Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.
Proverbs 14:19: “The evil will bow before the good, And the wicked at the gates of the righteous.”
“Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why are those happy who deal so treacherously?” (Jeremiah 12:1). These are not the questions discussed here. Rather, this proverb brings to our attention the fact that not all goes well with the “evil,” and that we ought see, many other times, it is the other way around! Though Joseph’s brothers had “meant evil against” him by selling him into slavery, but when famine forced them to go into Egypt, “Joseph was governor over the land; and it was he who sold to all the people of the land. And Joseph’s brothers came and bowed down before him with their faces to the earth” (Genesis 42:6). Another such occasion was when wicked Haman sought to kill Mordecai, but his evil scheme was revealed by Queen Esther, and then King Ahasuerus ordered Haman, who was pleading for his own life, to be hanged on the 75-foot “gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai” (Esther 7:1-10). In Philippi, a slave girl was freed from her masters who profited by her “divination,” Paul and Silas were mistreated as “the magistrates tore off their clothes and commanded them to be beaten with rods…they threw them into prison” (Acts 16:22-23). Later, however, those same magistrates “came and pleaded with them and brought them out, and asked them to depart from the city” (Acts 16:39)! The church of Christ in Philadelphia was promised by Jesus Christ: “Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie–indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you” (Revelation 3:9). Other proverbs which teach this include: “The wicked shall be a ransom for the righteous, And the unfaithful for the upright” (Proverbs 21:18); “The eyes of the LORD preserve knowledge, But He overthrows the words of the faithless” (Proverbs 22:12). This humbling of the wicked is because of their own sins, but will not always be brought about in this life. Though “life isn’t fair,” God is just, and will see to it that evil fails and right prevails!
The ultimate bowing of the evil wicked will be on the final Judgment Day, for God decreed through Isaiah: “Look to Me, and be saved, All you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. I have sworn by Myself; The word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness, And shall not return, That to Me every knee shall bow, Every tongue shall take an oath” (Isaiah 45:22-23). The Apostle Paul used this very language to show what the future Judgment will be: “But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written: ‘As I live, says the LORD, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God’” (Romans 14:10-11). Jesus was seeking to prepare “every creature” when He said: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:15-16). Bow before the good before it is too late!
All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.