(Proverbs 3:33 KJV) The curse of the LORD is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just.
My thinking began to move in verse 12 where Proverbs talks about God reproving those He loves. Since part of worship is self-examination, I began to look for the reproving hand of God in my own life. I was looking for major smack-downs that God had given me to bring me back into line. As my mind worked in Windows I kept reading and came to this verse.
I wasn’t finding any recent times when God had taken me out behind the wood shed. I began to wonder if I was being a major failure. This verse brought to mind other ideas that reminded me that I was getting my terms mixed up. To reprove does not mean to “curse” (3994). There are many ways to reprove and the all-wise God will use the approach that will bring improvement in us. His goal is not to take out His frustration but to nudge us into growth.
Some people get so wrapped up in quoting that “our righteousnesses are as filthy rags” that they forget we are still classed as the “righteous” (6662), not the “wicked” (7563). God tailors his response based on the condition of our hearts. He can do that because He can see our hearts and because He has the power to do so.
How does this work? Let me bring you another example from the halls of public education. One of the methods of class control I am currently using is writing student names on the board and adding checks. I usually establish some sort of unique club with an acronym such as RSOOJ (Royal Society of Overactive Jaws). They get extra special time with the teacher after class. It is quite an honor. A few days ago I told one of my model students to be quiet and get to work. One of my motor mouths blossomed with indignation, “You didn’t put her name of the board!” No, I didn’t. She was one of the righteous. He was one of the wicked.
What is the difference? Both were student “sinners” and were in violation. One however experienced a momentary lapse and was immediately repentant demonstrated by returning to work. The other did not pause from disobedience, just changed the target of talk to me from one of his friends. In my limited insight as a teacher, even I could see the difference. So can God.
So? God knows our hearts. What does He see in yours? Do you have momentary lapses in performance or do you only pause to accuse God of not being fair? Grace responds to a repentant heart.