Proverbs 24: King James Bible
Evil Envy – Daily Devotion of Proverbs chapter twenty four, Verses 1-2
1 Be not thou envious against evil men, neither desire to be with them. 2 For their heart studieth destruction, and their lips talk of mischief.
Daily Inspiration from These Verses – Evil Envy
These first verses of chapter 24 are similar to a devotional we tackled a few back called “Envious of Sinners.” Go and check it out if you’d like. Though similar, the 2 verses above take a bit of a different turn than those seen in chapter 23.
The former spoke against the heart envying sinners, whereas the verse above is talking about being envious against evil men. Also, the Lord includes for us not to desire to be with them.
The reasoning for this runs in the same vein as something my grandmother used to tell me all the time as a kid. Which was, “You’re always known by the friends you keep.” Another way to interpret that would be “guilty by association.”
If you’re keeping company with evil men, then you’ll be in their boat when it begins to sink. If you’re hanging around with troublemakers, there is a 95% chance that you’ll find yourself getting into some sort of trouble.
But as the Lord so often does, he isn’t pointing to the act of hanging around evil men, but is instead directing us to look upon the heart. Do not “desire” to be with them. Desire is heart driven. How many people desire to be like their favorite musician, or characters in a movie? Too many.
The Lord isn’t speaking to wicked people in the verses above, but to us believers. He is speaking to those, who he expects to be wanting to emulate him, and desire to be with him, rather than harboring evil envy, and desiring to be hanging around evil people.
The Lord hasn’t called us to speak mischief, nor does he will for us to study destruction in our hearts. These things are just the opposite of what he wills for his children. Mischief and destruction are not in the “fruit of the Spirit” package, that we’re instructed to set our hearts and minds on.
As Children of the Most High God, equipped with the Spirit of the Lord, and been given a spirit which is born anew, there should be no place for evil envy, nor for desires that lead to wickedness. But instead, we’re instructed to set our sights on truth, honesty, justice, purity, loveliness, good reports, virtue, and praise.
Where is there any space for mischief and the ways of evil men? Our flesh has a difficult time with this, and desires to be as the wicked man, rather than to be more like Christ. It’s easier to be wicked, and some would argue that it’s more fun.
It’s considered to be more fun to be wicked, because the flesh is being gratified, that’s all. Other than that, there’s nothing fun about evil, especially when it comes time to pay for it.
Righteousness between us and the Father, builds a life that this world would rather take away from us, than allow the truth be known, that living the Lord’s way is so much better than man’s. Being close to our Creator is more satisfying than anything else available.
Related New Testament Scripture
1 Timothy 6: King James Bible
3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; 4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, 5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
Philippians 4: King James Bible
8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Galatians 5: King James Bible
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Thank you for your Word and for your Holy Spirit, which leads and guides us into all of the wonderful things that you have done and established for us; opening our eyes to your truth, and bringing increase of understanding to your wisdom. Lord, train us to set our minds on the things that you will for our minds to be set on, rather than our minds and hearts being filled with and searching out for worldly things. All so that we may be better servants to you, and to be better equipped as Ambassadors of Christ. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ we pray.
How hard do you have to look around, before you can find evil envy?