Archive for the ‘Proverbs 17’ Category

This proverb highlights several benefits of keeping quiet: (1) It is the best policy if you have nothing worthwhile to say: (2) It allows you the opportunity to listen and learn; (3) It gives you something in common with those who are wiser.  Make sure to pause to think and to listen so that when you do speak, you will have something important to say. 

To be joyful is to be ready to greet others with a welcome, a word of encouragement, an enthusiasm for the task at hand, and a positive outlook on the future.  Such people are as welcome as pain-relieving medicine. 

While there is something to be said for having big dreams, this proverb points out the folly of chasing fantasies (having eyes that wander to “the ends of the earth,” see 12:11).  How much better to align your goals with God’s, being the kind of person, he wants you to be! Such goals (wisdom, honesty, patience, love) may not seem exciting, but they will determine your eternal future.  Take time to think about your dreams and goals, and make sure they cover the really important areas of life. 

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 17:11 An evil man is bent only on rebellion; a merciless official will be sent against him.

Rebellion is a terrible sin. It shows how arrogant, contrary, malicious, and willful man can be. God compares it to witchcraft (1 Sam 15:53). When you see it, you have found an evil man. These fools cannot submit to correction or government, so they must rebel. But the great God, the originator of all authority and rule, will have the last laugh. He will send just retribution against such rebels of present punishment and then eternal misery.

Reader, have you felt your soul bristle when others correct you? Do you find it necessary to question most things you are told to do? Which is more important to you – your rights or your duties? It is part of your foolish nature that does not want to be governed. Though you arrived utterly helpless and ignorant in this world, in just a few months you expect to be able to do as you wish without regard for the authority or wisdom of others.

Rebellion brought sin into the universe. The devil rebelled against his role in heaven – he wanted more (Jude 1:6). Adam condemned humanity to death – physical and eternal – by rebelling against God’s word in Eden. God burned up Sodom for rebelling against God and nature’s laws for man-woman sex. And he opened up the earth to swallow Korah for complaining against Moses (Num 16:1-34).

Rebellion is promoted from the top and bottom. At the top – a false concept of God as a begging weakling allows men to think they can reject Him and the Bible. At the bottom – permissive parents and flattering schools program children to rebel against any threat to their freedom. And in between, rulers legislate privilege and protection for rebellion and sedition – like labor unions and free speech – that keep the evil in motion.

This evil conspiracy creates widespread dysfunction. Women revolt against submission to husbands, wrecking marriages. Students defy teachers, causing classroom disorder. So-called patriots despise civil laws, promoting anarchy. Deacons overrule pastors, neutering their leadership. Women have short hair, men have long hair, rap is called music, Picasso is called an artist, piercing tongues is accepted, and adultery is called having an affair.

The Lord, the great God, will punish rebellion against His word or His authorities. He kept Moses from Canaan for rebelling against His command (Num 20:24) He describes civil rebels as comparable to diseased dogs needing to be put down (II Peter 2:10-12). Beware!

Reader, it is wisdom to learn obedience and submission today! The Bible clearly states your duties to God and men. Learn them, do them, and teach them to your children.

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 17:24 A discerning man keeps wisdom in view, but a fool’s eyes wander to the ends of the earth.

You have known fools. They bounce from one thing to another. They are excited with this and then that. They are always seeking happiness and success, which they never find. They love new things. They cannot focus on important matters. They are easily distracted from their duties like children. They look in strange places for answers. They dream. They talk a lot. They are not content. They are fickle, unsettled, and easily confused.

But a wise man is very different. He has understanding as the guide and rule of his conduct. He is focused on all aspects of life with the resolute purpose of keeping God’s commandments. He has not forgotten what he was taught, nor is he ignorant of the Scriptures. He searches the Bible for knowledge and wisdom, and he proves all things by it (Acts 17:11; I Thess 5:21). He is content with life and confident in most any dilemma.

