finish these comments. Will you choose righteousness or wickedness? Are you compromising anywhere in your life? Do you enjoy the world? Your future is dark without hope, if you choose wickedness. Be sure your sin will find you out. Your future is bright and glorious, if you choose righteousness.