Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord. — Proverbs 23:17

Proverbs 23:17

It’s tempting to admire rich and famous people who seem to have every pleasure in this world. They seem to have every­thing at their fingertips—money, fine food, adventurous travels, sleek cars and other toys, beautiful houses in beautiful places, power in business and politics. Don’t they have it all?

The Bible often cautions against having too much desire for the things other people have. That can lead to internal unrest that’s unhealthy for the soul.

Envy often involves not only a desire for something but also a demand that no one else should have it. And the sin of envy might tempt us to commit more sin in order to get what we want—to lie, cheat, steal, or even kill for it.

However, says the writer of our passage today, it is far better to pursue doing things God’s way. When we live God’s way, our future will be secure, even if it doesn’t seem exciting or extravagant by the world’s standards. In fact, when we are truly wise and in tune with God, we will have as much desire for God’s way as we might be tempted to have for the life of people who seem to have everything.

Provider God, give us our daily bread today, and help us not to be tempted to do anything sinful to get more. Amen.

Bible References

15 My son, if thine heart be wise, my heart shall rejoice, even mine.

16 Yea, my reins shall rejoice, when thy lips speak right things.

17 Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the Lord all the day long.

18 For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off.

Psalm 27

27 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.

Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.

One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple.

For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.

And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord.

Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me.

When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.

Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.

10 When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.

11 Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.

12 Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty.

13 I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

14 Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.

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