PROVERB PRACTICALS Perishing Hopes, Proverbs 11:7, Audio
Proverbs 11:7, When a wicked man dieth, his expectation shall perish: and the hope of unjust men perisheth.
This proverb is not expressed as a contrast between two opposites, but it is composed of two conclusions, the second amplifying the first.
Both conclusions concern men who are described as wicked and unjust.
One man has expectations and the other man has hopes.
I suppose there is a subtle difference in the words, expectation and hope.
It seems expectation could mean more than hope for in the use of the word "expectation" there may be signs that something is coming down the pike that would fulfill those expectations.
There may be indicators that convince the wicked man that what he desires will actually come about.
Whereas the word hope is something that is present in the mind without indicators that that desire will come about.
I may have expectations that because of who I am or because of what I can do, I can realize those expectations.
But I also may have hopes for which I have no ability, talents or assets to realize.
I may hope to be a doctor but without doing anything about it that is simply a hope.
But if I am near the conclusion of many years of education I now may properly have the expectation of becoming a doctor.
But the common connection here is that both expectation and hope will perish when those expectations and hopes belong to the wicked or the unjust.
When you think about it most of our lives are under-pinned by hope.
The wicked and the unjust live by hope and the righteous live by hope.
There always seems to be something over the horizon which keeps us going.
You may hope to live long enough to retire.
You may hope to see your last payment on your 30 year home mortgage.
You may hope to see your grandchildren graduate.
The wicked man laughs and ridicules the righteous man who hopes for some magical place called heaven but the wicked man also lives by hope.
But there is a great difference upon what or whom hopes are built.
The hope of the righteous man lies within the realm of eternity while the hope of the wicked man lies within the boundaries of time.
That is what is expressed in our proverb.
For our proverb says: When the wicked man die.
The word "When" is always tied to time.
In time there is a season for everything and there is a season in what is called time, to die.
But the hope of the righteous man is focused upon that which is heavenly and therefore has lasting power,
But the hope of the unjust or wicked man is fixed upon that which is bound up in this present life.
But in this present life there is to be a collision between time and expectations.
For time does not allow for all expectations to be realized.
The man or woman who lives only in time is always grabbing for the brass ring of the merry go round of life thinking that satisfaction will come when it is reached.
But if reached, soon dissatisfaction sets in and other diversions are sought.
How many times have you been delayed in the convenience store by people grabbing for the brass ring of the lottery?
And how many stories have you heard of those who win the lottery whose lives are now in disarray and misery.
So the life of a wicked man who lives only for time is spent in vanity of wishes, vanity of work, vanity of foolish hopes and vanity of a search for happiness which may only provide a small relief to heart sickness.
The sin nature of man is the culprit.
Even with this sin nature man will hope for things eternal but it is a hope built on his own imaginations.
Look at the religions of the world and you will find these hopes for things eternal.
Religions invent doctrines in which the wicked can find comfort thinking they will realize their hopes and expectations by the life they live according to their religion.
The evidence shows clearly so they cannot deny themselves as sinners, but they convince themselves they are not sinners of the worst sort.
So their hope is that God will weigh their goodness against the little sin they committed and the gates of heaven will be opened to them.
Their hope defines for them a God who overlooks sin and exacts no penalty for sin except for those who sin more than they.
Their hope is that they are the standard against which all others are measured and therefore regardless of the life they live they will be admitted into the presence of God.
These expectations and hopes are those given them by their master, Satan, who with these hopes simply pacify and quiet them until the angel of death ushers them into the presence of the devil.
Satan is the king of the con men, who has convinced by hopes and expectations that all is well with men and there is nothing to concern themselves about as to their eternal condition.
He convinces many that there is no God before whom to stand, that death is the end, that man is simply another animal whose existence depends upon a beating heart and thinking mind.
Satan also preaches the positive doctrine where negativity is shunned.
Everything is positive, donít think negative thoughts for they are hazardous to your health.
It is easy to run across thoughts like this on the social media.
Like this one: Silence the noise of negativity of your life
But Negativity many times causes the facing of reality.
The Bible is full of negativity.
What is more negative than "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God."
