Though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again. Proverbs 24:16
Olympic runner Ryan Hall is the US record-holder for the half marathon. He completed the event distance of 13.1 miles (21 kilometers) in a remarkable time of fifty-nine minutes and forty-three seconds, making him the first US athlete to run the race in under one hour. While Hall has celebrated record-setting victories, he’s also known the disappointment of not being able to finish a race.
Having tasted both success and failure, Hall credits his faith in Jesus for sustaining him. One of his favorite Bible verses is an encouraging reminder from the book of Proverbs that “though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again” (24:16). This proverb reminds us that the righteous, those who trust in and have a right relationship with God, will still experience difficulties and hardships. However, as they continue to seek Him even in the midst of difficulty, God is faithful to give them the strength to rise again.
Have you recently experienced a devastating disappointment or failure and feel like you’ll never recover? Scripture encourages us not to rely on our strength but to continue to put our confidence in God and His promises. As we trust Him, God’s Spirit gives us strength for every difficulty we encounter in this life, from the seemingly mundane to significant struggles (2 Corinthians 12:9).
How has God strengthened you after a difficult disappointment? How does that give you encouragement for the struggles you face today?
Heavenly Father, thank You that in every trial and disappointment You’re always close, offering comfort and strength to help me rise again.
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Proverbs 24:15–18 contains two “sayings”—Saying 27 (vv. 15–16) and Saying 28 (vv. 17–18)—from a collection of thirty sayings ascribed to “the wise” (22:17–24:22). The warning in Saying 27 against attacking the righteous illustrates a key theme in Proverbs: the self-destructive nature of sin and evil. Because God has woven wisdom and goodness into the fabric of reality, to live as the righteous do is to align with the way creation is designed to flourish. Choosing evil, on the other hand, is to work against the grain of God’s world in a way that is unavoidably self-destructive.
For that reason, Saying 27 teaches that seeking to destroy the righteous is a futile ambition. Even if the righteous suffer temporarily, good will ultimately always triumph over evil. “Though the righteous fall seven times [the number seven symbolizing many times], they rise again” (v. 16).