No Rest for the Wicked

My mother often used the proverb, “There is no rest for the wicked” and I suppose that I picked it up from her.  Mom was full of idioms and proverbs.  Many a student of mine shook their heads wondering what some idiom I had just quoted meant.  It is just part of me.  Frankly, it seems I just can’t help myself from blurting out some little gem of homespun wisdom.

Yesterday I found the foundation for the aforementioned proverb.  Isaiah 48:22 states, “There is no peace, saith the Lord, unto the wicked.”  And it is repeated almost word for word in Isaiah 57:21. I suppose the words from the Bible were a bit distorted to be used as rest rather than peace in the 1930’s where I dug up an old comic strip with the title, “No Rest for the Wicked” by Harold Gray, cartoonist for Little Orphan Annie.

I know very little and don’t really want to know much, about the music of the 1980’s when a song of the same title is popularized.  One thing I do know for sure is that neighborhoods where crime abounds have no peace or rest.  Neither can those neighborhoods be changed by prosperity.  Rage, crime, and marital disenchantment can be cured only by the changed heart that is turned from wickedness to righteousness by the saving gospel of Jesus.

When I am settling down for a snooze and the phone rings, and I mutter, “there is no rest for the wicked; I must be very wicked. . .” as I pick up the call, perhaps my own heart will remember the words of Isaiah instead.  Isaiah gave me a new outlook yesterday. A better outlook. Coupled with the words of Jesus in John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, not as the world giveth give I unto you.  Let not your heart be troubled nor let it be afraid,” there is an overcoming peace and rest. In Jesus I can rest while I work and I am clothed in His righteousness for I have none of my own.




  1. Karyl, I too have tons of those homey sayings at the tip of my tongue. One of my sons told me that sometimes I use archaic expressions in my writing. I know. I’m not worried about it. People my age and older will understand 🙂

    • and the character building rhymes too! No doubt my grandkids will quote them in later life because my kids quote them too! “A place for everything; everything in its place” for instance. Thanks for the support, Linda.

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