Proverbs 30.21-23 Under three things the earth trembles; under four it cannot bear up: a slave when he becomes king, and a fool when he is filled with food; an unloved woman when she gets a husband, and a maidservant when she displaces her mistress.
There are unfillable voids in the souls of men. People do what they do to try and fill those voids. Sometimes in extreme, horrific and bizarre ways. When men’s actions do not make sense, you can be sure they are trying to fill some deep emptiness. Such deep, deep voids can only be met in God. And as long as we try to meet them by other means, the futility of it, and the inward gnawing and aching only increases. Sometimes we drown it out. Temporarily. But as Augustine said, “O Lord, you have made us for thyself and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”
And, there are unfathomable mysteries in life. Some things will never completely make sense to us. No matter how often we revisit them, mull them over, and strain at trying to attach what seems to be a reasonable explanation to us, to other’s actions, opinions or mindsets. This is true both of other people and the events of life itself. Some things defy logic. And we cannot let such mysteries bind our hearts and minds. They are to be given over to our God.
Our text today provides us with a third master life lesson: There are unfitting realities in life – do not be surprised at injustice in this life.
Once again, we are given four examples to muse on. A slave when becomes king. Men who are unfit for leadership, ruling over the lives and destinies of others. Foolish men and women, when they have come to enjoy great wealth and satisfaction. A woman who was long unloved, will become so obnoxious to her former friends when married at last. And when a maidservant displaces her mistress. In our day, when the boss leaves the wife who put him through college and raised his kids, runs off with the secretary.
Entertainers earn more than Doctors and Educators. We cry with loud voices to protect endangered fish, birds and other animals, while murdering 1-plus million children in their mother’s wombs each year in America. Pedophiles can run public websites, and Christians can’t pray at public events. And as a friend of mine recently sent to me, in America we are expected to – to “be against capital punishment, but support abortion on demand. Believe that gender roles are artificial but being homosexual is natural.” And on and on and on.
The truth is, we live in a fallen world. And such a fallen world will be filled with such unfitting things. Criminals will be treated like victims, and victims like criminals. Laws will be passed to hinder good and protect evil. Wisdom and common sense will be forsaken for political position, to accomplish an agenda, or simply because some prefer the ludicrous. There is no end to such things. And lest we grow mad ourselves as we see it all about us – we needs be grounded in the fact that the Bible told us it would be this way. This is sin at work. This is what happens when the creature wants to usurp the Creator’s place. We are unfit. And all we do will result in unfitting things.
Don’t despair Christian. Life doesn’t end here. This will not always be the way it is. Christ is coming. One day, all of these wrongs will be made right. All that is so far from what it ought to be will be brought back into line. He will judge the world in righteousness. His wisdom will prevail. His truth will govern all. Everything will be in its right place. Every relationship precisely as it ought to be. The fullness of Christ’s redemptive work will permeate and characterize all of creation. There will be all sorts of unfitting realities in the intervening years. But not a one that will not be made right in Christ. Don’t go mad, go Biblical – in the hope that is to be brought to us at the revelation of Jesus Christ.