Fools are often scorners – resenting correction and instruction – so they learn very little (Pr 14:6). A fool is so thrilled with foolishness that he avoids wisdom and understanding (Pr 15:14). A fool is so lazy that he never applies the diligence it takes to acquire wisdom, for he would rather enjoy and tell his own thoughts (Pr 18:1-2). Fools are often arrogant, which makes it impossible for them to identify and learn wisdom (Pr 26:12).

Wise men do not daydream or speculate. They would rather muse than be amused (Ps 143:5). They prefer meditation over imagination, instruction over recreation, and self-examination over self-actualization. They want truth, and they define it as God’s certain words in the Bible (Pr 22:17-21). They have no regard for man’s opinions (Ps 119:98-100). They do not have to look for wisdom, because they know it (Pr 14:6). They have it hid in their hearts (Ps 119:11,128), and they meditate on it day and night (Ps 1:3).

You arrived on earth knowing nothing. You are here a short time, and your whole duty is to fear God and keep His commandments (Eccl 12:13-14). Your flesh, the sinfully depraved part of your being, sees with the lust of the eyes (I John 2:15-17). Satan and the world offer many things to see (Luke 4:5-7). The fool gives in to his lusts and wastes his life chasing illusions. But David prayed to be saved from looking at vanity (Ps 119:37)!

It is foolish to spend your life craving something better, while you race toward something bitter – death! Godliness with contentment is great gain (I Tim 6:6). You cannot beat this simple rule for a successful life. Godliness is living prudently with wisdom as your great pursuit (Pr 4:5-9; 8:17). Contentment is appreciation for God being your friend and trusting Him for the things you have as being best (Heb 13:5-6). But fools must dream!

The fool is always seeking greener pastures near and far. His mind is an open sieve, receiving much froth from vain ideas and retaining nothing of value. Solomon warned of the vanity and vexation of a wandering desire (Eccl 6:9). But the fool would rather study U.N. politics, Ben Spock child training hallucinations, practice yoga, or watch lifestyles of the rich and famous on television than apply God’s word to the salvation of his family.

The fool’s mantra is, “I live life with an open mind.” His mind is so open that anything can fly in and nothing of value will stay. The world sends a steady stream of advertising, fads, public opinion, peer pressure, questions, and other forms of manipulation to bend his mind to the will of Satan, who grins with wicked glee at his foolish mantra that gives the father of lies entrance to his soul. Seal your mind with God’s word (Ps 119:128)!

There are important goals for life, and there are foolish wastes of life. Knowledge is better than ignorance, wisdom than folly, righteousness than wickedness, heaven than hell, and God than man. While Martha was worried about distracting details, Mary knew the one thing needful for her life was hearing instruction from the Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 10:38-42). Reader, how would the Saviour classify you? Like Martha? Or Mary?

In order to save you from yourself and your wandering desire, the Lord of heaven has called, prepared, and sent men to be pastors and teachers (Ps 68:18; Eccl 12:8-14; Jer 3:15; Mal 2:7; Eph 4:8-12; II Tim 3:16-17). What is their job? Not social work! Not administration! Not weddings and funerals! Not monasteries! Not stuffy theological work! Their job is to keep your eyes in your head and your heart in the truth: they will perfect you from being tossed to and fro like the fool (Eph 4:13-14; Col 1:28-29).

Have you searched for one of these men? Can you submit to his instruction about the true priorities of life? If you can, you will be full of understanding, and wisdom is directly before you. He will reject foolish and unlearned questions, for he wants you settled in the faith once delivered to the saints. He will work with the Spirit of God to conform your every imagination and thought to the inspired and infallible words of God (II Cor 10:4-6).

But can you stay focused for the one or two hours a week of his instruction? Most cannot. Jesus Christ described them as wayside hearers. The preaching finds no lodging place in their unprepared minds and hearts, and the devil quickly takes it away. They leave every church assembly more ignorant than before. Literally! Read it (Luke 8:12,18)!

Because fools dislike insistence on correction, instruction, reproofs, and warnings, they look for flattering teachers. They want teachers to entertain them with fables and help them explore the cesspools of human imagination and education (Is 30:8-11; I Tim 6:3-5,20-21; II Tim 4:3-4). Oh, how they love such junk! Teach me more, they cry! But God has promised to send them strong delusion to believe a lie (II Thess 2:9-12; II Tim 3:6-7).

