"Therefore, his calamity will come suddenly; instantly he will be broken and there will be no healing"
Solomon spends four verses on describing the wicked, morally degenerate person. In this verse, he describes the nature and speed of his demise.
This is two Hebrew words al and can which both mean results and can both be translated as therefore. It is clear through the use of both words that Solomon is trying to direct us to the consequences of this type of person. They do not just go merrily along without incident. God brings results into their lives based upon the moral wickedness they have been involved in.
It is important to realize that we live in a moral universe where moral choices bring consequences. Some have tried to hide that under scientific nonsense, but choices make a big difference. It does make a difference whether you choose to swear; whether you choose to be faithful to your spouse; whether you choose to steal, embezzle, lie, and plot to take other peoples’ possessions.
This is the Hebrew word ed which means destruction, ruin, disaster, calamity, vengeance, trouble. It is regularly used as the time or day of reckoning or time of payback for their behavior. Unfortunately, we have developed a society that has forgotten that what goes around comes around; that whatever a man sows that shall he also reap. We have abandoned the idea of consequences for a random universe in which if no one stops you, you have gotten away with it. And if you can get away with it, then it is okay and even right. This is a far cry from the universe that God actually built, and we are fooling ourselves and storing up wrath and destruction for ourselves.
We must return again to a more accurate understanding of the interactions and reactions of the whole fabric of the universe that we live in – that morality and our choices count significantly and that it pays to stay within the boundaries.
The idea here is of trouble and paybacks that are so severe that there will be no rebuilding. There will be no ability, desire, or raw material to start again.
Now it is important to say that there is always room for repentance even after the consequences have landed and broken the person, company, and organization. In fact, repentance is one of the reasons that God has directed the calamity to fall.
Now some have been troubled that they do not always see the wicked receive their calamity and so, therefore, there is no God or justice in this world. The consequences of sin and the moral payback may be hidden from your view, or it may be to some degree at Judgment Day when there will certainly be no healing. But there will be moral balance obtained. It is much like a science experiment where a vacuum is created. It may be maintained for a period at great trouble and even expense; but if there is one mistake, air will rush in and balance this imbalance and destroy your experiment. Nature abhors a vacuum. In the same way, some have built and maintained a morally bankrupt life in which profits and pleasures flow toward themselves. This is maintained at great cost and energy. If a mistake is made in the system of elaborate involvements, then moral order will be restored – often violently.
This is the Hebrew word pithom which means sudden, suddenly, surprisingly. The proverb in the original reads: Therefore - Therefore suddenly. Which puts a huge emphasis upon the results and the swiftness of the results. It was not expected.
The idea seems to be that the morally wicked person is living their life of shortcuts and bad moral choices and then without warning, something happens and it is all over. The Bible does not spell out particular judgments but instead just says calamities or destruction. The emphasis is upon it coming out of the blue. There is not a long, slow lead-up. It just nails them.
This is the Hebrew word sabar which means to break, to break into pieces. The idea here is the pieces and the breaking. It is not just a stopping or consequences that causes the person to go another way. This idea is that the mechanism or life that they have used to accomplish the evil they are guilty of is shattered. We have seen this kind of shattering with businesses that were corrupt to the core: cheating employees, shareholders, government. There have been a number of these types of investigations in the early parts of 2000. One only has to look at the Enron scandal.
I have seen the same devastation on a personal level in some divorces where a person's whole life is shattered. I have seen this level of destruction in criminal investigations and incarcerations. I have seen this level of shattering with bankruptcies. This, at times, ends in murder.
This is the Hebrew word marpe with a negative in front of it. It means healing and restoration. What the wicked have done brings a level of shattering in which healing, restoration, rebuilding is not possible. Their former life is shattered and unrecoverable. The level of their selfishness demands an end to their activities.
The lesson here: Do not become one of these people for the profits and pleasure you reap are only for a season, and then you will be shattered in an unrecoverable way.
Another lesson would seem, obviously, to not associate or get entangled with this type of person for their destruction may very well be your destruction.
A third lesson is to understand this type of person and the breaking that is coming; to spot this type of person and give them a wide berth.