Proverbs 12:21, There shall no evil happen to the just; but the wicked shall be filled with mischief.  

The word ďevilĒ used in this proverb is from the Hebrew word awven which means to exert oneself in vain, to come to naught or nothingness. 

The word ďhappenĒ in this proverb means to approach, to meet, or to befall. 

The word ďjustĒ means lawful or righteous man. 

The word ďwickedĒ means morally wrong, bad or ungodly. 

The word ďfilledĒ means to be full of, have entirely, be at an end. 

The word ďmischiefĒ means calamity, affliction, evil, distress, harm, sorrow or wretchedness.  

Now as in many of the Proverbs the theme of todayís proverb is a comparison between two lives.   

It is a comparison of what takes place over the lifetime of the just man and the lifetime of the wicked man.   

It is not a proverb which speaks of what happens in a day of these men but a proverb which speaks of the character of their lives over a long period of time. 

And it also speaks of what is the end result of each of these lives. 

So amplifying this proverb with these definitions it can be read:  

The just manís life will have a purpose and never come to nothingness or naught:

         but the man who does not operate according to Godís law,    a man who opposes God in all his ways,  a man full of himself instead of God,  a man described herein as wicked,  his life is vain,  his life is purposeless and will result in nothingness. 

God is telling us that a life directed by God will be a purposeful life but on the contrary a life apart from God, a life lived without God will result in nothing.   

God at first planted a garden in Eden and in that garden he placed two people to dress and keep the garden.   

Within Adam and Eve he planted a purpose for their lives, a clear and uncomplicated purpose, having to do with the care of a garden.   

In this task they were to have a purposeful life, a life directed by their maker, a life which included walking with their maker through the garden in the cool of the day.   

I imagine they discussed the plants and trees of the garden and gloried in its beauty.   

They may have eaten together of the beautiful low hanging fruit from all the trees except that one tree, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 

But they walked with God on a daily basis and we are told of that walk, so that we would have a pattern for our walk of life. 

For walking with God is to be a lifetime function if Godís purpose is to be realized in a man or womenís life. 

However they chose to leave that purpose when Eve was deceived in the eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, convincing Adam to do the same.   

With this act their contentment in fulfilling their God given purpose was upset for they now had a self-consciousness which distorted and competed with their God given purpose. 

But Godís purpose for his creation stands and He continues to work in seeing that his creation conform to his will, so that those who come to him will have meaningful lives in contrast to lives without meaning in those who choose to live apart from God. 

So God, in his unlimited power and authority put in place whatever is necessary to insure that those who place their trust in him will live purposeful and meaningful lives for they will be lives lived for God. 

In this promise, as in all Godís promises, we can be secure.   

The message of scripture is to take hold of Godís hand and he will direct you in all you do. 

There are those in the world who believe in a God but their God is aloof and simply has created everything and left this creation to do other things.  

But our God, the God of the Bible, the God who has given us His word, is a God who loves us and insures that His purposes will be carried out.  

He is a God who has given those who turn to Him all that is necessary to bring forth lives that are pleasing to Him and conform to His will.   

The Bible is His gift to us for within its pages and precepts all the tools necessary for a purposeful life are included. 

Look in Proverbs, chapter three and hear God lovingly tell his son to let his heart keep his commandments for they are designed by Him to give length of days, and long life and peace.   

He adds good life-lengthening-medicine by instructing his son to insure that mercy and truth are so impressed within his sonís character by being written on the tables of his heart that he will find favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man. 

God promises his son that He will direct his sonís paths so there is no need to lean to an understanding of his own. 

He gives life extending instruction cautioning his son to be very careful in thinking highly of himself and his own mind, instead putting his Fatherís instruction first, and therefore not only helping him depart from evil but bringing health to his body. 

This Father provides priority of life so his son will know what is important and what is trivial.  

For all of this contributes to a purposeful life.  

So be careful son to put God first with thy substance.   

And in bringing this priority before his son He establishes a measure of his sonís love for God.   

For if the first fruits of his sonís increase is given He promises blessings which again promotes purpose and long life. 

And He knows his son will fail at times in many things so He encourages him with knowledge that He will intervene in order to limit the consequences of the offense. 

So He says in Proverbs 3:11-12:

Donít despise my chastening, donít be weary of my correction for my correction is an attribute of my love. 

I correct you because I want the best for you and I truly know the best for you. 

