Even the Wicked
“The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble,” says the writer of the sixteenth Proverb. I am always tickled when a Biblical writer reads my mind. “The Lord has made everything for its purpose.” Everything? I ask. What about the evil in the world? I suppose the writer had the same question. He assumed it. So he must have had it before. Thus, he answers, and there is no need for us to question, “Yes, everything, even the wicked for the day of trouble.”
This was in my daily reading this morning and it really made me think. The first part of the verse (16:4) says that everything that is made was made by the Lord for a purpose. The word “its” refers to the object made. In other words, what God made has a purpose in its making. The grass was made to for the purpose that grass serves. The clouds were made for the purpose that clouds serve. Animals, molecules, scientific laws are all made for the purpose that they all serve. The same is true of all God’s creation, including people.
Of course, no thing has a purpose other than that for which it was made. And so the Maker of all things also made the purpose of all things when He made them. So the purpose is ultimately the purpose of the Maker. This is not to mean that the Maker is purposed as they are, but that the things the Maker makes have the purpose that the Maker desires. For this reason, some translations have the purpose for God like the King James Version which reads, “The LORD has made all things for himself.”
So, if the Lord made everything and the purpose of everything, then everything will ultimately serve Him in the way that He has made them to serve. This begs the question, “What about the wicked?” We wonder that because deep down inside we think that evil cannot glorify God who is good. But the oppostie is true.
God is glorified in the punishment of evil. This is called justice. It is an attribute of God. So, God has made some things to serve His purpose by glorifying him in showing off His great justice and holiness. The author wrote, “even the wicked [were made] for the day of trouble.”
Wicked people do wicked things. When they do wicked things, it is proverbially called, “the day of trouble.” Each day is the day of trouble because trouble is always happening. But the writer is referring to the troubling thing that the wicked do and saying that the wicked was made for such a moment.
Matthew Henry had this to say about this proverb:
Note, 1. That God is the first cause. He is the former of all things and all persons, the fountain of being; he gave every creature the being it has and appointed it its place. Even the wicked are his creatures, though they are rebels; he gave them those powers with which they fight against him, which aggravates their wickedness, that they will not let him that made them rule them, and therefore, though he made them, he will not save them. 2. That God is the last end. All is of him and from him, and therefore all is to him and for him. He made all according to his will and for his praise; he designed to serve his own purposes by all his creatures, and he will not fail of his designs; all are his servants. The wicked he is not glorified by, but he will be glorified upon. He makes no man wicked, but he made those who he foresaw would be wicked: yet he made them (Gen. 6:6), because he knew how to get himself honour upon them. See Rom. 9:22. Or (as some understand it) he made the wicked to be employed by him as the instruments of his wrath in the day of evil, when he brings judgments on the world. He makes some use even of wicked men, as of other things, to be his sword, his hand (Ps. 17:13, 14), flagellum Dei-the scourge of God. The king of Babylon is called his servant.
Let us remember then, that our Lord (by definition of who He is) made everything even the wicked for His purpose. What a mighty God we serve!