The prudent sees danger and hides himself,
but the simple go on and suffer for it.
If we are truly honest with ourselves, we must confess that at some times in our lives, we have been able to see evil coming. Can you think of a time when this was true in your experience? This is not always the case; sometimes, we are so blind because of our sin that we miss it entirely. But this proverb indicates that, clearly, some evil can be foreseen.
Proverbs 27:12 is an illustration of what the author introduced in verse 11: the wise child making a good decision. One good decision we and our children can make is to be very circurmspect about the nature of evil in this world. It is very clear from Scripture that evil lurks about us (Satan is a “roaring lion’), some of which we are more conscious of than others. In these instances, where we are aware of evil, we are wise to resist the temptation.
If we do not resist the “known” evil, there will come upon us the punishment for that sin. This is what the author means in the last part of the verse: “the simple go on and suffer for it.” We see this in instances where God warns that he will punish but withholds the punishment until later. Look at the nation of Israel, who refused to turn from their sin, even when prophets warned of the threat of evil lurking about them in the form of outside invaders. God’s judgment was not always immediate, but it was certainly to come.
Be wise to resist temptation (“evil”) as you see it approaching; or there is a cost to pay. May the Lord help each of us in this area in our journey of life today.
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By George McFarland. © 2020 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org