I correct you because I delight in you and want your purpose to be fulfilled. 

It is not punishment but correction from error to truth. 

For I want you to love truth for loving truth will bring you to succeed in your purpose.

Parents, God gives you children that they will grow to love truth and despise error. 

Your job is to uplift truth and to hate error and that job is carried out by the chastisement of error thereby elevating truth.  (Every time you steer your car you demonstrate uplifting truth and hating error for error will put you in the ditch.)

If God has given you children then this is part of your purpose for being here.

And then in Chapter three God lifts up to his son wisdom and understanding to the highest level elevating it above all the things the men of the world seek, silver and gold and rubies.

And in this exaltation of wisdom and understanding the son is promised that length of days is at her right hand and in her left hand is riches and honor and her ways are ways of pleasantness and all her paths are peace.

And in Proverbs 3:18 he tells his son about wisdom, She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.

It is almost with pleading that God instructs his son to keep sound wisdom and discretion for in their keeping they shall be life unto his soul and grace to his neck.

And in the doing of this his walk will be a safe walk, his foot shall not stumble, and when he lies down he will not be afraid and his sleep shall be sweet.

In all this God tells his son that in Him he can have all confidence for His word is true and will never fail him.

For his word is filled with wisdom concerning all matters of life. 

Matters like relationships, with whom to fellowship and from whom to separate.   

Matters like cultivating friendships and providing help to neighbors.   

Godís word is given to hedge about and to provide barriers to things which will bring hurt.   

No mother would hesitate to do this in order to protect her little child and our God by his love, hedges his children about that they may live a successful purposeful life.   

All of Godís hedges and barriers are for the good of His children and are moved in place for the same reason a mother builds a fence to keep her child from danger, doing it because of love. Our Lord Jesus Christ says Come unto me and I will give you rest. 

And part of that rest is to welcome the hedges and barriers of God and to rejoice that God loves us so much that we can find protection and safety from all alarms.

Godís word abounds in love messages to his children telling them that he is their rock and fortress, their deliverer, their high tower.

In Psalm 5:11, we learn that those who love Godís name are assured of his protection and because of that assurance we are to rejoice, to shout for joy.

And in Psalm 27:1, the question is asked, whom shall I fear for the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

Think always of this when fear arises, when things come about that seem unsolvable.

And look at the promise of Psalm 41:1-3 for those whose walk is in the Lord,

Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble. The Lord will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies. The Lord will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness.

Can God care more?

So the just man, the man righteous in Jesus Christ knows by Godís word that his life will have a purpose and will never come to nothingness or naught.

For as Psalm 121:1-8 says: I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.

And again the assurance of Godís care is expressed in 1 Peter 3:12, For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.   

As our proverb ends with ďbut the wicked shall be filled with mischiefĒ we see clearly that God will not acquit the wicked for the man who does not operate according to Godís law, the man who opposes God in all his ways, the man full of himself instead of God, will have a life that is vain, a life that is purposeless and will result in nothingness.   

For this man chooses to opt out of all that God will do for him.   

He opts out of Godís program for his creation.   

He chooses to refuse the hedges and barriers put in place by a loving and caring God.   

He chooses to have no rock, no fortress, no deliverer, no high tower. 

God, in his wisdom has chosen to create men with freedom to choose but within that freedom the consequences of his choices are chosen by God. 

Proverbs 16:33 reminds us that: The lot is cast into the lap but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord. 

God deals in clarity, black and white, truth or error.   

With God, as a farmer would say, it is cut and dried. 

The hay or grass is cut and dried, ready for sale.   

Nothing more needs to be done, no more discussion needs to take place, no decision or thought is required at all.   

God told this clearly in Deuteronomy 30:19 to the children of Israel when coming out of Egypt.   

I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: 

But as we know they chose cursing, they chose death and it revealed wicked hearts that were filled with mischief. 

God tells us, the natural world tells us, that sin will not pay. 

God has so arranged things that He will not be mocked.   

Any allowance for sinners to sin without remedy would blot his holy character.   

Godís holiness demands punishment, misery, pain and trouble to those who reject his hand of Grace. 

Psalm 11:4-7 is clear,  The Lord is in his holy temple, the Lord's throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men. The Lord trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth. Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup. For the righteous Lord loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright.

But God is a God of Grace and the promise of Jesus Christ to come unto him for rest still remains in this Age of Grace.

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved!