Proverbs 14:11

The house of the wicked shall be overthrown: but the tabernacle of the upright shall flourish.

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How successful is your family? How long will it last? What impact will it have for truth and wisdom? God and men will overthrow the house of the wicked, but they will bless and favor the estate of the righteous. Solomon watched families of wicked men come and go, but he saw the godly seed of the righteous continuing in prosperity for generations (Ps 37:34-40). Here is a proverb that condemns the wicked and encourages the upright.

The wicked build houses – solid, substantial, and permanent dwelling places – to get themselves a name (Ps 49:6-14). They trust their wealth, their intelligence, their strength, and their reputations to deliver them. The upright may begin with only a tabernacle – a fragile, temporary tent. But God will tear down the former and bless the latter. The great reversal of fortune is by the decree of the watchers, or angels – God favors the upright!

Sin is the ruin of families. If you want your family to endure and prosper, you need to pursue godliness and holiness like the upright man. You need to set the Lord first in each life in your house (Ps 101:3-8; 128:1-6; 144:11-15). But the wicked will not think about God at all; they want to do their own thing; they cannot sin enough (Ps 10:4; 58:3). The Lord has guaranteed by this proverb that He will overthrow such a man and his house.

Consider the house of Eli, priest of Israel. God had promised that his house would last forever as His chosen priests, but Eli would not stop his sons from sinning. So God overthrew his family in one day (I Sam 2:12-36; 3:1-18). His two foolish sons were killed in battle; Eli fell backward and broke his neck when he heard the news, and his daughter-in-law died in childbirth (I Sam 4:1-22). The Lord overthrew the house of the wicked.

Consider Joseph. His brothers sold him into slavery at seventeen; he was falsely accused of attempted rape of his master’s wife, and he was thrown into prison. Surely his life and estate had reached rock bottom. But he had resisted his master’s wife’s advances. God raised him out of prison, put him on the throne of Egypt, and made each of his two sons a tribe in Israel – a double inheritance! The tabernacle of the upright flourished!

Other examples of houses being overthrown and tabernacles flourishing could be given, but there are greater reckonings that most ignore – death and Judgment Day. The beggar Lazarus had no house in this world, but he flourished in heaven, while the rich man that lived luxuriously in this world was overthrown and tormented in hell (Luke 16:19-31).

What can you do? Teach your children and grandchildren the Bible so they will fear God and keep His commandments, for His rules are the life, wisdom, and righteousness of your family tree (Deut 4:5-8; 6:4-9; 32:46-47; Ps 34:11; 78:1-8; Joel 1:1-3; Eph 6:4). Keep their priorities on Jesus Christ and heaven, lest they be belly worshippers that mind earthly things (Phil 3:18-19; Col 3:1-4; Heb 11:8-10,13-16). Pray for them every day.