Proverbs 24:11-12 Notes
11 Deliver those who are being taken away to death,
And those who are staggering to slaughter, Oh hold them back.
12 If you say, “See, we did not know this,”
Does He not consider it who weighs the hearts?
And does He not know it who keeps your soul?
And will He not render to man according to his work?
(Prov 24:11-12 NASB)
I. Deliver those in danger: when we see people being unjustly sentenced to death, forced into being slaughtered through no fault of their own, we are commanded to do whatever we have in our power to set them free. We must seek to overthrow false arguments on behalf of life. We are under the command of God to help deliver the innocent– even if we don’t personally know the parties involved– out of a zeal for justice.
Hold them back: we may picture a person being chased to a cliff, about to go over the edge, and being restrained at the last possible moment. This speaks to the fact that we must be energetic, passionate for the cause of life.
II. Do not deny that you see those in need: we cannot make excuses if we fail to “deliver those in danger.” Ignorance is no excuse. We have plenty of resources at our fingertips to investigate the facts of the case. It is no excuse if we allow some kind of political philosophy about ‘rights’ or ‘privacy’ to keep us from truly loving our neighbors– all our neighbors– as ourselves. God knows our hearts; He knows when we are making decisions based on selfish desires. God knows our souls; He knows every time when our conscience is stirred and we choose to ignore it, hardening our conscience, rather than heeding His voice.
III. Deal with the consequences: God is the Holy Lawgiver and Judge over His creation. This truth is a great comfort to those who are being oppressed; we can all be sure that those who are slaughtered unjustly will be vindicated before the throne of God. That God renders to each person according to His work is also a great warning, for we all know that our works have fallen short of God’s glory. It is a common saying that ‘nobody’s perfect.’ We have all done things that we know are wrong; we have all lied when we know we should tell the truth, we have all been selfish when we know we should be selfless and loving, we have all been envious of others or disobeyed parents, etc. If God repays us according to our works– as this, and many other passages, makes clear that He does– then there is no reason for us to expect that He will welcome us into kingdom, to live forever with Him, where all blessings are; instead, we will be kept on the outside, away from Him and His goodness, in the outer darkness of pain called Hell. The good news is that God has come, in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, and has Himself performed the good works that we could not perform. Jesus was like us in all respects, yet without sin. He lived a perfect life, but then He was crucified– tortured to death on a Cross– experiencing the wrath of God against sin and dying the death that we deserved. Jesus was buried in the ground for three days– truly dead– in fulfillment of prophecy. Then He rose from the dead: showing Himself to be victorious over sin, death, and Hell. It is Jesus who truly delivers those who are being taken away to death; even now, He is holding us back from the destruction we deserve, and He offers eternal life to all who turn and believe in Him.
Labels: Bible study