Falling to Stand
“A righteous man (woman) falls seven times and rises again But the wicked shall fall by calamity.”
Strong words from Proverbs 24:16, the extra emphasis is mine. Yet I fall, I WILL arise! It is not only a promise but a declaration: The Godly KEEP GETTING UP! There have been times I felt guilt because I did get up, brush myself off and begin to start again, due to philosophies that state: “O you need to stay down for awhile, there is penitence to pay.”
I am in the process of learning the ART (if you will) of “falling”. Yes, the fall is always to be avoided, yet I am human ~ of a fallen race. There is purpose, and there is a lesson to learn in my mis-steps in this walk called life before God.
This verse displays the difference between the Godly person who falls and that of the ungodly. At a quick glance it states they both fall, which is true BUT it is HOW they fall that makes ALL the difference (apologies to my editor, I really NEED to emphasize here with all the capital letters.)
The author of Proverbs paints an outstanding picture; he actually uses two different words to describe the ‘fall’. The righteous man falls as to prostrate oneself, literally meaning as to present, (in the Hebrew). One example of this is found in 2 Chronicles 20:18 “Jehoshaphat bowed with his face to the ground and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the LORD.” We ARE going to make mistakes, poor choices WILL flow from our heart and mind, yet while we are in the midst of picking ourselves up, and being ‘picked up’ we are God honoring. Getting up with God! Our ‘rising’ is to stand, and stand again.
The wicked man described here faces a completely different scenario; the person was in the wrong, is in the wrong and has no intention of leaving the wrong. His fall means he falters, stumbles, is weak, and conveys a very negative failing. Literally he is down and choosing to stay down. His is a lifestyle of sin. There is no reaching out, taking the hand of God and surrendering in such a way as to be picked up. May I offer ~ they are so bound up, that there is no making room for God in their life. How sad.
“Seven times”, is it odd that the writer chose the number that runs throughout the bible emphasizing perfection/completion? I think it was dead on – could it mean that there comes a time and place that we AGAIN have run the process out, (aware of sin before God, grieve, repent, accept His love, grace and mercy). NOW is the PERFECT timing – in which we get up!
“The righteous man/woman falls…” Yes, EVEN those who are right before God, those who deeply desire God and God stuff they fall and will fall. There is no shame in it. In every account of human history (ONLY with the exception of Jesus the God man) do I see fallible mankind. We all have some form of weakness – failure that keeps our name listed among humanity. Abraham, Moses, Isaac, Jacob, David and Paul, John and Peter. Got to love Peter, to who was stated “Upon your confession, ‘You are the Christ the Son of the Living God’, will I build My church” – Jesus. (I paraphrase)
This man Peter was the most honest in his humanity of all in my opinion. His mouth ran ahead of his thoughts. He felt the grief of openly denying Jesus. Yet he was Peter and Jesus LOVED him and trusted him with the God stuff. THAT speaks volumes.
Though I am a Godly woman, I will make mistakes, fail – BUT I will arise! NOT in my own strength, but when I reach out and take Jesus’ hand and He pulls me up, while looking in His eyes, He is smiling!
It is in HOW we fall. Are we going to stay down? Or arise?
Falling to stand. AGAIN and AGAIN. God is so terribly GOOD isn’t He?
In Him, DeDe (Ps. 92:4 “You thrill me, LORD …”)