“Lie not in wait as a wicked man against the dwelling of the righteous; do no violence to his home; for the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity.”
Proverbs 24:15, 16
Solomon does not only address the propensity of even the righteous to fall but also, in an unspoken way, the grace of God to pick us up so often. In this case the righteous spring back and are able to defend themselves against the intentions of the wicked. Sometimes the righteous person or neighbor is attacked for their wealth, and sometimes for differing ideology or out of spite because the righteous life can be convicting to a wicked neighbor. Attacks come in a variety of ways. Some are overt and violent. Others are subtle and luring. Sometimes the wicked draw out the lusts of the righteous that we all share and as a result the righteous fails (I Corinthians 10:1-13)
What the wicked in his or her schemes may not realize is the resiliency of the righteous to get back up. This poses a threat to the wicked because their plan to break the righteous has failed.
Seven can be both thought of literally with a sense that after seven the righteous may have exhausted their measure of grace for rising again. Seven may also indicate a sufficient experience and grace from God. Seven as a number in Hebrew Scriptures often indicates a full or sufficient amount. Solomon’s words lead me to expect a sufficient response of understanding in Heaven toward my weakness and an accompanying favor in response to my prayer - at least up to a point.
“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
God's grace is inexhaustible but may be measured toward me. To be righteous is either a position of favor as a gift from God, or an acknowledgement of consistent behavior. In Solomon’s proverb it makes sense to think of the righteous as those of consistent good behavior. The righteous are not perfect but their pattern of good behavior and moral choices is such that they receive the benefit of the doubt. They can more easily be trusted with grace, to employ it and build upon it rather than wasting it in bad behavior and life choices that lead to further fails. Good boys and girls get a measure of favor on the basis that it will not be wasted. It is usually unwise to bestow sevenfold grace upon an unrighteous person that is prone toward misbehaving. Such a one will abuse it. It is also risky to give even the righteous person too much slack in their tether because we learn too quickly to overspend. We are too easily spoiled by excessive favors. It is best to think of God's favor toward us as measured both for our own good and for the sake of His righteous reputation.
"He leads me along paths of righteousness for His name’s sake."
Grace today y’all
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