“When the righteous thrive, there is great elation;
but when the wicked rise to power, people go into hiding.
When the wicked rise to power, people go into hiding;
but when the wicked perish, the righteous thrive.”
~Proverbs 28:12, 28 (TNIV).
It’s fascinating the vastly polar landscape of many of the biblical proverbs. These ones above, though split apart by sixteen-odd verses or thirty-two lines, speak to an all too familiar phenomenon we see all through life—in our workplaces, within the sporting teams we support, and even within our churches, and beyond.
Why is it that human beings will set up their little and large kingdoms? We’re all prone to tend and build our powerbases. It’s a social enigma of quite intrinsic proportions; a constant test of the heart behind the enterprise—and we’re all ‘given’ to enterprise.
‘Who’ is the kingdom being built for? That is the important question.
Where people build for themselves and their own egos, they create the environment for the development of hiding spots. Others who are into power plays of a different kind—plays for the better good, i.e. plays for God’s kingdom—create an environment where there is “great elation,” where people serving within the system can truly thrive, as the system generally does also.
The Righteous Will Thrive, Eventually
They always do. Watch the next negative power play. Give it a day or two, a week, a month, a year or two... it will eventually come crashing down—at times, unfortunately, with innocent bystanders crushed who might otherwise be vagrantly there, assisting.
Psalm 37 talks about these evil circumstances and our responses of temptation to envy.
Our response is important. Where we work for the tyrant or we see tyrannical structures of governance powering through our world, we can equally see God quietly—though assuredly—at work. I love the proverb:
“Do not say, ‘I’ll pay you back for this wrong!’ Wait for the Lord, and he will deliver you.”
~Proverbs 20:22 (NIV).
The Lord’s payback is sweet and comprehensive. We may even pity compassionately the people we once derided—indeed, God seeks this sort of response from us (see Proverbs 24:17).
Working for the Right, Just and Fair is Bliss
Working, in whatever context, is always made more than bearable when we have good people to work with and for; people who are reasonable, rational and morally graceful.
These people have a view, always it seems, that is more global than themselves and their own devices, schemes and benefits.
But have we thanked them for their cordial way lately?
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.