The wage of the righteous leads to life,
the gain of the wicked to sin.
Both the righteous and the wicked earn wages from their respective labors. But those wages lead to different ends. The contrast of the ends is not quite what we would expect. If the wage of the righteous leads to life, then shouldnt the gain of the wicked lead todeath? Isnt it redundant to speak of the wicked being led to sin?
Perhaps the proverb has the same concept in mind as that written in Romans 1:18ff. Verse 18 notes: For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. How is that wrath revealed? Note the following:
Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity (v. 24) For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. (v.26) God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done (v.28).
All, then, that the wicked gain by their sin is to be given up to committing further sink, which leads them further into judgment. As much as children may dislike discipline, every child knows that it is worse to be given up on, especially by ones parents. It seems fun to get away with sin for awhile, but when the father or the mother gives up in exasperation, and you are left with the feeling of having no one to care, particularly with no one to have hope in yousuch wages are bitter indeed. Such wages lead to a living death.
As restrictive as the righteous life may seem for the time, is it not much better to live a life that leads to life? A life that is full of life? It was the way Christ followed and the life he offers now to those who believe and follow.
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