Proverbs 21:7

The Robbery Of The Wicked


1. Several themes in the book of Proverbs have been repeated with slight variations.

2. This passage includes one of those repeated themes: you reap what you sow.

3. Solomon has applied this principle in many different settings. In this passage the theme is applied to violent thieves.

4. They too will reap what they have sown.

7a The robbery of the wicked shall destroy them;

1. Robbery:

a. Dictionary of Biblical Languages: a state of physical force exerted against another; loot, plunder, i.e., goods that are taken by force, implying violence in the taking of them.

b. Zodhiates: The primary meaning of this word is violence or destruction.

c. The term often implies robbery, but the emphasis is on the force and violence of the act.

d. The expression is broad enough to include the following:
• looting in a time of riot
• soldiers looting the dead after a battle
• armed robbery; bank robbery
• gang violence
• thugs mugging someone on a dark city street
• This could include everything from the petty robberies and muggings to the more extreme gang violence and mafia brutality.
• The term Solomon used here could be applied to many of the stories we hear every night on the six o’clock news.

2. The wicked

a. Here is an old familiar term from Proverbs. The term appears nearly 90 times in this book.

b. Wicked Defined: Criminal; guilty one; one guilty of crime.

3. The robbery of the wicked

a. In this expression the wicked are the ones who COMMIT the violent acts of robbery… not the ones being robbed. It is the robbery BY the wicked.

b. This expression speaks of the violent looting, mugging, or plundering of innocent victims by evil, guilty, criminals.

c. Yet every time I see them on the six o’clock news, we hear from their mother that “my son would never do this” or from a friend, “He was a nice guy; a good neighbor. They must have the wrong person.”

d. It is part of human nature to want to turn a blind eye towards those who are wicked and violent.
• We blame society or the system.
• We blame his violent crime on poverty, a lack of education, or on his sixth grade teacher, or some form of abuse in his past.
• We don’t like to think of someone we know as being “wicked.”
• It is certainly not a politically correct term… because it focuses on the individual responsibility rather than society.
• We like to think that “it takes a village” to bring up our youth, and if the youth fail, the fault lies with the village—the society.
• However, the terminology the Bible uses implies personal responsibility.
• Men are wicked sinners… and their violent looting is one example of it.
• God refers to them as guilty wicked men… not victims of a failing society.

e. God proves this point from time to time by raising up some real gems from the very worst of environments.

f. And He also raises up some ungodly rebels from the most affluent, privileged segments of society.

g. Violence, looting, muggings, robberies, and such crimes occur because men are WICKED… not because of their social environment.
• Environment can have an influence… but it is not the cause.
• The sinful, wicked, fallen heart of man is the cause.

h. God clearly blames the individual for his sin. Men who do such things are referred to as wicked, guilty criminals… sinners.

i. We do no one any favors by trying to spread the blame around… and treat the perpetrator of a violent crime as if he were a victim of society.

j. As believers, we need to emphasize personal responsibility.

4. The consequences of their actions.

a. “Shall destroy them.”

b. Destroy: an interesting term.
• to drag, drag away
• linear motion of an object by grasping and pulling or pushing along

c. Hab. 1:15 – The term is translated “catch” like a fish caught in a net… a drag net…
• Solomon’s point in the proverb is that sooner or later, the violent criminals will be dragged in… caught… trapped.
• That kind of crime and violence inevitably leads to being captured… dragged in to justice… and punished!
• Once a fish is caught in a drag net, life is not so good for that fish any more.
» His days of swimming about in the sea doing his own thing are OVER.
» That fish is going to get chopped up and fried! He won’t be such a big fish any more.
• The same is implied here concerning the violent criminal. Once he is dragged in to justice, his life is destroyed.
» He may spend the rest of it behind bars.
» There are long lasting consequences to wicked behavior.

d. In other words, you reap what you sow!
• They sowed violence; they reap destruction.
• Crime doesn’t pay. It may seem to in the short run, but not in the long run.
• Eventually violent criminals are dragged into justice.
• Prov. 26:27 – “Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him.”
• Those who plunder and loot others will find that the same kind of actions will be returned to their own head.
• Sin has a tendency to boomerang…

7b Because they refuse to do judgment.

1. In the second half of the proverb Solomon gives the reason WHY criminals are eventually dragged into justice and their lives destroyed: because they refuse to do judgment.

2. Judgment:

a. Definition: Justice; righteousness; that which is lawful;

b. In other words, they refuse to do what is RIGHT.

c. They refuse to live according to the law; according to righteousness.

d. The wicked don’t think that the law applies to them.

3. They refuse to do judgment.

a. Refuse: Resist; i.e., be in a state of rebellion and defiance against authority.

b. This is clearly not a matter of ignorance.
• They KNOW what the right thing to do is.
• They KNOW what justice involves.
• They KNOW the right way to treat people.
• They KNOW what the law says and how to obey.

c. But they REFUSE to do it. Their criminal acts of violence are willful.

d. When you refuse to do what is RIGHT, you end up doing that which is WRONG… like robbery… violence… etc.

4. This is WHY they are dragged into the net, captured, and “destroyed.”

a. They refuse to play by the rules. It will eventually catch up to them.

b. Isa. 1:20 – “But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.” (Refuse = same word as in Prov. 21:7.)

c. Refusing to submit to authority eventually leads to being devoured… especially when GOD is the Authority!

d. Violent criminals continue to dig holes for others to fall into—they will sooner or later fall into that pit themselves.

e. You can only play fast and loose with the rules for so long before you are caught and brought to justice.

5. This reason implies that IF they DID judgment (if they followed the rules and lived by the law) they would NOT be destroyed.

a. Thus, if they suffer destruction, it is because they brought it upon themselves.

b. They have no one to blame but themselves.

c. Their behavior is destructive, and that is why destruction is returned to their heads.

d. Vs. 6 – Those who get money through lying and cheating are similar to those who get money through robbery and violence are BOTH engaged in destructive behavior. Both seek death. They shall be destroyed.

e. Vs. 5 – How much better to accumulate wealth and “plenty” through diligence and hard work! This behavior is blessed.