26 October 2021

Proverbs 24:8-9

Whoever plots evil
    will be known as a schemer.
The schemes of folly are sin,
    and people detest a mocker.

Wickedness is wickedness however it is carried out. But as the law affirms, it is especially repugnant to devise wickedness. Some people fall into sin, yielding against their better judgment. But the schemer plans his evil. He uses his ability to reason for the express purpose of causing mischief.

Consider the drug dealer who uses business acumen to run an elaborate, sophisticated business complex. Consider the thief who studies how to carry out a crime with the same meticulous attentiveness as any scholar. There is the businessman who out of greed and ambition uses his talent and expertise to manipulate the system and gain undue advantage over others.

There is a sadness about such persons. For one considers not only the crimes committed, but the good that goes undone that these persons were capable of. What if such schemers used their abilities for good? What all could be done? How much good goes undone?

And then there is the scoffer who is an abomination. Again, the problem is not merely that he ridicules, but that he uses his mental skills to mock rather than for productive good. Scoffing is the lazy man’s use of mental wit. Unlike the schemer who turns to wickedness out of ambition, the scoffer turns to destructive ridicule out of lack of ambition. Both live wasted lives.

What are your plans today – to advance your own cause or the cause of Christ? To shoot down the efforts of others or to build others up? It is good to know that the plans of your Lord today for you, whatever exactly they may be, are for your good.


Psalm 92

It is good to praise the Lord
    and make music to your name, O Most High,
proclaiming your love in the morning
    and your faithfulness at night,
to the music of the ten-stringed lyre
    and the melody of the harp.

For you make me glad by your deeds, Lord;
    I sing for joy at what your hands have done.
How great are your works, Lord,
    how profound your thoughts!
Senseless people do not know,
    fools do not understand,
that though the wicked spring up like grass
    and all evildoers flourish,
    they will be destroyed forever.

But you, Lord, are forever exalted.

For surely your enemies, Lord,
    surely your enemies will perish;
    all evildoers will be scattered.
10 You have exalted my horn[b] like that of a wild ox;
    fine oils have been poured on me.
11 My eyes have seen the defeat of my adversaries;
    my ears have heard the rout of my wicked foes.

12 The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
    they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
13 planted in the house of the Lord,
    they will flourish in the courts of our God.
14 They will still bear fruit in old age,
    they will stay fresh and green,
15 proclaiming, “The Lord is upright;
    he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”