Proverbs 24:1-2 Dissected & Defined
Be not thou envious against evil men, neither desire to be with them. For their heart studieth destruction, and their lips talk of mischief.
Dissected & Defined
Envious is a desire to possess that which belongs to another. Studieth is to set the mind upon a subject. Destruction is to demolish. Mischief is damage by design.
This verse appears to discuss our interaction with bad people. That is good advice. But if Solomon’s proverbs must begin at such elementary logic as this, they would not be very applicable to most of us.
Who is Solomon Calling Evil?
Rather, the “underlying meaning” in this verse is found in the description of those whom Solomon is calling evil. It is not someone who is overtly wicked or miserable in their drive to thrive.
Rather, he describes these wicked people as men whose heart studieth destruction and speak of mischief. Realizing that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh, we can conclude that this evil man is discussing his mischief because it is pouring out of an abundance of destructive thoughts.
Mischief is damage done by design. If he is talking mischief, it indicates this designed damaged was first dwelt on in his heart to such a degree that it became abundant and began to spill out in his conversations. There is no indication that these evil thoughts are for others. They are usually designs that lead to one’s own self destruction!
Solomon is teaching that people who are thinking destructive designs will eventually begin to speak of destructive designs. Over time, they will act upon them!
Do not envy these people?! Why would we? It’s very simple. These evil people could be us! As believers we possess two natures: the natural (which thinks evil) and the supernatural (that possesses the mind of Christ). Only believers are double minded. And when we are, it is because we are thinking designer thoughts that will destroy, but before those designs could destroy someone else, they will probably destroy us.