But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it.
Crime does not pay. Sinners will not get away with sin. Are you surprised that some wicked person is alive and prospering? A politician? Actor or actress? Religious leader? Crime figure? They will be cut off and rooted out. God and Solomon guaranteed it.
Those who choose a wicked lifestyle will be hunted down by God and men and destroyed. The proverb is harsh, but it is true. The choice is yours – if you follow the evil man or strange woman in their sinful ways (Pr 2:12-18), you have chosen your ruin.
Solomon had described the zealous pursuit of wisdom and every good path (Pr 2:1-9). Then he described a benefit of wisdom in being delivered from the evil man (Pr 2:10-15) and the strange woman (Pr 2:16-19). Finally, he described a positive blessing of wisdom in walking in the way of good men and keeping the paths of righteous men (Pr 2:20).
What is the reward for obtaining wisdom, avoiding the evil man and strange woman, and following the lifestyle of good and righteous men (Pr 2:10-20)? It is God and man’s blessings on your life that lead to security and success. You will be safe and have a long and prosperous life (Pr 2:21). Both God and men punish evildoers, so crime does not pay.
Tranquility is a wonderful thing. Do you understand it? Do you have it? It means to be free from disturbance or agitation; to enjoy serenity and calmness; to experience quietness and peacefulness. Tranquility is God’s gracious reward for righteous living (Pr 1:33; 3:21-26; 4:7-8; Ps 25:12-13; 112:6-8; Is 26:3-4; I Tim 6:6; I Pet 3:10-12).
King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon was the greatest king in world history. He had more honor, prosperity, and success than any other. But he was proud and did not give God any praise or thanksgiving. He was a sinner, and he oppressed the poor. Daniel warned him to end his sins in order to lengthen his tranquility. Because he did not humble himself and choose the way of good men, he spent the next seven years as a beast (Dan 4:27-33).
Lot chose to mingle with the men of this world, but he ruined his entire family in one of the most depraved stories in the Bible (Gen 13:12-13; 19:1-38). Saul thought he could allow the fear of man, impatience, and envy in his life; but he and his sons were killed in the same day and nailed to a wall by the Philistines (I Sam 31:8-13). Both men and their families were cut off from the earth and rooted out of it. The proverb is harsh but true.
Alexander the Great lived an arrogant life of violence, and he did not live out half his days, just as God promised such wicked men (Ps 55:23). Time does not permit to write about Absalom, James Dean, Eli’s sons, JFK, Amnon, Jimmy Hoffa, Corinthians, Marilyn Monroe, a rich fool, Princess Diana, Haman’s sons, Elvis Presley, Er, MLK, Jr., Onan, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and other wicked persons like them.
The warning about being cut off and rooted out does not just apply to whoremongers and similar rebels. The Lord Jesus Christ used such language when describing the religious leaders of His day that chose their manmade traditions and politically-correct manners over His doctrine of righteousness and truth. He told His disciples that they would be rooted up and that they were no more than blind leaders of the blind (Matt 15:12-14).
It does not matter if your life is good right now. If you continue in worldly compromise or wickedness, God will cut you and your family off and root them out of the earth. If your life is good now, it will not last long. If your life is bad now, it can and will get much worse. Lengthen your tranquility by choosing an upright and wise life (Pr 2:20-21).