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Who Is Able to Stand Before Envy? (Proverbs 27:3-4)

Introductory Thoughts

The book of Proverbs offers many profound truths and sometimes conveys these truths through the implementation of comparisons and contrasts. Today’s proverb is a case in point. The Lord uses this structure to assist man’s venturing from the familiar to that which is unfamiliar. Those concepts recognizable to mankind can be used to help convey and explain deeper truths known only to the Lord. For instance, man easily understands what is meant by saying that a stone is heavy and sand is weighty, but the Lord wants man to comprehend the heaviness of a fool’s wrath. Man knows that wrath is cruel and anger is outrageous, but God wants man to realize that envy is crueler and more outrageous than both wrath and anger. During times of anger and wrath, merciful moments might be displayed; however, envy relentlessly pursues its victim without mercy.

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): When Isaac was in the land of the Philistines, they envied his wealth and drove him from their territory (Genesis 26:12-17). Cain was envious of Abel because God accepted Abels offering. Envy led Cain to kill his brother (1 John 3:11-12; Genesis 4:3-8).
  • (For everyone): In what ways could envy be more dangerous than wrath or anger? What does it mean to be cruel or outrageous? How is the inability to stand before envy more severe?
  • How can envy be so severe that man would be unable to stand before it? What are some things that a man might be willing to do to another man as envy controls his emotions?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Ask God to protect you from the envy of others.
  • Ask the Lord to show you the dangers of envy.