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Unexpected Bad Events Befall Us All
Proverbs 13:21 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
21 Misfortune pursues sinners,
but the righteous are rewarded with good.
Misfortune pursues sinners: The Hebrew word (raah) that is translated misfortune, which is generally rendered evil, wickedness, disaster, trouble has the sense of an event that results in a great loss or misfortune. Pursues (Heb. radaph) to go after or chase someone or something with considerable effort and focus. The verb pursues person personifies misfortune as an animate being. Sinners (Heb. chatta) are ones who sin. To sin (Heb. chattath; Gr. hamartia) is any spoken word (Job 2:10; Ps 39:1), wrong action (Lev. 20:20; 2 Cor. 12:21) or failing to act when one should have (Num. 9:13; Jam. 4:17), in mind and heart (Prov. 21:4; Rom. 3:9-18; 2 Pet 2:12-15) that is contrary to God’s personality, ways, will and purposes, standards, as set out in the Scriptures. It is also a major sin to lack faith in God, doubting in mind and heart, even subtly in our actions, that he has the ability to carry out his will and purposes. (Heb. 3:12-13, 18-19). It is commonly referred to as missing the mark of perfection. In short, a sinner is a person that has a bad moral character who is often contrasted with the righteous person in the Scriptures.
but the righteous are rewarded with good: The Hebrew word rendered righteous; upright; just: (Heb. tsedeq) refers to one who is in a righteous standing before God, who is characterized by righteous actions and morals in accordance with God’s moral standards. (Gen. 18:23-24; Prov. 3:33; Zeph. 2:3) The righteous are rewarded (Heb. shillum) with good (Heb. tob) that is prosperity, prospering in life, which means that they are given compensation for their good moral behavior or actions.
The sinner who lives in and delights in sin are not shielded from the evil. Misfortunes, disastrous trouble that will eventually follow. They have no intrinsic value in the eyes of God, no worthiness of being spared from the disasters that will befall them throughout their imperfect human life in Satan’s world, nor the judgment that is to come. There is no excusableness for them, nor any wealth they may have accumulated, nor for them. they deserve to suffer the troubles and disaster of their wickedness.
There is an old saying that, generally speaking, ‘if you do good you will get good’ or if you do good, good will be done to you.’ Our pursuing righteousness can be and most often will be rewarding now and will certainly be rewarding in the end (Matt. 24:13), for God cares for and protects the righteous. (Psalm 37:25) However, we have to understand the unexpected events befall us all. (Eccles. 9:11) In other words, bad things happen to good people. Sometimes in this human imperfection, in the fallen world of Satan and his demons, and humanity alienated from God unexpected bad things happen to good people. God does not put up a protective wall around his people. Yes, he uses the good angels to protect his people from an all-out slaughter but not to protect them from the results of Adamic sin.
Is there anything that the righteous can do to prepare for or lessen the blow of unexpected bad events that befall us all? Yes. Generally speaking, if you do good, good things will happen for you. The key ingredient is that doing good is having an accurate understanding of God’s Word and applying it in a balanced manner in life. The biblically minded person who has the mind of Christ is statistically going to have more good things happen than the sinner. We cannot stop unexpected events that are out of our control, such as a plane crash, natural disasters, crime, sickness, old age, and death. However, even then, the wise person of God can still use the wisdom of God to enhance his or her odds of not befalling disasters or at least possible surviving them. We can research what is the safest seat on a jet airplane and the safest airline, we can choose to not live beneath a volcano or in a tornado alley or where hurricanes occur often, we can choose to not walk down dark alleys late at night where crime is high, we can choose to live a healthy lifestyle, and we can choose to be careful on how we spent our money. All of this wisdom and more is found in the book of Proverbs.