For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.
The prosperity of fools shall destroy them. Few men fear prosperity; but if they had enough wisdom to know their own weakness, they would see that there was nothing which they had so much reason to dread. We approach the truth of the text by seeing -
I. THAT IT IS IN OUR HUMAN NATURE TO ASPIRE TO PROSPERITY AND TO STRIVE AFTER IT. The Author of our nature has made us hunger fur success as the food of the soul.
II. THAT THE PROSPERITY OF THE WISE IS AN EMINENTLY DESIRABLE THING. For it
(1) will do them no harm, and
(2) will multiply their influence for good.
III. THAT THE PROSPERITY OF THE FOOLISH IS A CALAMITOUS THING.
1. It results in ruin to other people - often their temporal, still more often their spiritual, ruin.
2. It ends in their own destruction. It leads down to death; for:
(1) It fosters pride, and "pride comes before a fall."
(2) It ministers to passion, and passion conducts to the grave in every sense.
(3) It induces worldliness, and the man who loses himself in the cares, engagements, and excitements of the world is "dead while he lives." The conclusion of the matter is this:
1. Let those to whom God has denied prosperity cheerfully accept their lowliness. In their humble position they are comparatively safe. They live where many arrows of destruction do not fly.
2. Let those who have attained prosperity ever recognize that the post of honour and of power is the place of danger, and that they need peculiar grace from God that they may not fall,
3. Let those who are being injured by their prosperity beware lest they go down fast to utter and irretrievable ruin. - C.
Parallel VersesKJV: For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.