Proverbs 24:16-20


Prov 24:16 (KJB)
For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.
Mischief - Disaster
Here God is stating that the righteous or saved man is very resilient in the Lord. The ungodly man may be able to temporarily have power over the righteous man and may be able to injure, kill, or somehow have some other authority over them. The reality is that they will rise up again, that is, the unrighteous will never be shed of the righteous. Living in this world the righteous will be subjected to the nefarious schemes of the ungodly who would love nothing more than to eradicate Christians and their Bible. The wicked will meet with disaster as they continue to harass Christians. They may think they have the upper hand but they will come face to face with all the evil they have done on Judgment day when they will stand for all the sins they have committed. Seven being the perfect number, may refer to the death of the righteous by the hand of the unrighteous but they neglect a great principle. (1 Ki 19:18 KJV) Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him. Seven thousand represents all those who were true believers back in the time of Elijah. God will always have His people on this earth until the last day and the unrighteous will never do away with every one.
Prov 24:17 (KJB)
Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth:
This verse is not speaking to the unrighteous but to the righteous. We must never be glad or happy whenever we see the enemy stumble. If we are happy that the enemy has stumbled or fallen, it is like rejoicing with a vengeful desire upon the enemy. We can be glad that the oppression from the enemy has ceased but we must never be happy at the loss of anyone’s life. The end of the life of the wicked is to stand for judgment and we must never be happy that someone is going to spend their eternity in hell. Sometimes when the enemy falls, it is a good chance to bring the true gospel to them. In their vulnerability, they may be opened to the Gospel. (Prov 25:21 KJV) If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: Bread and water are both figures of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Gospel. (John 6:48 KJV) I am that bread of life. (Heb 10:22 KJV) Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. The pure water is the Gospel and the Bread of Life is the Lord Jesus Christ who is the author of salvation.
Prov 24:18 (KJB)
Lest the LORD see it, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him.
If we have any glee in our heart that the enemy has stumbled and fallen, and it is not from a vantage point that now we have the ability to bring him the Gospel, then it would be joy from an evil motive. If the Lord, who sees the hearts, finds that his people are rejoicing in an evil manner, He may just turn away His judgment of the enemy and restore him to power. The Lord used two pagan nations, Assyria and Babylon respectively to judge Israel and Judah. They were His people but they had to learn a valuable lesson. It would be the same principle with those righteous who would be rejoicing in the fall of another.
Prov 24:19 (KJB)
Fret not thyself because of evil men, neither be thou envious at the wicked;
Fret - To burn or be kindled
Envious - Jealous
Here we have a prohibition against envying the wicked and being burned up because of evil men. First, we are never to fret, which carries with it the idea of being so angry, it is like burning with fire. Excessive anger can lead to evil acts and it is not out of the question for a believer to commit an evil act while burning with anger. Next, we are never to be envious at the wicked, they may have much material goods or even be in power in the place where we live and causing us much consternation. The wicked and evil men, the same group, are going to meet their end at the Judgment seat of Christ where they must stand for the sins they have committed, both public and private. Nothing will be hidden, all will be revealed. When it comes to the wicked, we are not to hate them nor are we to envy them, we must treat them as a mission field and pray for them.
Prov 24:20 (KJB)
For there shall be no reward to the evil man; the candle of the wicked shall be put out.
Reward - Posterity
This verse gives the end of the wicked. This is why we are not to envy the wicked because along with their wicked lifestyle comes the reward for wickedness. The fact is that the evil man will have no future like the believer does. All the wicked man has to look forward to is judgment and damnation. The only light he possesses is a physical light because he has not been spiritually regenerated, so the light inside him is darkness in sin. (Mat 6:23 KJV) But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! Matthew 6:23 emphasizes the fact that the darkness in the unbeliever is great and that darkness leads to eternal darkness. (Mat 8:12 KJV) But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. So the life of the unbeliever continues in darkness and damnation while the future of the believer is in light and glory in Heaven.