Proverbs 17:1-16 | The Baseline

by | May 20, 2021

READ Proverbs 17:1-16

If anyone returns evil for good,
evil will never depart from his house. (Proverbs 17:13)

Proverbs 17:13 says that “if anyone returns evil for good, evil will never depart from his house.” This proverb would have hit home for its author, Solomon. If you can recall, Solomon was the son of King David. Although David was a great king, he committed an atrocious act. He had one of his loyal soldiers, Uriah, killed to cover up his adulterous relationship with that man’s spouse. As a result of this punishment, the Lord says through the prophet Nathan, “Now therefore, the sword will never leave your house because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hethite to be your own wife.”

Following these acts, David’s family was rocked by betrayal, rape, civil war, and murder. Solomon was born after David’s egregious sin, and he grew up after the prophet’s declaration. There are two lessons to be learned here. First, this proverb warns of the evil that can come on a family or a house when one returns evil for good. However, if we look at the New Testament, we see that this proverb is just a baseline.

This proverb teaches followers of God to not return evil for good. So if someone treats you well, don’t treat them poorly. But in the New Testament, Jesus takes this teaching further. In Matthew 5:43, Jesus doesn’t just say to not treat good people bad. He tells us to treat bad people good. He says, “love your enemies.” His reason for saying this is that it reflects God’s love. He doesn’t just love good people. God loves his enemies as well. You were an enemy of God that he decided to lavish with his love. So take that same experience that God has given you and show that to others.

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