Reader, you have a choice. It is a serious choice. You are reading one of many offers of wisdom in the Bible. God has again approached you with His word to make you wise. It is right in front of you, if you have an understanding heart. It is disgusting, if your eyes prefer the ends of the earth. Eliminate any distractions and seek wisdom (Pr 4:7; 18:1).

Under Gods Command 

Proverbs 17:01 – Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife.

It is nice to get off at times and be by yourself. How many of us married folk don’t take time out for each other because of the distractions of this world, friends, work, kids, pets, in-laws and cell phone. Sometime we need to send the kids off, get rid of the pets, turn the cell phone off, cut the in-laws out for a while, and go take a ride somewhere just to get some quietness and rest. If it’s just going out on the patio, or going for a walk, tell your spouse to “Come on out here, and let’s sit down together and get acquainted with each other. Some of us been married for a long time, and it’s time we get re-acquainted. It’s a good thing for us to do. God wants us to have times like that. They are very important for our spiritual refreshment.

What could the wisest man on earth charge per hour for specific advice for your life? $500 an hour? $5,000 an hour? But here is God’s inspired wisdom by King Solomon free of charge! What a glorious blessing, if you will consider and learn from this true proverb.

As in many proverbs, the parallelism contrasts two things – the right against the wrong. A dry morsel could be saltine crackers and a house full of sacrifices a filet mignon dinner with all the trappings. Since some sacrifices, the best of their flocks and herds, were eaten by the people, Solomon described here the very best food in great and free abundance.

Quietness is not noise level, but rather lack of trouble, fighting, travail, and vexation. It is contrasted with strife. It is a state of calm, peace, rest, and security (Pr 1:33; Judges 18:7; II Chr 20:30; Job 3:13; 21:23; 34:9; Ps 107:28-30; Eccl 4:6; Ezek 16:42). In a sister proverb, the contrast is between love and hatred, which helps explain this one (Pr 15:17).

The Preacher Solomon taught that saltine crackers in a calm and peaceful home are superior to a filet mignon dinner with a tense and unhappy family. Here is wisdom to direct your priorities. More emphasis, time, effort, money, and value should be placed on peace and love in a family than the securing of food and things for the family. But this choice runs totally contrary to this carnal, covetous, greedy, and materialistic generation.

Profane Americans say, “He who dies with the most toys wins.” But your Creator tells you, “He who lives a godly life content with what he has wins” (I Tim 6:6; Heb 13:5). Here is a choice – do you follow the profane American to hell or God to heaven? Do you live the life of vanity and vexation of spirit this society promotes? Or do you choose the wise man’s priority, knowing he had already tested both ways by divine providence?

Two people in love can be happy, peaceful, and contented sharing peanut butter crackers, as dating couples know; and two people can be miserable in the middle of luxury when differences and bitterness have crept in. Will you work to save your relationships?

What causes tension, stress, and trouble in a home? An overbearing woman is one of the greatest culprits (Pr 7:11; 9:13; 12:4; 19:13; 21:9,19; 25:24; 27:15-16; 30:21-23). She talks too much, criticizes too much, corrects too much, argues too much, suggests too much, and all in all turns life into hell. Every godly woman must hate these tendencies in herself and others; and every husband must rule and train his wife to be free of them.

Scorners will ruin a home’s peace (Pr 16:19,28; 22:10; 26:20-21). What is a scorner? A haughty fool who arrogantly despises correction and disrespects authority. They should be corrected with the rod and reproof or removed from the home (Pr 26:3; 22:10; 24:9).

A fool in a home will ruin its peace, because that filet mignon meal will only fuel his foolish thinking and talking (Pr 31:21-23; Eccl 10:12-15). How many parents have had their peace stolen by foolish children (Pr 10:1; 17:25)?  Foolishness is bound in the heart of children, but the rod and reproof will surely and always correct it (Pr 22:15; 29:15,17).

An angry person who presses issues ruins the peace of a home (Pr 15:18; 26:21; 29:22; 30:33). So the rule of ending all wrath before sunset must be followed and enforced (Eph 4:26). Let every man and woman be slow to anger (Pr 14:29; 15:18; 16:32; Jas 1:19).

Bitterness will ruin a home’s tranquility, for it is from hell and the source of confusion and every evil work (Jas 3:14-16). The commandment is clear – put away all bitterness, especially husbands (Eph 4:31-32; Col 3:19). For godly wisdom from heaven is peaceable, gentle, easy to be intreated, and loves to make peace (Jas 3:17-18).

Discontentment creates perpetual frustration, so that even a filet mignon dinner cannot bring peace and calm. The covetous and greedy man is always looking for more, and he is in a constant state of agitation thinking about it (Eccl 5:10; II Sam 13:1-2). And even if he were to get more, he would still wish and grieve for yet more in just minutes!

A family with a moody parent (or worse yet, two of them) is doomed, for such weak and wicked people set the tone in the house and at dinner by whatever foolish mood they have allowed to overwhelm their soul (Pr 25:28). Joy is a command (Phil 4:4; I Thess 5:16)!

A good man can destroy all these enemies of a peaceful home, for he will be a godly example of peace and joy, and he will enforce peace and joy on the rest of the family. What a blessing for a wife and children to have such a man ruling their home! May the Lord raise up such men in this effeminate and frustrated generation!

Paul gave an excellent summary of the love and peace that ought to characterize the lives of Christians, and he gave the means to obtain them (Col 3:12-15). With such peace and joy as the basis, life can be a perpetual feast, regardless of what is on the table (Pr 15:15).

You must remember success is not more things, but contentment with the things you have (I Tim 6:6). Save yourself from a generation deceived by the lie that gain is godliness and happiness. You can learn to be content regardless of the fare at dinner (Phil 4:11-12).

Where will you put your emphasis, time, effort, money, and value? On things? Or on godliness and contentment regardless of things? Now train your children to do the same!

This proverb applies as well to the church of Jesus Christ. A church at peace, regardless of circumstances, is superior to a church with strife, though basking in luxury or growth. It is your duty to endeavor to maintain church unity in the bond of peace (Eph 4:3).

Please remember that these emails are going to over 100 people.  I used BCC to keep your email address private.  I just want to share my own personal walk with you, and yes, please hold me accountable for my actions.   I love you all with the love of Jesus and there is nothing that you can do about it. 

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 17:13 If a man pays back evil for good, evil will never leave his house 

It is sin to repay evil for evil, for vengeance belongs to God (Rom 12:17; I Thess 5:15; I Pet 3:9). But it is even worse to repay evil for good, for that shows a brutish and devilish heart. The consequences for such vile conduct are certain – God will severely judge you with perpetual trouble. It is your duty and privilege to return goodness for goodness.

There are two lessons here. First, you should soberly consider all those that have treated you well in your life. Have you honored them? Have you kindly rewarded their goodness? Second, you should consider those that have despised your goodness. Do not contemplate personal vengeance. God will grind them for you, and the Lord grinds best.

Noah, a godly father, saved his son Ham and Ham’s wife from the Flood by his personal righteousness (Gen 6:8-10; 7:1). But when Ham sinned against his father, his family tree was perpetually cursed (Gen 9:18-27). Beware reader, the Lord will grind such men.

David killed Goliath for timid Saul and served him well (I Sam 17:50-53; 18:5). But Saul was jealous of this godly man and tried to kill him, so God destroyed Saul’s family and gave the ruling power to the tribe of Judah (I Sam 19:1; 25:28-31; II Sam 6:21). Much of his reign was ruined by the envy that consumed his soul and left him hopeless in the end.

David kindly protected Nabal’s sheep and shepherds (I Sa 25:4-17). When Nabal rejected an honorable request from David, God let him suffer for ten days before killing him and giving his beautiful widow to David (I Sam 25:36-42). Consider your benefactors!

The Lord Jesus befriended and honored Judas Iscariot as one of His twelve apostles. But Judas chose to betray Jesus for a few pieces of silver, so the blessed and holy God dashed his bowels and blood across the potter’s field (Acts 1:18-19; Ps 109:1-20). Both David and Jesus encountered many such traitors in their lives (Ps 35:12; 38:20; 55:12-15).

Jesus Christ was Israel’s Messiah. He preached truth and healed all that came to Him for three years. But the Jews wickedly crucified Him, so God brought Roman armies in 70 A.D. to demolish their nation (Matt 21:44; 22:7; Luke 19:42-44). The Lord grinds best.

Is the warning too harsh? You have not rightly considered the crime. To repay evil for good is profanely selfish; it is beastly and despicable; it reveals a heart black with ungratefulness; it deserves severe judgment. Consider Jeremiah’s hard prayer for God’s vengeance on the Jews persecuting him for preaching the truth (Jer 18:18-23).

Jesus told His apostles to judge every house and city they entered. If the city neglected their gospel, they were to shake off the dust of their shoes against that city. In the Day of Judgment, Jesus promised to be more merciful to Sodom and Gomorrah (Matt 10:12-15).

Now reader, it is your turn! Do you reward evil for good to those who have treated you kindly and well? Every time someone does something good for you, there is a debt created for your kindness in return. Do you pay your debts of care and kindness? Do not get unduly angry against Saul, Nabal, Judas, and the Jews. Try some self-examination!

Have you rewarded your parents for the love, time, effort, and expense they invested in you, while you were demanding food, dirtying yourself, and then giving them teenage nightmares? When was the last time you took them out to eat? Wrote them and thanked them for being great parents? Bought them a gift? Spent a little on them in some way?

Have you matched your spouse in affection and companionship? Have you honored your employer for hiring you? Have you compensated your pastor for teaching you the truth? Do you praise policemen for protecting you at night? Do you reward good neighbors for making life pleasant? Do you thank your children for taking their time to visit you?

Teenager! One of the vilest criminals in the world is a child who disrespects and rebels against his parents. After all they have done for you, how can you possibly mistreat them in the slightest way? You should be honoring them like a king and queen. You deserve to die a painful death (Ex 21:15,17; Lev 20:9; Deut 21:18-21; 27:16; Pr 20:20; 30:17).

This proverb can be taken a step farther. The best of men, true Christians, actually reward good for evil (Rom 12:17-21). They love their enemies; they bless those that curse them; they do good to those that hate them; and they pray for those that despitefully use them and persecute them (Matt 5:43-48). This conduct proves they are the children of God.

The blessed God showed the greatest goodness in the universe by giving His only begotten Son to save His elect. What was their condition? They were His evil enemies (Rom 5:8-10). He rewarded good for evil to the praise of God’s glorious grace (Eph 1:3-12). If you want to act like a child of God, reward good for evil yourself (Rom 12:21).


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 17:15 Acquitting the guilty and condemning the innocent-the Lord detest them both.

The world has created the Age of Compromise. Human society has made every effort to get rid of all absolutes. Wicked men are excused and exonerated, and even protected; just men are criticized and condemned. But the LORD Jehovah hates both kinds of compromisers – those who justify the wicked, and those who condemn the just.

The living and true God of heaven has absolutes, and He expects men to abide by them and enforce them. When He commanded judges to be appointed in Israel, He ordered, “If there be a controversy between men, and they come unto judgment, that the judges may judge them; then they shall justify the righteous, and condemn the wicked” (Deut 25:1).

The Bible is a collection of God’s absolutes, though it does require proper interpretation and application of those absolutes (II Chron 19:10; Neh 8:8; II Tim 2:15). Jesus declared that violating even the Bible’s least commandment was unacceptable (Matt 5:19). Breaking one commandment is equivalent to breaking them all in God’s sight (Jas 2:10).

God makes differences. Ask those that did not believe or obey Noah. Ask Sodom’s city council about their LGBT population. Ask Pharaoh or his army what happened to Egypt for disrespecting God’s prophet. Ask the Canaanites about God’s opinion of their creative sexual practices. These examples could be multiplied indefinitely. But you cannot ask these many millions, because God annihilated them. He had condemned the wicked.

