04 February, 2017

Proverbs 3:33—“The curse of the LORD is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just”

The curse of the LORD is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just (Prov. 3:33).

This particular passage of Scripture, among others, poses a problem for the theory of common grace, which posits that the “benefits” of this world (aka, sunshine, rainfall, prosperity, happiness, health, etc) are signs of God’s “favour” towards the recipients, and His “blessing” of them.
Proverbs 3:33 clearly presents God’s “blessing” as strictly particular, whereas His “curse” is upon the rest.


Prof. Herman C. Hanko

[Source: Common Grace Considered, pp. 108-109 (2019 edition)]

The curse of the Lord is in the house of the wicked—that is, the curse of the Lord is with the wicked in everything that happens to them. They eat and drink the curse of the Lord. The curse accompanies them into their sitting room and bedroom and is upon all they do in these rooms. The curse of the Lord comes along with the husband when he brings his wages home. The curse of the Lord is in the work of the mother, going about taking care of the house and preparing to satisfy the needs of her husband and children. If they live in a castle or in a hut, the curse is there. If their home is turned into a hospital-ward or a palace, the curse of the Lord is there. All the experiences through which the wicked pass are curses. All they possess and use in their daily lives are curses. Nothing but curse is upon them, for the curse of the Lord is in their house.
But the opposite is true of the righteous. Always blessing is in their habitation. If they are prosperous, it is the blessing of God. If they are poor, their poverty is sent because God loves them. If the family returns sorrowing from the cemetery, their grief is the direct fruit of God’s tender care of them. If trouble and sickness come their way, God’s blessing is not only in spite of the trouble, but through and by means of the trouble. All is curse for the wicked; all is blessing for the righteous. All this is taught us in the sacred Scriptures and we must take hold of it by faith.
It can be said without exaggeration that Proverbs 3:33 sums up the entire scriptural teaching on this matter of our pathway in life. All Scripture testifies of the same truth.



Herman Hoeksema (1886-1965)

[Source: Protestant Reformed Theological Journal, vol. 2, no. 1, (Dec. 1968)]

Again “the just” and “the wicked” are contrasted. Corresponding to this contrast is “to bless” and “to curse.” The idea of the text is that Jehovah’s curse, his damning power, dwells in the house of the wicked. No matter how that house may appear, the curse of Jehovah dwells in it. But the dwelling place of the righteous is the home of God’s blessing.

There is no exception to this text. Wherever you have the house of the wicked, however right and abundant it may appear, there you have the curse of Jehovah; and wherever the righteous dwell, in whatever circumstances you may meet them, there is Jehovah’s blessing. Again I ask, where is common grace?



More to come! (DV)

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