When calamity comes, the wicked are brought down, but even in death the righteous seek refuge in God.
This wise saying is about two common characters in Proverbs – “the wicked” and “the righteous.” The focus of this verse is the adversity of life for both.
“When calamity comes, the wicked” really have very little in their lives that is rock-solid to which they can grab hold. Under such circumstances they are “brought down.”
But stuff happens in the lives of “the righteous,” too. Possibly the greatest calamity of all – death – is not something to fight against or fear for them. Instead, in death they “seek refuge in God.”
Whatever the linguistics intricacies of this phrase, the reality is that in death the “righteous” are solidly connected to the Almighty. Whether in their soul as they approach death or in their soul after death – they have what they need.
The truth is that adverse times come into all our lives. At issue is this: to what are we connected that can sustain and empower us; or the lack thereof – leaving us alone to be tossed to and fro.
Of course, the good news is that such a supernatural hook-up doesn’t just kick in at the point of death. Based on our relationship with God, we can expect His presence and support all through life.
It should feel something like the last part of the Serenity Prayer:
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with You forever in the next
For more on the complete Serenity Prayer, see: