Truth for Life; Alistair Begg – The Hope of the Righteous

The hope of the righteous brings joy, but the expectation of the wicked will perish.

Proverbs 10:28

There’s a prevailing notion in contemporary Western culture that death is the great equalizer—that no matter what you’ve believed or what you’ve done or haven’t done, it will all be evened out when we die. The Bible says that this is not the case—that it is the righteous alone who can look forward to discovering that in God’s “presence there is fullness of joy” and that at His “right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11).

In the book of Esther, we can see the contrast between the hope of the righteous and the expectation of the wicked. Following counsel from his wife and friends, Haman decided to build a gallows that could hang the man who annoyed him most, Mordecai (Esther 5:14). The next day, however, Haman went back to his wife and that same group of friends and told them how the king had made him lead Mordecai through the streets to honor him. His confidants quickly went from coming up with an idea that pleased Haman to offering these sobering words: “If Mordecai, before whom you have begun to fall, is of the Jewish people, you will not overcome him but will surely fall before him” (6:13). While Haman had expected to be exalted and to see his enemy defeated, his friends seemed to recognize that his wicked plans were failing and that God’s purposes would be fulfilled for His people.

In the night between these conversations, Mordecai was presumably asleep. The threat of death was hanging over his head—but he was blissfully ignorant of his probable doom. Yet even if he had known what Haman had planned for him, Mordecai still had no means of intervening to save himself. His only hope was the providence of God—and that hope alone would have been enough to bring him peace.

It turned out that, in the event, Haman had to unwillingly declare Mordecai’s honor. He wasn’t happy about it. Similarly, the Bible says that on the day of Christ’s return, when every knee will bow before Jesus Christ and declare Him to be Lord (Philippians 2:10-11), some will bow unwillingly while others will bow rejoicing. In other words, as with Haman, “the expectation of the wicked will perish,” but “the hope of the righteous” will carry on for all eternity.

If you have trusted in Christ and received His righteousness as your own, you can bow before Him with great joy as your Savior and friend, as well as your Lord. With this hope, you have every reason to rest peacefully, for you can joyfully look forward—even through tears, pain, disappointment, and regret—to being in God’s presence forevermore.

Questions for Thought

How is God calling me to think differently?

How is God reordering my heart’s affections — what I love?

What is God calling me to do as I go about my day today?

Further Reading

Luke 23:32-43

Topics: Hope Justice Sovereignty of God

Devotional material is taken from the Truth For Life daily devotional by Alistair Begg,

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