12Wisdom will protect you
from evil schemes
and from those liars
13who turned from doing good
to live in the darkness.
14Most of all they enjoy
being mean and deceitful.
15They are dishonest themselves,
and so are all their deeds.
When I was still in my teens I had the misfortune of learning up close and personal just how evil humans could truly be. I witnessed a random murder of a young father at the hands of three young men over a senseless squabble at the bus stop. In that moment, I came to realize that despite all our assurances from society that humans are inherently good, the truth is that we all have sin’s infection, and many people have become truly evil.
Today we learn that Wisdom can protect us from falling into the schemes and traps set by evil hearts of our fellow humans. It might be a telemarketing scam, or a co-worker trying to set you up to look bad in the eye of a boss so they get a promotion instead of you. Whatever the case, the sad reality is that too often people enjoy being mean and hurtful. How many people cheat and steal to make their way through life?
It is important that we are wise enough to keep an eye out for the dark hearts of others. Wisdom does not blindly believe in or follow our fellow human beings. Watch others closely and listen to what the words of their heart betray. Protect yourself from harm by always comparing what is said or done to the Word of God. It is a compass that allows us to see through the schemes and protects us and our love ones from being tricked into opening ourselves up to attack. When we do this, we have no need to be paranoid, because we will be ready to face humanity’s inhumanity before we fall into calamity.
Wise God, who provides rain to both the just and unjust, you know and judge all hearts. Teach us to listen to your Word so that we may be protected from the evil hearts of others, and avoid their lies, treachery, and meanspirtedness. Through Jesus Christ, redeemer of sin, Amen.