Let not your heart envy sinners, but continue in the fear of the Lord all the day (Prov. 23:17).
Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off (Prov. 23:18).
Young men usually want to follow their friends. Their friends exert a powerful influence on them. They inspire the clothes they wear. They induce the movies they watch. They shape their thoughts and their words.
What if these friends are the wrong friends? What if these friends are people who do not fear God? What if they will lead you into sin and away from God?
God’s Word says, “Do not envy them.” The word, “envy” (Heb. qanno), means, “very strong emotion whereby some quality or possession of the object is desired by the subject.” (TWOT) The same word is used of Rachel who was jealous of Leah. Rachel was barren. But Leah bore many sons to Jacob. So Rachel envied Leah. She wanted what Leah had—children.
Joseph’s brothers were so envious of him. One day, Joseph told them about his dream of the sun, moon, and eleven stars bowing down to Joseph. He had eleven brothers, one father, and one mother. That means that they would all someday bow down to him. That made his brothers jealous of him. They wanted something that Joseph had.
David used the same word about the prosperity of bad people. He wrote in Ps. 73:3, “For I was envious [qanno] of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.”
Thus, God’s Word tells us, “Do not envy sinners.” Do not desire what they have that you do not have. Do not feel bad that you don’t have what they have.
Somebody said that, “when you have nothing left but God, you begin to learn that God is enough.” Let me add—If you have God, you have more than enough! Find your contentment in God, and not in the things of this world!
God’s Word says, Do not envy people who do not fear God. But just continue to fear God “all the day” (Prov. 23:17b).
If you fear God all the day, there is a future for you (v. 18). If you continue to fear God “all the day” today, you will have a good future all your days tomorrow.
Prov. 24:14, “Know that wisdom is such [like honey, v. 13] to your soul; if you find it, there will be a future, and your hope will not be cut off.” Continue in the fear of the Lord. Then you will find divine wisdom. Your hope will not be cut off. You will live the rest of your life fulfilled and satisfied.
God’s wisdom will make it so.