What the wicked dreads will come upon him,
but the desire of the righteous will be granted.
When the tempest passes, the wicked is no more,
but the righteous is established forever.
Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes,
so is the sluggard to those who send him.
The fear of the LORD prolongs life,
but the years of the wicked will be short.
The hope of the righteous brings joy,
but the expectation of the wicked will perish.
The way of the LORD is a stronghold to the blameless,
but destruction to evildoers.
The righteous will never be removed,
but the wicked will not dwell in the land.
The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom,
but the perverse tongue will be cut off.
The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable,
but the mouth of the wicked, what is perverse.
Comment: The hopes of the wicked fade and they reap their dreads! In the real tempest of time they will be an absolute failure. On the other hand any dreads the righteous have will fade away and, with their desires granted, they are established for ever. In the writers timeline, death seems to be real as an entity but certainly not the end of everything. If that is not his assessment then the passage makes no sense as, if death is the end, in all our experiences, we know that often the wicked seem to be better off right up to death and the righteous to end up sometimes martyred but often with not much of fame or this world’s goods.
The writer reaffirms that God’s way is right (a stronghold) and although maybe due for martyrdom or little in this life, the righteous way is the way of wisdom and endures. The wicked speak perversity and their way will not prevail. It says the ‘Fear of the Lord’ prolongs life. I need to think more about that. What aspects of life does it prolong?
Prayer: How much of my time should I consider in preparing for the life after my death?