Today’s Scrip-Bit   6 September 2022 Proverbs 3:31.

Proverbs 3:31.       Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways. 

Well, it’s a beautiful sunshiny Tuesday morning in early September, and the last long weekend of the summer season of 2022 is now history, lost in the annals of time. (smile) Yes, all the Labour Day celebrations are over and done with! That means it’s time to look forward to and prepare for the cool weather and beautiful colours of the upcoming autumn season. And though we might not like the cool, ofttimes damp and foggy weather that comes with the fall season, we must admit that colour-wise, it is probably the most beautiful of the four seasons, with its great variety of colours, ranging from brown, through red, yellow and gold. 

Obviously the least noticeable colour is green because that pertains to life, while the others are associated with lack of life. In human situations though, the colour green is associated with something entirely different, that’s envy and jealousy, activities and attributes that are now being indiscriminately flaunted throughout our society. And the sad part is that in the Good Book we have so many references, commands and wise advice to shun that kind of ungodly behaviour. But the devil and his evil minions and doings are rampant in our current world, and I believe we need some reminding re the necessity of shunning envy, jealousy and greed. 

So let’s get right to it nuh, with these ever so wise words of Cousin Sol from Proverbs chapter 3, as he speaks on the treatment of neighbours. He ends that section by saying: ‘Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways. For the froward (perverse person) is abomination to the Lord: but his secret (council) is with the righteous.’ (Prov. 3:31-32) And as true believers in Almighty God, we desperately need to believe that, if we’re not to fall under that dark cloud of envy, jealousy, selfishness and greed that is quickly taking over our society. 

And Cousin Sol amplifies his distaste for those values by sharing this most important information. ‘The curse of the Lord is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation (dwelling) of the just. Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly (humble). The wise shall inherit glory, but shame shall be the promotion (legacy) of fools.’ (Prov. 3:33-35) 

Oh my people, do we want to endure the curse, the scorn and shame bequeathed to the wicked and unwise? Or do we greatly desire the secret council, the blessing and glory of God that’s granted to the wise and righteous? I’m sure that all of us will obviously choose the latter. However, to attain those goodies, we must stop doing wrong, stop associating with the wicked, stop doing the things the envious, jealous and greedy do. 

And apparently Cousin Sol was big on this topic because he addresses it several times in Proverbs. Listen to this one: ‘Be not thou envious against (of) evil men, neither desire to be with them: For their heart studieth destruction (devises violence), and their lips talk of mischief (trouble).’ (Prov. 24:1) The unfortunate part of it all is that from the very beginning of time we’ve been hearing about the ills of jealousy, envy and covetousness. To show how important it was to keep those things out of our lives, the Lord even made it one of the Ten Commandments. 

And for those of us who don’t know it, (smile) here it is, the tenth one, in black and white. ‘Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbour’s.’ (Ex. 20:17) That’s it in spades my brethren! It’s not wrong to want some of the things our neighbours might have, but when it gets to the point where it affects our godliness, then that’s where the problems begin. 

And Bruh David also made it very clear that those unwise, ungodly emotions will be the death of us, in Psalm 37 – The true state of the wicked – when he declares (steups!!!): ‘Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.’ (Ps. 37:1-2) We couldn’t desire a stronger warning from a man who knew about all those things personally, like his coveting of Bathsheba, Uriah’s wife, and the murderous actions it led him to. 

Meanwhile, the apostle James, Jesus’ brother, had this to say when commenting on true and false wisdom. ‘But if ye have bitter envying and strife (selfishness) in your hearts, glory not (do not boast), and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish (demonic). For where envying and strife is (self-seeking exists), there is confusion and every evil work.’ (James 3:14-16) And there is no disputing that my friends! Wherever you have negative things like, envy, selfishness, jealousy and pride, there is always confusion, with anger, hatred and violence a natural consequence. 

Then Peter offered these words of wisdom on the matter. ‘Wherefore laying aside all malice, and guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere (pure) milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.’ (1 Pet. 2:1-2) Now doesn’t that just warm the cockles of our hearts? It certainly does! The best way to avoid the workers of iniquity and their evil doings is by having the pure word of God richly and steadfastly entrenched in our hearts, souls, bodies and minds. 

And these words of Psalm 1 – Blessed are the righteous -I believe are most fitting to end this discourse. (smile) ‘Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly (wicked), nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate (ponder) day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers (channels) of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither, and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.’ (Ps. 1:1-3) And all of God’s people declared (chuh!!!) a loud and grateful ‘Amen!’ 

Yes friends, that’s what we can look forward to when we stay away from the evil and wicked, the envious and jealous ways of the ungodly. Now for those of us who are attempting to live in a godly manner, let’s go home declaring (yeahhhhh!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong lock, stock and barrel. As one strong and confident voice: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

Now let’s go out and do just that, share Christ’s amazing LOVE and friendship with those we meet, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do. Much LOVE!

…LOVE is patient…LOVE is kind…it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud… (1 Cor. 13:4) 

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