Proverbs 11:7

Proverbs 11:7 "When a wicked man dieth, his expectation shall perish: and the hope of unjust men perisheth."
Proverbs 11:7 Buffalo Church
Expectation and hope are similar and are often tied together. It’s not uncommon to hear someone say, Expect the worst and hope for the best.”  Expectation and hope are the products of care and concern.  We don’t expect something that we don’t care about.  We don’t hope for something that we don’t have any concern for.  I don’t expect the New York Yankees to win the World Series because I don’t care that much about professional baseball.  I have no expectation when it comes to the New York Yankees.  I also have no hopes within professional baseball because I’m not that concerned with it.  There are plenty of football enthusiasts who expect the Buffalo Bills to win the Super Bowl this year because they’re heavily invested in the sport and spend a lot of time analyzing and evaluating teams within it.  The Bills’ Mafia are really hoping that the Bills win the Super Bowl because they care deeply about their team.  Expectations and hopes are born out of care and concern.

This proverb reveals the sorry states of the wicked and the unjust.  The wicked care only about this life.  The unjust are concerned with this life.  The wicked, because they are wicked, don’t think about the afterlife because it is synonymous with judgment.  The unjust, because they are unjust, avoid considering the afterlife because it confronts their injustice.  Immoral people care only about the pleasures of this world.  Immoral people concern themselves only with what this world has to offer them.  Their expectations then are attached only to this life.  It is for this reason that those expectations die with them. Their hopes then are attached only to the people in this world.  What a sad and sorry state!

1 Corinthians 15:19, “If IN THIS LIFE ONLY we have HOPE in Christ, we are of all men MOST MISERABLE.”

How sad it is that the wicked look forward to good health only to experience the gradual or sudden loss of health as they approach death.  How sad it is that the wicked spend their lives building homes and accruing wealth only to come to the realization at the end of their life that those things mean nothing in death.  How sad it is that the wicked wake up every day hoping for prosperity and pleasure when both are incredibly temporary.  This is why people are so devastated when they hear their doctor utter the “C-word.”  This is why people are so miserable when they watch the stock market plummeting.  This is why people are so angry when they see certain politicians elected.  Few in our world have expectations and hopes that survive the grave.  It is a minority of souls in this world whose cares and concerns reach beyond the grave.
 
Solomon describes the sorry end of the wicked in this proverb while also teaching the barometer of morality.  While there is absolutely nothing wrong with having expectations and hopes in this world, there is something wrong with having expectations and hopes ONLY in this world.  If our expectations end at the grave, there is something wrong with our soul.  If our hopes die with a person, there is something terribly wrong with our morality.  The righteous have expectations that go deep into the afterlife.  The just have hopes that go well beyond the loss of loved ones.  A righteous person, because he is righteous, thinks about God and the judgment that comes in the next life.  This then leads to expectations of seeing God, of answering to God and ultimately, of pleasing God at the judgment.  The just person, because he is just, thinks about God and his responsibility to Him after death.  This then leads to hopes attached to eternity and Heaven.

The Christian can have plenty of expectations and hopes that will not last beyond the grave, such as good health, Divine prosperity, financial security, family milestones, national stability, religious liberties and more.   But these life-long expectations and hopes shouldn’t be the only ones we possess.  The Christian should have countless expectations and hopes that last well beyond the grave, such as worship, freedom from sin, deliverance from the curse, service to God, reunion with saints, victory for Christ and much more.  Because the Christian is directed to set his affection on things above and not on things below (Colossians 3:2), our expectations should be set on things above and not on things below.  Because the Christian is instructed to lay hold on eternal life (1 Timothy 6:12), our hopes should be resting in the eternity.
 
In Revelation 6, the Apostle John records a great illustration of how our morality impacts our expectations and hopes.  John recorded seeing souls of Christian martyrs in Heaven; those “that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held.”  He heard them crying out with a loud voice these words: “How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?”  These future martyrs were deeply devoted to God and as a result, were murdered.  When they awoke in the afterlife, their expectations and hopes had not changed.  They were still engaged in a spiritual battle for righteousness.  They were still waging war against the enemies of God.  They refused to let wickedness win in this life and they refused to let wickedness prevail in the next life.  Their cares and concerns did not change from this life to the next.  Their expectations and hopes did not change from before the grave to beyond the grave.  What a powerful illustration of Solomon’s proverb!  What a powerful example for God’s children!

Will our greatest expectations die with us or will they go with us beyond the grave?
Will our greatest hopes die with someone we love or will they go beyond the grave?
Will our expectations remain unchanged by death?
Will our hopes remain unchanged by death?


Our expectations and hopes reveal our morality.  What do our expectations reveal?  Do we care about the pleasures of this world only?  Do we concern ourselves with the prosperity of this world only?
 
May we all look beyond the grave and develop expectations and hopes that go with us beyond the grave.

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