Trust in God

Rabbi Morton Moskowitz

If someone flees and no one is chasing him, that is a wicked person. But the righteous are like young lions and they are secure (Proverbs 28:1)

Why does one flee without someone chasing him; what is he running from? Is a righteous person so perfect without any mistakes, that nothing can go wrong and no one will come after him? That’s egoistical and not righteous.

Metaphors are employed to provide something additional to what you would attain without the metaphor. What is added by “like a young lion?” (We refer to a lion in its prime, not an infant cub.) Young lions are secure because they have no predators. They have no animal above it in the food chain that they must fear. The same applies to the righteous person: he relates to the world realistically. While nature can harm wicked people, the righteous person follows natural law to comply with it and avert problems. And what is outside his control, he trusts in God. He accepts God’s will, be it good or bad. Therefore, the righteous person fears nothing. He knows how to deal with natural law and occurrences, and he trusts in God for all else that is outside of his control. 

There is nothing to fear, just like a young lion. That does that mean the righteous person is without mistakes or that there aren’t real problems, but he is not afraid. He addresses practical matters to the best of his abilities and trusts in God for that which is outside of his hands. And he accepts God’s will.

Why is the wicked person fleeing? The first step is that he is not relating to the physical world as reality. Instead, he has a subjective emotional view which he treats as real. His view may have very little to do with reality. He projects his subjective incorrect reality onto the world. For example, a cynic feels that all people act with evil motives: he says a good act is bad or is motivated by evil. The cynic truly acts only for himself. But as he cannot accept that poor self image, he projects his personality onto everyone else. Based on his view of others, he cannot have friends or relate to anyone. Similarly, wicked people create a certain philosophy. Most great tyrants felt that they were infallible. Dissenters are wrong and deserve death. Just as his intent is to destroy others who oppose him, he fears others seek to hurt him. The evil person flees from his fabricated reality. He becomes very frightened of the personalities he fabricated, and there may not be anyone chasing him.