God cares about details. Ask Cain about his sacrifice to the LORD at the right time and place. Ask Moses about his fit of anger when he smote a rock instead of speaking to it. Ask Nadab and Abihu about their strange fire. Ask David about moving the ark on a new ox cart. Ask Ananias and Sapphira about fudging their giving. Ask Corinth about having a little fun at the Lord’s Supper. Ask Peter about compromise with Jews at Antioch.

In matters of judgment and relationships, the wicked are to be despised and rejected, and the righteous are to be loved and received. David hated the wicked like God does (Ps 5:5; 11:5; 139:21-22). And David loved the righteous like God does (Ps 119:163; 146:8). The animosity and conflict between the righteous and wicked will never end (Pr 29:10).

Judgment is vindication of good and condemnation of evil. It takes place in courts, of course. But it also takes place in the home, where children’s conduct is judged. And it takes place in the workplace, in churches, in schools, and even among friends. In these and other situations, just men are to be honored, and wicked men are to be condemned.

America’s legal system is no longer the paragon of justice it was. From low to high courts, the wicked are excused and the just punished. Judges are chosen and approved, not for their perfect integrity but for political ties. For example, abortion was legalized to justify cruel and wicked women and to condemn their innocent unborn children to death. The profane murderers are given so-called rights, the murdered innocent are given none.

Criminals now have more rights than do victims. Employers have fewer rights than do employees. Landlords must submit to renters; husbands must bow to wives; and magistrates must jump through hoops before prosecuting obvious criminals. Lawsuits are filed and upheld for the most inane reasons, brought by the most insane consumers. Sodomites are protected, but authoritative husbands are despised and undermined.

Murderers pleading insanity are excused for taking a life. How absurd! If a man commits murder by reason of insanity, he has an aggravated reason to die – he is not only a murderer, he is an insane murderer. Why not keep and protect rabid dogs, for that would be comparable, except that the rabid dogs never murdered anyone? Get real, world!

But you must look much closer to home than the legal system in your nation. For it is in the churches where much of the compromise is taking place, just as Paul prophesied and warned to Timothy (II Tim 3:1 – 4:4). False doctrine and teachers must be named and condemned; true doctrine and faithful teachers must be defended and honored.

Many say, “Let’s agree to disagree.” But the fact is that God does not have such a loose and compromising approach to truth. Right is right, and wrong is wrong, and every moral issue has one right and many wrong positions. David said, “Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way” (Ps 119:128).

Eli rebuked his sons, but did not condemn them; he lost everything for his compromise. Corinth was puffed up about fornication in their church, instead of mourning and judging the wicked man. But the sweet psalmist of Israel on his deathbed told Solomon to kill his nephew and long-term chief of staff, Joab. And John the Baptist let King Herod have it.

Many say, “Judge not, that ye be not judged” (Matt 7:1), missing the Lord’s command, in context, to judge some men as dogs and swine, unworthy of truth (Matt 7:6), and to judge righteous judgment (John 7:24). They value peace over truth, though God puts truth over peace (Am 3:3; I Tim 6:3-5). They have rebelled against Bible judgment (Ro 16:17-18).

Carnal Christians of today fulfill the abominable sins of this proverb. Paul described the rise of an effeminate brand of Christianity that would despise those that are good and flatter lustful and sinful women (II Tim 3:1-7). They would have a form of godliness – a religious ritual – but they would have no authority or judgment in their gospel or lifestyle. They would love pleasures more than God, and it would show by coddling of sinners.

The political and religious situation today is the same as in first century Palestine. The conservative religious leaders and the political appointee of the greatest nation on earth cooperated to justify the seditious murderer Barabbas and condemn the innocent and just Jesus of Nazareth. Live and speak like Jesus Christ today, and they will crucify you as well, while they excuse evildoers in court and promote them via the entertainment media.

