If you like this blog, then you will like Get Wisdom, Get Understanding which is Pastor Wagner's commentary on Proverbs chapter 1 which is available on Amazon in paperback or Kindle. Find out more here.
For all the blogs in this series, click here: Proverbs Commentary.
"And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives." (Pro 1:18)
The intent of these conspirators was to lay wait and lurk privily for the lives of the innocent (Pro 1:11). But because there is a God in heaven who pleads the cause of the oppressed, and takes vengeance on the wicked on their behalf, the lives that these monsters will end up destroying will be their own.
Pro 22:22 - Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
Pro 22:23 - For the LORD will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them.
Pro 23:10 - Remove not the old landmark; and enter not into the fields of the fatherless:
Pro 23:11 - For their redeemer is mighty; he shall plead their cause with thee.
For this reason, we should not despair when we see evil men in high places oppressing the helpless; because the LORD, the righteous judge, beholds it and will not suffer it to continue forever, but will render to the wicked their due.
Ecc 5:8 - If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, marvel not at the matter: for he that is higher than the highest regardeth; and there be higher than they.
Psa 37:35 - I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree.
Psa 37:36 - Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found.
Psa 37:37 - Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.
Psa 37:38 - But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off.
Psa 37:39 - But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble.
Psa 37:40 - And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.
Solomon could warn his son with confidence that the net that these men spread for the innocent would be "for their own lives," being well aware that his own father David had experienced such deliverance wherein God snared his enemies in the net that they had prepared for him.
Psa 35:7 - For without cause have they hid for me their net in a pit, which without cause they have digged for my soul.
Psa 35:8 - Let destruction come upon him at unawares; and let his net that he hath hid catch himself: into that very destruction let him fall.
Psa 57:6 - They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down: they have digged a pit before me, into the midst whereof they are fallen themselves. Selah.
As was noted in the comments on the previous verse, punishing men using the instruments which they planned to harm others with is one of God's signature judgments: "He made a pit, and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made. His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate" (Psa 7:15-16).
It is poetic justice to read of the numerous times throughout history when God rendered recompense to the enemies of righteousness, such as when "God rendered the wickedness of Abimelech, which he did unto his father, in slaying his seventy brethren: And all the evil of the men of Shechem did God render upon their heads" (Jdg 9:56-57); or in the book of Esther when wicked Haman plotted to destroy righteous Mordecai because he would not bow down to him, but the LORD intervened on behalf of the righteous and "they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai" (Est 7:10); or the time when God came to the aid of His servant Daniel when wicked men had schemed to execute him because he prayed to his God, but their plans were thwarted and instead, "they brought those men which had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and brake all their bones in pieces or ever they came at the bottom of the den" (Dan 6:24).
With so great a cloud of witnesses that attest to the fact that God "taketh the wise in their own craftiness: and the counsel of the froward is carried headlong" (Job 5:13), Solomon was able to enshrine these observations in his timeless proverbs, not only for his son, but for all of God's children throughout all ages.
Pro 11:5 - The righteousness of the perfect shall direct his way: but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness.
Pro 11:6 - The righteousness of the upright shall deliver them: but transgressors shall be taken in their own naughtiness.
Pro 26:27 - Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him.
Ecc 10:8 - He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it...