Proverbs 27 & 2 Thessalonians 1

Proverbs 27

    Do not boast about tomorrow,
        for you do not know what a day may bring.
    Let another praise you, and not your own mouth;
        a stranger, and not your own lips.
    A stone is heavy, and sand is weighty,
        but a fool's provocation is heavier than both.
    Wrath is cruel, anger is overwhelming,
        but who can stand before jealousy?
    Better is open rebuke
        than hidden love.
    Faithful are the wounds of a friend;
        profuse are the kisses of an enemy.
    One who is full loathes honey,
        but to one who is hungry everything bitter is sweet.
    Like a bird that strays from its nest
        is a man who strays from his home.
    Oil and perfume make the heart glad,
        and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.
    Do not forsake your friend and your father's friend,
        and do not go to your brother's house in the day of your calamity.
    Better is a neighbor who is near
        than a brother who is far away.
    Be wise, my son, and make my heart glad,
        that I may answer him who reproaches me.
    The prudent sees danger and hides himself,
        but the simple go on and suffer for it.
    Take a man's garment when he has put up security for a stranger,
        and hold it in pledge when he puts up security for an adulteress.
    Whoever blesses his neighbor with a loud voice,
        rising early in the morning,
        will be counted as cursing.
    A continual dripping on a rainy day
        and a quarrelsome wife are alike;
    to restrain her is to restrain the wind
        or to grasp oil in one's right hand.
    Iron sharpens iron,
        and one man sharpens another.
    Whoever tends a fig tree will eat its fruit,
        and he who guards his master will be honored.
    As in water face reflects face,
        so the heart of man reflects the man.
    Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied,
        and never satisfied are the eyes of man.
    The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold,
        and a man is tested by his praise.
    Crush a fool in a mortar with a pestle
        along with crushed grain,
        yet his folly will not depart from him.
    Know well the condition of your flocks,
        and give attention to your herds,
    for riches do not last forever;
        and does a crown endure to all generations?
    When the grass is gone and the new growth appears
        and the vegetation of the mountains is gathered,
    the lambs will provide your clothing,
        and the goats the price of a field.
    There will be enough goats' milk for your food,
        for the food of your household
        and maintenance for your girls.

(Proverbs 27 ESV)

2 Thessalonians 1

    Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy,

    To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:

    Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

    We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing. Therefore we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions that you are enduring.

    This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering—since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed. To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

(2 Thessalonians 1 ESV)

2 Thessalonians 1: Suffering and persecution have a way of sifting out those who are truly worthy of the Kingdom of God and those who are tragically not. Those transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit will prove themselves steadfast and faithful under the pressures of persecution and hostility. However, those who merely associate themselves with Christianity but still lack the transformative power of the Holy Spirit will fail in fear under great oppression at the hands of those who oppose their faith. Persistent pressure over the course of time will expose the true heart of a man. 

Those who remain steadfast and faithful have been promised ultimate relief for themselves and utter retribution for their persecutors. Our Lord has come in grace offering salvation and eternal life to the wicked of this world, but soon He will come again in judgement inflicting vengeance and the punishment of eternal destruction “on those who do not know Him and on those who do not obey His gospel”. Our Lord will bring eternal affliction upon those who have afflicted His people. He will come with an army of angels in flaming fire which will strike horror in the hearts of those who have rejected Him but will stir up hope for those who have proven themselves worthy of His Kingdom. 

May we find rest in the midst of our current sufferings knowing that God’s righteousness secures us ultimate rest and retribution in the end. May we remain steadfast and faithful no matter what it may cost us here on this earth knowing that our current afflictions are not even worth comparing to the glory that we have in store for us with our Lord on the New Earth (Romans 8). And while we await that Day of our ultimate salvation, may we make every effort to save those (even our enemies) who stand in the way of the wrath that is coming.