You cannot be neutral, for neutrality is rejection of the Bible and rebellion against God, for He and the Bible are not neutral. Folly and wickedness are condemned, and wisdom and righteousness are exalted. Sinners are to be despised, and good men are to be honored (Ps 15:4; 31:6; 101:3-8). Reject this effeminate generation and its compromise. Take a stand and earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints (Jude 1:3).

Reject the seeker-sensitive and emerging churches of today, for they are a reason for this proverb in this generation. They have watered down Biblical standards to where most anything is allowed and tolerated, or even defended and protected. Pulpits are used for a mushy concept of love and peace rather than God’s truth of holiness and judgment.

The day is coming in which all judgment will be according to truth in the most absolute sense. The books will be opened, and there will be no mistrials, plea-bargaining, hung juries, pardons, or acquittals. The righteous will be given eternal life in heaven, and the wicked will be cast into hell forever (Matt 13:41-43; John 5:28-29; Rev 20:11-15).

How will any be judged righteous, since all are sinners (Rom 3:23)? How can the Bible say God justifies the ungodly (Rom 4:5)? By Jesus Christ (Rom 3:26)! Jesus obeyed for the elect (Rom 5:19) and died in their place (Rom 4:25). It is the punishment God poured out on Jesus Christ that most clearly shows His condemnation of sinners (Is 53:5-11).

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 22:17-18 Pay attention and listen to the sayings of the wise, apply your heart to what I teach, for it is pleasing when you keep them in your heart and have all of them ready on your lips. 

The words of God are wonderful things! It is your duty to bow down your ears and hear them (Pr 22:17). It is your duty to apply your heart to love them (Pr 22:17). They will bring great pleasure to your soul, and you will be prepared to share them with others.

Keeping God’s words in your heart will be pleasant to your soul. They will be sweeter than honey (Ps 119:103), the rejoicing of your heart (Ps 119:111), and like finding great spoil (Ps 119:162). Jeremiah said they were the joy and rejoicing of his heart (Jer 15:16).

Do you crave God’s words? Job said, “Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food” (Job 23:12). How long do you go without food? Do you crave God’s words like you do food?

Is the preaching of God’s words the best part of your week? Or is it going out to eat? Do you go to hear His very words explained? Does your pastor even believe He has God’s words? Does he present them as individual jewels from God’s mouth? Demand them!

Do you have the words of God? There are so many Bibles today, all proclaiming to be the word (singular) of God. But which Bible has the words (plural) of God? Jesus Christ and His apostles had Scripture from which they argued important doctrine from single words (Matt 22:31-33,41-46; John 8:58; 10:33-36; Gal 3:16; 4:9; Heb 8:13; 12:26-27).

Do you love and appreciate the divine library God has given you? Is it as precious to you as much fine gold and as sweet to you as honeycomb (Ps 19:10)? Do you open its pages with awe and reverence, begging God to reveal new things to you (Ps 119:18)? There are 66 books of all kinds in this library, 1189 chapters, 31,102 verses, and 788,280 words!

Only by knowing the certain words of God can we use them to answer others, for Solomon said, “That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee?” (Pr 22:21). It is only the certain words of truth that we want to hear, and it only them we want to speak to others.

If you keep these precious words within you, meditating upon them and applying them to your own life and the world around you, they will become fitted in your lips. You will have ready words on the tip of your tongue for those seeking the truth. You will be able to answer their hard questions, for the words of truth will be very familiar to your mind.

God’s true saints have His words fitted in their lips, and they feed many (Pr 10:21; 15:7). They exalt Jesus Christ as the sovereign Lord of all in their hearts, and they are always ready to give an answer to those asking for reasons for their faith (I Pet 3:15). If this is not true of you, reader, where have you failed? Do you need a better teacher, to listen more attentively, to read more often, or to meditate more carefully? Do whatever it takes!

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 17:7 Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool-how much worse lying lips to a ruler. 

Are your words compatible with your character, conduct, and position? You do yourself a disservice when speaking well, if your life does not back up your words. And you do much worse to yourself, if you have a leadership role and are not scrupulously honest. The lesson is simple: make both your words and works good, so as to be compatible.