My, that is such a depressing thought!
I would rather think less serious thoughts, more feel good thoughts.
God chooses to give you the truth but Satan paints every picture with a sunrise and flowers.
The wicked man latches on to Satanís devices for his hope and his expectations are positive, rejecting the negativity of the truth but in the end all is negative for the positive thinker.
So the man who believes in an eternity of his own positive thinking and the man who believes that death brings an end to existence have hopes and expectations that are built on nothing but imaginations of a fanciful mind.
But Godís people have no such fanciful mind which invent comforting ideas and doctrines, for Godís people have chosen to believe Godís word about the reality of life and death and eternity.
Godís word presents to us our negative condition in order for something to be done about it.
How can a person be saved unless his knows he is lost.
God gives us the diagnoses but he also gives us the cure.
The wicked simply want the cure and think beautiful thoughts about the cure but reject any diagnoses of disease.
The wicked are standing on nothing but dreams and hopes and expectations that have no foundation.
But Biblical hope is hope built upon a solid rock!
Hebrews 6:19 tells us that Biblical hope is an anchor of the soul.
Biblical hope is that which causes the soul to be stable and fixed on the object of Jesus Christ.
Biblical hope is not a hope that wishes for something like that of the world's hope.
Biblical hope has a basis for hope to be realized.
A Christian's hope is a solid hope because it has as a foundation confidence in the promises of Almighty God.
And that confidence is sure because of the revelation of God by the word of God.
It is a genuine hope because it is founded on someone who deserves all confidence in its fulfillment.
Christian hope will be realized because God is the basis of all that is hoped for.
In order to have biblical hope you must know the God of the Bible.
You must know what he has done, you must know his saving acts, his unlimited power, and his faithfulness in carrying out his promises.
You must know what he has done in the past and project that same God into your future and know that he will perform all he says he will perform because of what he has already done.
He will keep his promises in the future because he has kept all his promises in the past.
A Christian's hope is built on the word of God, the firm foundation which guarantees that hope will be realized.
It is not a vain hope. It is not a stress producing hope like the world's hope.
It is a comforting hope as the Psalmist reminds us in:
Psalm 119:49,50, Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope. This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me.
The Bible tells us not to put our hope in wealth, houses, princes, empires and armies or even the Temple in Jerusalem.
God, and God alone, is the rock that cannot be moved and a refuge and fortress who provides ultimate security.
He is to be our only real hope because he is the only one who has laid the foundation that cannot be moved.
All other foundations upon which people build hope are laid on shifting sands.
The kind of hope the world offers will be disappointed because it is based upon created things instead of the creator of the things.
The child hopes for the bike but that hope is built on his Mother's word which is not a sure word like the word of God!
The world hopes for peace but it rejects the prince of peace.
The world's hope for peace is a baseless hope, it is a wishful hope, it is an unscriptural hope.
Did not Jesus Christ say that we shall have wars and rumors of wars.
America declares war on poverty but Jesus Christ told us that the poor will always be with us.
The world offers hope without basis.
God offers hope with all the power of Almighty God behind it.
The world wants us to abound in hope but the world's hope is hopeless.
It sings "My hope is built on nothing."
It has no basis except wishful thinking and man's energies.
The kind of hope that God gives is the kind of desire that will come.
There is no doubt in God's hope.
We do not hope to be transformed into his likeness without basis.
We do not hope for the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ without seeing that promise in God's word.
We do not hope to acquire possession of the inheritance and experience the resurrection of the body on some vague evidence or wishful thinking.
We do not hope for a home in heaven without knowing that Jesus Christ has gone there to prepare a place for us.
We do not hope for righteousness without knowing of eternity and eternal life that is promised in God's word to his children.
We do not hope for a new heaven and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness simply because it sounds so nice and wouldn't it be wonderful if it were true?
We are not people hoping to get to heaven but we are people whose hope lies in the person of Jesus Christ who will get us there.
No! My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness!
For My hope is built on the solid rock of Godís word and if you canít trust Godís word than there is nothing in which to trust!
It is not a wondering if my hope will be realized but only when it will be realized for Godís promises are indeed sure.