DAILY DEVOTIONAL THURSDAY, JULY 22, 2021

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The House of the Wicked and the Tent of the Upright

Proverbs 14:11 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
11 The house of the wicked will be destroyed,
    but the tent of the upright will flourish.

The house of the wicked will be destroyed: The Hebrew word for wicked (רָשָׁע rasha) is the unrighteous who are evil, being guilty of willfully and purposely violating the standards of God. In the Old Testament, it refers to the one who refuses to acknowledge or obey God. In the book of Proverbs explicitly, it refers to the foolish one who ignores or refuses to follow the divine teachings of God. It is a state or condition of evil that focuses on the violating of God’s laws or standards. The house of the wicked is a reference to a house built by a wicked person, with a quality, state, or condition that does not conform to God’s standard of moral excellence, who is wicked, bad, evil, or worthless.

The Hebrew word for destroyed (שָׁמַד shamad) means to be decimated, exterminated, or destroyed, and refers to being totally ruined, which can mean the death of a person or the complete destruction of an object. The sense of the word is to be done away with or undone. The house of the wicked person because of his character will not last, destruction, ruination is inevitable.

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but the tent of the upright will flourish: The Upright (יָשָׁר yashar) are God’s true believers, his holy ones, who are diligently seeking and searching to know, love, and obey God and to live righteously as one can within their human imperfection. The contrast here is between the wicked facing eventual destruction and the upright flourishing: growing, become stronger, and prospering. The contrast is also spelled out between the house (stability) of the wicked one and the tent (instability) of the uptight one. The wicked one has a sense of security and wellbeing because of having a large, strong, well-built house, but it is a false sense of security. The upright one on the other hand is satisfied with his life in the tent, a temporary structure, knowing that his life will eventually flourish now, and, if not now, in the end.

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As has been spelled out many times in Proverbs, the righteous one has success in the things and will flourish, ending in his received eternal life, while the wicked one will face many difficulties in life and eventual ruination of anything he puts his hand to, ending eternal destruction. These are not absolute truths but are relative because bad things happen to the righteous one and good things will happen to the wicked one. We see this in life all the time. However, generally speaking, the righteous will have far more success than the wick and the eventuality of life and death is absolute. The wicked house, that is, his life may sometimes seem to be very successful and strong, but it will crumble eventually, and his hope for eternal life, the house on which he looks, shall not hold up, but rather it will fail in the storm of life now or in the Armageddonic storm to come; the torrent that comes will sweep it away in the end. Righteousness brings growth and strength to the righteous one. Even the tent of the upright, though movable, and contemptible as a tent, shall flourish, in obvious and visible prosperity, as he possesses the wisdom from above.

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