Verses 12-20 (of 40)
12 The wicked plot against the righteous and gnash their teeth at them;
13 but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming.
14 The wicked draw the sword and bend the bow to bring down the poor and needy, to slay those whose ways are upright.
15 But their swords will pierce their own hearts, and their bows will be broken.
16 Better the little that the righteous have than the wealth of many wicked;
17 for the power of the wicked will be broken, but the Lord upholds the righteous.
18 The days of the blameless are known to the Lord, and their inheritance will endure forever.
19 In times of disaster they will not wither; in days of famine they will enjoy plenty.
20 But the wicked will perish: The Lord’s enemies will be like the beauty of the fields, they will vanish—vanish like smoke.
The first 10 verses ended with the overarching idea that God can be trusted.
Here, David continues his thoughts. In the first four verses here, David uses parallelism (so common in Eastern thought and writing), David makes a series of statements followed by the opposite idea reminding us Who is really in control.
Although the wicked may plan evil for us and act like animals towards us remember this:
The Lord has the last laugh.
Our spiritual enemies may seek to “slay us”—literally “slaughter us” but their weapons of war and even their very hearts will be shattered into pieces.
The Lord will protect us.
Notice the contrast of the literal rendering of verse 16:
Better the (peaceful) silence of the righteous
than the (obnoxious) noise of the wicked.
The Lord’s blessings are worth more than anything here.
We must remember: There is more to life than what we see!
The Lord knows how we live. He is not blind to us. Even in times of disaster, we can stand and enjoy plenty because we have a hope BEYOND what is here!
What a sobering verse of Scripture: The Lord’s enemies will be like the beauty of the fields, they will vanish—vanish like smoke.
Everything we see around us will fade away. Plants and animals grow old and die and return to dust where other plants absorb the nutrients and the cycle goes on.
But when the Lord makes them vanish, it will not in order to become fertilizer for the next generation. Their punishment is eternal because they have rejected Him.
Likewise, If the punishment of the wicked goes beyond this life, so does the blessing of the righteous!
Remember the words James 4:14b, NIV, “…What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”