HIS own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins. (Proverbs 5:22)
The prophet inquires of the Lord, ‘Why do the wicked prosper?’ 1 Righteous art thou, O LORD, when I plead with thee: yet let me talk with thee of thy judgments: Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper? wherefore are all they happy that deal very treacherously? (Jeremiah 12:1) Solomon explains the wicked are held by the cords of their own sinful imaginations and sins.
The imaginations of men’s hearts are always more and more wicked. “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Genesis 6:5) The ‘self-will’ of man is that which many erroneously label as ‘free will’ – a term that does not appear in Holy Scripture. There is no freedom apart from Christ for those who have cast off their self-will and taken upon themselves His Holy Will.
Many suppose the wicked will enjoy life in lavish comfort during this life, but will only suffer for their sins in the next. I do not believe this is correct. I believe the wicked, regardless of wealth or status, suffer greatly in this life as well as the next. They are in constant fervor to gain more wealth, to hurt and destroy others, and to take by deception all they are able from society. They do not sleep well at night and are forever mindful of a sense of guilt that they cannot escape. Our unrepented sins will follow us in this life. Allow me to offer an example.
Several years ago when our daughter Tina was preparing to get married, my wife invited a young Japanese lady who was a florist over to the house to prepare corsages. She was married to a low ranking enlisted man and lived on a tight budget. When she arrived at our house on her moped, there was already a car parked in the driveway belonging to two other ladies who were visiting. She parked her moped behind the car. They did not assist in the flower work, so, decided to go shopping. When they backed out of the driveway, they struck the moped busting the engine block. My son was outdoors playing and witnessed the event.
They denied striking the moped and refused to pay the $800.00 required to repair it. The driver of the car which struck the Moped was married to an Army Major. He was restoring a British MG Sports car using original parts. He had worked on the car for months and months. Finally, he finished the car. It was beautiful.
He kept it parked in front of his and his wife’s apartment which was separated from the parked car by a steep bank. Not long after the Major refused to pay the damages his wife had done to the poor lady’s moped, someone came speeding up the street where his antique MG was parked. It struck the MG which forced it over the steep embankment and into the apartment – totaling the MG and doing significant damage to the apartment. The driver kept going and is still unknown after all those years. The MG, being an antique, was not insurable. The Major lost the pride and joy of a year’s work and much expense in restoration of the car. It is likely the Major never realized the irony of the seeming retribution he suffered for trying to defraud a poor Japanese lady, but he suffered nonetheless.
Another example was forty years ago when a young enlisted man’s Korean wife attended a Korean Baptist church at which my wife was the leader of the ladies group. The father of the young lady tragically died in an automobile accident in Korea leaving the mother and five brothers and sisters of the Korean lady aforementioned without means of support. My wife approached the minister and asked if a love offering could be taken up for the young lady to send as support for her mother and siblings. The minister responded in such cases involving a distant need, the best option was simply to pray for them. This did not comport with my wife’s feelings, especially condiering the young Korean lady had labored selflessly for the work of the church, and had tithed her husband’s meager income. She went to all the local Korean businesses and was able to raise $2,000.00 to provide the family in Korea with some living until the mother could find a job.
Next Sunday, my wife sensed a cold reception at church. Finally, she asked a young deacon why everyone was being so cold toward her. The deacon responded, ‘The money you collected from the businesses may have been money that they would have put in the offering plate on Sunday – like stealing money from the offering plate.’ This distressed my wife to no end. I advised her she had done the right thing, and many of our minister friends did the same.
The following week, the young deacon’s father was driving to work early in the morning through the backwoods of Fort Rucker. He fell asleep, went off the road and was killed. The very next Sunday, a love offering was taken up in church and placed into the hands of the young deacon who had accused my wife of stealing from the offering plate. I do not know if the young deacon considered the similarity of the two events.
I do not know if the two events recited above were connected to their callous treatment of others; or if it followed as an act of God. But I do know these two events caused suffering to the guilty parties whether they connected the dots or not.
What think thee?