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 24:19-20: “Do not fret because of evildoers, Nor be envious of the wicked; For there will be no prospect for the evil man; The lamp of the wicked will be put out.”
This proverb echoes what David had said in a Psalm: “Do not fret because of evildoers, Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, And wither as the green herb. Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass” (Psalm 37:1-5).
Since “envy is rottenness to the bones” (Proverbs 14:30), and ends at death (Ecclesiastes 9:5-6), and was the motivation for the Jews’ condemnation of Jesus (Matthew 27:17-18), and contradictions of the Gospel of Christ (Acts 13:45), then it is clearly coming from a carnal mindset and condemned as sin (1 Corinthians 3:3; Galatians 5:19-21). The person who envies has allowed someone else to become a standard to be reached, while ignoring the standards God has given. The Jews felt Jesus had become more popular and influential than they were, and were willing to ignore God’s Law given through Moses and have Jesus unjustly condemned and killed!
According to James 3:13-17, envy is “earthly, sensual, demonic,” and is accompanied by “confusion and every evil thing.” To become “envious” of someone else’s language, beauty, skills, situation, or possessions, kills the Christian’s ability to, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15). The person who is envied becomes an idol to be imitated, but those who follow Jesus Christ should be our model: “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1); and never let evil be our goal: “Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God” (3 John 11). If we pattern ourselves like the wicked, we will receive their reward!
All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.