This section closes the “talk” that began in verse 1 by drawing a back-and-forth contrast between one who lives for himself (“oppressor,” “perverse,” “wicked,” “scornful,” and “fool”) and one who lives for God (“upright,” “just,” “humble,” and “wise”). This passage explains and shows the real state of things from God’s point of view to encourage you not to envy evildoers but to fear the Lord.
If you live for yourself you are an abomination to the Lord (32), deserve his curse (33), experience none of his mercy but all his scorn (34), and will lose everything you lived for, gaining nothing but shame forever (35).
However, when you live life focused on God, fearing him, he makes his will and wisdom known to you (32), showers his blessings on you (33), gives grace that supplies your every need (34), and grants eternal glory (35).
- Re-read this entire chapter, remembering that this “talk” teaches that fearing the Lord involves living life focused on God, not yourself. As you re-read the chapter, think about these last verses!
- Remember, this concluding contrast is from God’s viewpoint. Your tendency is to judge by what you can see now. By seeing how things will turn out then, how should that affect how you live now? Does it?
- Think about what the world promises—it may deliver on some things, but how long will they last? What will happen to you if you live for yourself, heeding the world’s wooing? Cf. 1 John 2:15–17
- Is the momentary thrill, buzz, and excitement really worth a lifetime and possibly an eternity of suffering and regret? Listen to Jesus’ words in John 12:25–26.
- Review the tremendous blessings that come with living life focused on the Lord Jesus Christ! What are you waiting for?