Falling and Stumbling Into the Arms of Love
Lie not in wait as a wicked man against the dwelling of the righteous; do no violence to his home; for the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity.
In context this proverb is a warning to the wicked to leave the righteous alone, for no matter what befalls the righteous they will always recover. Thus it is futile to plot against them, their defeat will always be temporary, they will ultimately rise again.
What I want to highlight is the phrase, "for the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity." The number seven represents completion in the Bible. Therefore this passage is communicating that though the righteous may fall utterly and completely, with a great and mighty fall, they will inevitably rise again.
The righteous are those who have found refuge in YHVH. They are those planted on the banks of the overflowing river of God's faithful presence. The have set their hope in Him, they have found security in Him and Him alone. Their rising time and time again after every fall is wrought in the power of divine compassion and not in the power or the cunning of the righteous themselves. It is the Fatherly care of God that ensures that no matter how great the fall, no matter how devastating, they will indeed rise again.
It is not that we, the children of God, are resilient, nor is it that we have been trained in perseverance, rather we are guarded by one who is jealous for us. One whose heart is fixed on us, compelled by divine compassion, and willing to do whatever it takes to ensure our vindication, justice, and freedom. The righteous are those who live under the care of their Shepherd, the One who guards the gate and wrestles with hungry predators in order to keep them safe.
My King and my Refuge has covered me with the surety of His furious affection. Though my feet may slip, and again my fall is broken by the jagged and ruthless pavement, His grace will sustain me. See, being a Christian means living under the protective care of our Father. We all slip, stumble, and fall. At times it is the road we are on, spotted with potholes and dangers that leap out at us from every angle. While at other times it is our own clumsiness that throws us to the ground. No matter if my fall is the result of external violence waged against me, or internal violence I have brought upon my own head, my battered and bruised body is lifted up, nurtured, and restored by the hands of my Lover.