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Be Not Thou Envious (Proverbs 24:1)

Introductory Thoughts

Although jealously is one of God’s attributes, envy is not. Rather, envy is a product of a sinful nature found only in mankind. It is important to note that long before envy manifests itself outwardly, it first devises its plan within the heart (Mark 7:21-23). Unfortunately, this characteristic is not limited exclusively to the wicked but also frustrates the righteous. This reveals why Solomon warned his son to guard his heart against the dangers of envy. According to Job, envy slays (Job 5:2), and it often slays the instigator with the victim. Every believer must battle daily to avoid allowing envy to overtake his heart and defile him.

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): Because Josephs brothers envied him, they wanted to kill him. Instead, they decided to sell him as a slave (Genesis 37:11, 18, 20, 26-27). He spent thirteen years as a slave or prisoner. Rather than envying his brothers still living in the comforts and security of home, he chose to serve God in present circumstances. When he was later reunited with his brothers, he helped them rather than envying them (Genesis 50:21).
  • (For everyone): Do you envy others? What do you think causes you to envy them? Does this envy please the Lord? Will the things for which you envy others help or hurt you at the final judgment?
  • How does envy suggest a state of dissatisfaction on the part of the believer? How does God feel about it when believers fail to be satisfied with how God has blessed them?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Ask God to help you guard your heart from envy.
  • Ask the Lord to help you be satisfied with His will for your life.