Proverbs 23: King James Bible
Envious of Sinners – Daily Devotion of Proverbs chapter twenty three, Verses 17-18
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.
Daily Inspiration from These Verses – Envious of Sinners
As is true with most pieces of scripture, the two above can take us into a few different directions. We’ll try to stick to a couple at most.
In this devotional we’re going to touch on the subject of envy, in the context given to us by the Lord in verse 17. It might take a pause and some thought to get to the root of what the Lord is telling us not to do here.
Let not your heart envy sinners, isn’t bringing up doing anything at all to be like sinners. The Lord is cutting through our fleshly red tape, and getting straight to the issue, which is the heart.
To be envious of sinners, or to covet what they have, or the things they do with themselves, exposes a heart condition that the Lord would like to eradicate for us. As Christians, we are no strangers to be envious of what someone has, and especially what they do.
Half the time the things we are envious about, are outside the will of the Lord for our lives in the first place. But to envy sinners is specific, compared to a regular envy that at times may be need driven.
All have sinned and come short, there’s no such thing as a human that hasn’t sinned, with the only exception being Christ Jesus. But if someone is a sinner, they are actively engaged in their sins. They’re doing sinful things that are causing those who are not doing the same to be envious of them.
For example, You’ve got one guy that goes to work, then goes home to his family, content that the day’s work is done, and fills the remainder for his day enjoying his family. Then there’s another guy, who goes to work, then goes straight home from work to his family. But for him, he would rather be hitting the bar to get inebriated with his peers from work, rather than enjoying what he’s got.
In the example above, guy number two’s heart is envious of sinners. It doesn’t mean that he’s about to ditch his family and head out to join them physically. But in his heart, he already has.
As a man thinks in his heart, so he is. Jesus tells us if a man looks at a woman lustfully, he’s already guilty of committing adultery in his heart. God is spirit, and he sees first the spiritual things that go on inside of us, things that may never manifest in the flesh.
That’s why the Lord is so adamant in his Word, about guarding our hearts, and why Jesus had so much to say about the heart. When we are envious of sinners, we’re actually playing with the idea in our hearts to join those sinners in their sin.
This is the purpose for the rest of the verse, with a great follow up with verse 18. Be in the fear of the Lord, rather than playing with trouble in the heart.
Be washed by the water of the Word of God. Iniquity is removed (and envy is an iniquity) by a steady diet of Spirit led prayerful reading and digesting of the Word of God. That is a sure method to be set free from being envious of sinners.
When your gaze is set upon the Lord, and your heart is set to enjoy him and his Word, all of the stupid stuff begin to look… Pretty stupid.
Related New Testament Scripture
28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
30 Backbiters, haters of God, spiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
1 Corinthians 3:
3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.
14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. 15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
Thank you as always for your Word and your instruction. Please forgive us for all sin we’ve ever committed, either knowingly or unknowingly. If there are any iniquities within our hearts Lord, may your Word shine a light upon them, and burn out any iniquity to be found by the root. Open our eyes to see your truth, and to not be fooled by the wiles of the Devil, nor the fallen ways of this world. May we not be envious of sinners, nor covetous for what the may have, but rather desire all things related to your true nature, that we become all the more in your likeness. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ we pray.
Ever notice how easy it is, to become envious of sinners when we’ve strayed from the Word of God?