Excellent speech is only attractive when spoken by a wise man (Eccl 10:12). When fools, known by their general folly, try to sound noble or wise, they only irritate others by their conceit and hypocrisy. But far worse, as indicated by the comparative “much less,” is a person in authority who does not have the highest regard for honesty and truth (Pr 16:12).

Speech is usually a good measure of a person, which makes incompatible speech so bad. But character and conduct generally say more. The worst of men can sound noble and virtuous for a minute, and the most reputable by word or rank can reveal an evil heart by fraud or lying. Even a child is known by his doing, not his talking (Pr 20:11).

Good words or fair speeches from ignorant or wicked men are revolting to the senses, for the two things are entirely incompatible. Fools and evil men do not have the heart or conduct to justify counsel or leadership, so they should be ignored and rejected (Pr 17:16; 26:1-9). Their efforts to join in discussion with wise and prudent men are profanely rude.

How much more repulsive are lies from a person in authority! A leader or ruler is in office for the comfort, guidance, prosperity, and security of those under his authority. But dishonesty destroys confidence in those in power, leaves men vulnerable, and perverts justice. The assignment of authority from heaven brings with it a high call for integrity.

Noble men and rulers must never lie, because it is an ugly blot on their character, reputation, and office, which should be known by all for faithful and sober honesty. Deceit or lying of any sort is very unbecoming to any person in a position of power or influence. The privilege of authority and leadership brings the responsibility of truth.

A wise man of the world, Plato, taught that princes have a right to lie due to privilege of office, the opposite of Solomon’s warning. From whom do you want to learn? A pagan philosopher or an inspired Preacher (Eccl 12:9-11; I Cor 1:19-20)! Governments have often said or implied, Qui nescit dissimulare, nescit regnare – he who knows not how to dissemble knows not how to reign. But they are the blind leading the blind, and they and their followers shall fall into the ditch of trouble and destruction (Matt 15:12-14).

Thankfully, there have been wise rulers who knew the value of truth in office. Louis IX of France (1214-1270) said, “If truth be banished from all the rest of the world, it ought to be found in the breast of princes.” King Alphonsus of Arragon, who read the Bible through fourteen times, declared, “One word of a prince should be a greater security than a private man’s oath.” A king’s divine sentence cannot contain lies (Pr 16:10).

Faithfulness, honesty, and truth uphold leaders, for those under authority find comfort, peace, and security in the certainty of their ruler’s words. Great kings delight in righteousness and right speaking that flows from a pure heart (Pr 16:13; 22:11). They know truth will preserve their reign (Pr 12:19) and lies will corrupt their court (Pr 29:12).

It is a shame when politicians use spin to alter public perception of events or legislation when not necessary or right. Political honesty and integrity are too often sacrificed. Wise rulers will keep certain things concealed and divert attention, for they more than ordinary men have the need to keep classified or other information from the public (Pr 29:11).

There has been only one king whose lips never came close to lying – Jesus Christ – the Faithful and True Witness (Rev 1:5; 3:14; 19:11). He is the Truth (John 14:6). He is the Word of Truth (Jas 1:18). He brought grace and truth, and He bore witness to the truth (John 1:14,17; 18:37; Rom 15:8). David and sons paled in comparison (II Sam 23:1-5).

Let every one that claims the name of Jesus Christ despise and reject all exaggeration, dishonesty, and lying, especially if they have any position of authority from parent to president. Let them go out of their way to make things openly and visibly honest to all men. Parents must be impeccably honest to keep the hearts and minds of their children. Pastors must be so to keep their hearers (II Cor 8:20-21; Titus 2:8).

Let every one that claims the name of Jesus Christ depart from folly and sin, lest he pollute and stain the Christian religion with his hypocrisy. Why should the precious truth of the gospel of Christ be polluted through the lips of a fool (Ezek 20:39; II Tim 2:19)? Hypocrisy is the greatest blight on the only true religion by those who profess with their lips and deny with their lives (Isaiah 29:13; Ezek 33:31; Matt 15:7-9; Titus 1:16).