The righteous person is delivered out of trouble,
and the wicked turns up in his stead.
Remember to good ole days when we watched cartoons on Saturday morning. I don’t know about you, but many of the cartoons we watched as kids were Looney Toons, and some of my favorites were Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner. That crazy coyote was always setting traps to catch the road runner, but was never able to do so. There was all this trouble that the Road Runner was supposed to get into which would ultimately cost him his life, but somehow it always came back on the Coyote. Whether it was an anvil, a piano, a train or an explosive, the trouble the Road runner was supposed to get was always the trouble that the Coyote would get into.
That’s kind of the idea we get with today’s proverb. The righteous person gets delivered from the trouble that is intended for him and instead it gets delivered on the wicked person. The traps that are set for the righteous person are the traps that the wicked get caught in. The traps that it seems the righteous would walk right into, the righteous are protected from them and the wicked stumble upon them instead.
This is great news if you are trying to be righteous. If you are trying to live the Proverbious life, it’s great to know that there is protection for you in doing so.
This is bad news if you are a wicked person. This means that the trouble that seems like it should go the way of a righteous person is going to come on you. Maybe not literally, but that’s also a possibility.
In general though, I think what is being communicated is that when you are righteous, you are growing in your awareness of all of life. That means you are growing in your awareness of trouble and how to avoid it.
When you are not living rightly, you are just stumbling around, letting life take you where it may. When you live this way, you are going to find yourselves in a trap from time to time. And, like we have discussed in the past, it could very well be a trap you set for yourself.