“For though a righteous man may fall seven times, he still gets up; but the wicked stumble in bad times.”Proverbs 24:1
This proverb provides great comfort to believers in Jesus Christ. What the proverb is saying is that the righteous fall into troubles, just as the ungodly. The verse is not speaking about moral failure. However, the righteous (those in Christ) get up. God pulls us back up so that we can persevere through the trouble, no matter how many times life assails us. As for the ungodly, they have no assurance that they will withstand the trials of life.
Seven is important
For this verse, God could have said six times. Six is the number typically associated with humanity because God created man and woman on the sixth day of creation. But God used the number seven, a number typically associated with perfection or completion.
In Genesis, chapter one, we find that God finished His creation and rested on the seventh day. In Deuteronomy 5:12, we find that God made it a law to set aside the seventh day as a holy day of rest. God told Joshua to have the Israelites march around the city of Jericho seven times (Joshua 6:3–4). And when Peter asked Jesus how many times he had to forgive his brother, “Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times. “
So, God is telling us something in addition to the plain reading of Proverbs 24:1. The overt meaning is that righteous people fall into troubles, and they get back up! There’s an astonishing message from God in 2 Corinthians 5:21. It states, “For our sake he made him [Jesus] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him [Jesus] we might become the righteousness of God.“
Therefore, as believers, we are in Christ Jesus and are seen by God as righteous, so we meet the “righteous” qualification. And here is what God is telling us with the number seven, He is telling us that God will get us back up every time we get knocked down by troubles or fall into calamities. The number seven means “completeness,” so, “Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. (Isaiah 59:1)
The world may knock us down. We may be on the canvass or the ropes, but we aren’t going to stay there forever. Every time the enemy thinks he has given us a knock-out blow, we will get back up. Rest in God’s Word, for He said: “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5b)
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