Proverbs 14:19

The Triumph of Good Over Evil

 

Introduction:

1. Here is a proverb, or a “rule” that has so many exceptions, that it’s hard to see how we can even call it “true.”

2. It doesn’t seem like evil men are doing much BOWING (being made low) in this world. It seems more like the wicked PROSPER in the world… and the righteous suffer and are brought low…

3. Yet here it is, clearly written in our Bibles, which we claim to be verbally and plenarily inspired.

4. Is it really true? Did Solomon not get this one right?

This Principle Does Not SEEM to Be True

1. Luke 16:2 – Righteous Lazarus bowed before the gate of the wicked rich man. This is what we see so often today.

2. Ps. 73:12 – This has been a perennial problem for believers throughout the various dispensations.

3. Jas. 5:1-6 – The wealthy and powerful HAVE always [and in our lifetimes] WILL always trample over the poor and weak.

a. Look at the evil dictators who are living high—Korea; corrupt South American AND African countries.

b. The bullies in school don’t seem to be bowing before the good students.

c. When Christ was on earth, evil men didn’t bow to Him… the good one!

d. During the days of the early church, evil men did not bow before the good apostles.

e. Throughout the church age, good Christians have been chased, hunted, and persecuted by evil men. Evil men didn’t bow to them.

4. II Cor. 4:18 – when what we SEE does not seem to be in sync with what we read in the Bible… don’t lose heart.

a. We should always ASSUME that the problem lies with our limited apprehension, and not with God’s infallible revelation. That’s the starting point.

b. God is testing our faith and patience…

c. We must practice SEEING the things which are invisible by faith.

d. If there is an apparent contradiction between God’s Word and what we see… ask God for wisdom… for a clearer vision… for a heavenly and eternal perspective…or seek further light from His Word… comparing Scripture with Scripture.

e. Observation often leads us to a conclusion different than what Solomon says in this Proverb.

f. But the real reason is due to our limited capacity to “observe.” We are so “here and now” oriented… so limited by our temporal and earthly perspective.

The Principle IS True in the Future

1. We see so many exceptions to this rule, that from our perspective, it doesn’t even seem like a rule.

2. However, from eternity’s perspective, there are in fact NO exceptions to this rule… zero… not one!

3. Psalm 49:14 – the righteous shall have dominion after their death.

a. Foolish, evil men die like a beast (vs.12).

b. They leave their wealth to others. (vs.10)

c. They are buried and death feeds on them.

d. The upright have dominion over them in the morning.

e. Foolish, evil men might triumph in this short life, but when life is over, so is their brief tenure of triumph.

f. Good men will no longer bow before them!

4. Isa. 60:14 – nations that at one time plagued Israel will in the future bow before her.

a. In this section, Isaiah describes millennial conditions.

b. During most of Israel’s history, she suffered awfully at the hands of gentile nations.
• She suffered under the Egyptians, Persians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Germans, and Soviets.
• That suffering continues to this very hour.
• She is surrounded by Arab neighbors that want nothing more than to drive her into the sea.
• Anti-Semitism is on the rise in Europe too.

c. Isaiah speaks of a future day when Christ returns—the glory of the Lord returns at the Second Coming to establish the Millennial Kingdom (vs.1).

d. In that day, nations who were at one time fierce enemies of Israel will come and bow down in Israel… because Messiah is there.

5. Mal. 4:1-3 – the triumph of good over evil…

a. Vs.3 – the evil will bow before the good; the wicked will bow at the gates of the righteous in that day!

b. The righteous will trample under foot the ungodly… in the day of Christ’s return.

6. The principle that Solomon states in Prov. 14:19 (evil shall bow before the good) is stated repeatedly in Proverbs.

a. Prov. 10:24 – the wicked are taken away like a whirlwind—eventually.

b. Prov. 13:9 – eventually, the lamp of the wicked shall be put out!

c. Prov.13:21 – evil (calamity) pursues sinners… eventually, it will catch up to them, even if for the moment sinners seem to be ahead…

d. Prov. 14:11 – the house of the wicked will be overthrown—in God’s time.

e. It doesn’t happen immediately. We don’t always SEE it occur, but it does… or it will.

f. The destruction of the wicked is certain… even if we never see it in our lifetimes.

g. When Christ returns, the crooked things shall be made straight.

7. This principle is also seen in the New Testament.

a. Read the book of Revelation: God wins!

b. Phil. 2:10 – one day, every knee shall bow…

c. Ultimately, there will be NO exceptions to this rule.

The Principle Is Often True in This Life

1. Though we are often prone to bring to mind the many exceptions to this rule, this principle is true in the present more than one might think at first glance.

a. Tyco executives, Martha Stewart and other white collar criminals are often forced to bow in humiliation before the public.

b. Common criminals are forced to bow before the judge…

c. Saddam Hussein and other evil dictators who are overthrown…

d. Taliban bowed before the coalition forces…

e. Drug pushers who get caught…

f. Rapists; child abusers; child abductors or menstealers…

2. In the present, this passage refers to evil men (sinners; criminals; etc.) and the punishment that their sins incur.

3. Take a visit to any city prison—and you will find a whole community of people, hidden from public sight, who are incarcerated for their crimes… evil men bowing before the good… bowing in forced submission.

4. Consider another aspect of evil men: drunks; drug abusers. These folks are seen in the streets of every city… begging… and bowing before the good citizens of the city.

5. Consider prostitutes: evil women who are brought low before the good… they are not in prominent positions… they are not the wives of senators and kings… they are not happy homemakers… they are brought low… looked down upon by society—and rightly so.

6. Consider this form of evil: laziness; these folks are not running successful businesses; they are brought low… they were lazy in school and were not able to get a good job; they were lazy in the workplace and never advanced very far; good men—hard workers—are OVER them… they bow before the good… hard workers.

7. There are many examples in the Bible of evil men having to BOW before good men.

a. Consider Joseph and his brothers (Gen. 42:6).

b. Consider Pharaoh, (Ex. 8:8) He was forced by the plagues to bow before Moses.

c. Consider the Egyptian people. (Ex. 11:8) They bowed before the Jews as the Jews left Egypt.

d. Consider how Haman was forced to bow before Esther…

e. And Naaman bowed before Elisha (II Kings 5:9,14).

f. And Saul before David (II Sam. 26:21).

8. And even in cases where it seems the wicked prosper… there is another sense in which they may actually be bowing:

a. In the inner man; in their consciences evil men are brought low.

b. They may prosper in the world in their wickedness, but deep down inside, they actually look up to those who are righteous and good.

c. They are plagued with their sin… and it drags them down… though you would never know it from looking at their exterior front…

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