Proverbs 11:21

Proverbs 11:21 "Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished: but the seed of the righteous shall be delivered."
Proverbs 11:21 West Seneca NY Church
In our world, there is often strength in numbers.  In any government, but especially in a democracy, there is strength in numbers.  In a democracy, political power belongs to the party that has the most people.  Even in a government where power is inherited, that power can be threatened or lost when the majority of people in that nation unite against it.  For any business, there is strength in numbers.  The more customers a business attracts, the stronger it becomes.  The more workers a business employs, the stronger it becomes.  For any military, there is certainly strength in numbers.  Anyone familiar with the classic boardgame, Stratego knows that more soldiers generally equates to more strength and higher odds in winning the battle.  In our world, it is often true that there is strength in numbers.

Unfortunately, this even applies to evil.  Take our present democracy for example.  If more people vote to protect the murder of unborn children rather than to protect unborn children, abortion will continue.  If more people choose to celebrate sexual immorality instead of maintaining sexual integrity, sexual chaos and confusion will continue to destroy our culture and the minds of our children.  If the majority of educational institutions teach and promote the theory of Evolution, the concept of a Creator and the responsibility we have to Him will be rejected and eventually, mocked.  There is strength in numbers, even when for the cause of evil.  Riots are harder to stop when the crowds increase in size.  Looting is difficult to control when the number of looters expands.  Ungodly trends and campaigns are nearly impossible to reverse when the number of supporters and promoters grow.
In our world, it is true that there is strength in numbers, even when humans resist God’s desires.  This has been the case since the beginning of time as illustrated in the story of Babel in Genesis 11.  After the flood, people were afraid to leave the known civilization and as a result, they chose to congregate in one city.  In time, their city grew as the engine of reproduction roared.  Soon, they began building a skyscraper that they intended to reach unto heaven.  God made the observation that nothing would be too hard for them.  Because God wanted them to replenish the Earth, He confounded their language in order to scatter them throughout the Earth.  This scattering of the population weakened the city and stopped the construction.  Had God not intervened, they would have been able to resist the will of God together as there would’ve been strength in numbers.

This proverb addresses the sad fact that there is strength in numbers, even if it is strength to resist God.  The wicked stay strongly wicked because they do so, “hand join in hand.”  Our world so easily unites for evil causes.  Our world so easily supports the resistance of Biblical truth.  It is almost astonishing how many people today support and even passionately defend the killing of an unborn child in a society where babies and children outside the womb are so intensely protected.  It is almost shocking how many people today support and even passionately promote the lack of sexual boundaries in a society where women and children are so frequently assaulted.  It is almost amazing how many parents support and even passionately justify removing references to God from our schools while introducing references to witchcraft, satanism, gender conversion, violence and sexual experimentation in a culture where our young people are killing and sexually assaulting each other.  In our world, wickedness is very contagious and catchy.  When someone starts a social media knock-out trend, thousands of people punch out random strangers on the street and post the brutal attack on social media.  When someone starts a Tik-Tok trend of stealing cars, thousands of teens jump into Kia cars and take them for joy rides.  When someone breaks a window during a riot, hundreds quickly join in and when someone steals a television, the mob joins the looting.  Our world practices its evil together.  Our world works is wickedness “hand join in hand.”  
We participate in evil activity when the crowd increases and the trend grows because we feel the strength in numbers.  If everyone else is doing it, we feel emboldened to do it.  If everyone else is doing it, we feel protected.  In our minds, we feel like we won’t be caught if everyone is doing it.  For those who don’t “join hands” with the wicked, it is easy to see things the same way and conclude that the wicked are getting away with their evildoing because it seems impossible to catch and punish everyone.  This is the proverb that addresses that discouraging thought.  To the law-abiding citizen and to the Bible-heeding Christian, it would be easy to think that evil prevails when the masses and the mobs are behind it.  According to Solomon, there is no strength in numbers when it comes to God’s judgment.  There may be strength in numbers when it comes to man’s military or to a community’s law enforcement or even as it pertains to a nation’s government but there is no strength in numbers when it comes to God’s justice system.

God is just.  God will judge the wicked in this life or in the next or even more likely, in both.  It doesn’t matter if a wicked man is committing wickedness with the partnership of one soul or one billion souls – he will be punished.  It doesn’t matter if a wicked man has the support of his family or the support of an entire country – he will be punished.  It doesn’t matter if a wicked man has the funding of one person or the funding of an entire political party – he will be punished.  God is absolutely unphased by the masses and mobs of our world.  The White House may be moved by lobbyists, but God isn’t.  The Supreme Court may be influenced by “supporters,” but God isn’t.  Juries may be intimidated by mobs, but God isn’t.  God is just and He will judge each of our world’s souls without respect of persons.  If you think or even fear the wicked escaping justice, hear Solomon say, “Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished.”  Furthermore, if you think you may get away with wickedness because everyone else is doing it, hear Scripture read, “Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished.”  

There is no strength in numbers when it comes to God and His righteous execution of justice.  

This proverb is intended to combat the discouragement that comes so easily to the righteous when they watch the world so quickly unite around wickedness.  This proverb promises punishment for the majority while promising deliverance for the minority.  On one side of the proverb, we see the wicked mob united and on the other side of the proverb, we see the righteous family almost isolated.  On one side of the proverb, we see God’s disregard for the number of the wicked and on the other side of the proverb, we see God’s regard for the number of the righteous.  God will judge the wicked regardless of family, friend and supporter while at the same time, God intentionally considers the family of the righteous.  For the wicked person who thinks his family, friends and supporters will somehow protect him from judgment, God won’t even consider his loved ones.  For the righteous person who sees himself responsible only to God, God will consider his loved ones and take a special interest in their lives.  What does this all mean?  “Numbers” mean nothing to God; morality means everything to God.  If we make our morality a priority, our “numbers,” or those we care about it, will then mean something to God.
There is a sad illustration of this proverb in the Book of Numbers.  Moses instructed twelve leaders of Israel to go search out Canaan, which was the land God PROMISED to Abraham’s seed.  All twelve saw the same fertile and blessed land.  All twelve also saw the inhabitants of the land, including some who were described as giants.  While we don’t know which spy or spies started the sentiments, the majority of spies saw the land as unconquerable.  Ten of the twelve spies chose to see the giants of Canaan as bigger than the God of Israel.  Ten of the twelve spies chose to believe the God of Israel Who just destroyed Egypt and parted the Red Sea was unable to defeat the giants of Canaan.  Ten of the twelve spies were “hand join in hand” in their EVIL report.  They probably felt justified in their unbelief because there were nine other men who saw it that way.  They probably felt protected in their unbelief because there were only two out of twelve who didn’t see it that way.  In our world, we unite in our wickedness foolishly thinking that God won’t single us out and punish us.  These ten spies found out that they, “though hand join in hand, would not be unpunished.”  Each of them would be held accountable for their unbelief and would die in the wilderness, never seeing the Promised Land again.  The righteous spies who were in the minority would watch their seed be delivered from the sorrow, pain and consequences of sin as they enjoyed the Promised Land with their fathers.  Caleb’s children in particular would experience great prosperity and blessing with their father in Canaan.

In our eyes, there is strength in numbers.  In God’s eyes, there is no strength in numbers.  He cares what we do, regardless of what others do.  He cares how we think, regardless of how others think.  Furthermore, this proverb teaches us that if we care about WHAT God cares about, He will care about WHO we care about.  





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