Archive for the ‘Proverbs 26’ Category


Under Gods Command 

Proverbs 26:23 Burning lips and a wicked heart are like a potsherd covered with silver dross. 

Are you guilty of one or both of these terrible sins – burning lips that say negative things about others or a wicked heart that thinks such things? If you are guilty of both, you are like a broken piece of pottery covered with the scum from silver refining. What an ugly and worthless person! If you cannot say kind things about others, then say nothing at all.

Here is a simple simile – a stated comparison, by the word “like,” of a man to a clay vessel. An evil man, with a malicious heart and cruel speech, is like a broken fragment of pottery painted over with scum. A good man, with a noble heart and kind words, is like a beautiful work of pottery covered with fine silver, a delightful and valuable object.

What are burning lips? This man has a fire in his mouth, and he regularly burns others with critical and hateful speech. He cannot stay silent for long – he must say something derogatory about others. His lips are set on fire of hell (Pr 4:24; 10:18; 16:27; Jas 3:5-9).

What is a wicked heart? This phrase describes the person whose heart is filled with arrogant contempt and malicious hatred of others, as the context shows (Pr 26:18-28). He does not know God, and he has no affection for others, except to use them for his own selfish ends. He is a murderer at heart, though he may not have committed the crime yet.

Do you have either burning lips or a wicked heart, or do you have both? It is easy to find out. How easily do you argue, backbite, flatter, lie, slander, tattle, or whisper? If you sin in these ways easily, you surely have burning lips. And if you do not grieve after such sins of your lips, then you also have a wicked heart. Reader, examine yourself and repent.

While your lips and heart are not perfectly connected, they are very closely connected. A man may sin once in a while with his lips and have a pure heart, but he will be grieved for it. If a man sins often by attacking others with his words, he shows a violent and wicked heart. Jesus taught that the mouth clearly reveals the heart (Matt 12:34-37).

Many beautiful works of art and household vessels were once made from pottery. A well-formed clay object covered with fine silver could be exquisite in appearance and use. But a potsherd is a broken piece of pottery, and silver dross is the refuse scum from refining.

Wise men examine their hearts and guard their lips – they fear a critical heart and cruel lips that harm others (Pr 6:12-15; 17:20). They will instead choose a pure heart and gracious lips that can win even a king for a friend (Pr 22:11). Reader, examine yourself!


Under Gods Command 

Proverbs 26:22 The words of a talebearer (gossip) are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly

Parents and teachers used to punish tattlers. God still does! Tattling is now a forgotten sin. But God remembers and punishes it! Tattling is talebearing, the spreading of injurious or malicious reports about another person. They cause deep wounds in men, which makes those telling them guilty of murder, because the sin is based in hatred.

This proverb’s wisdom was important enough to have a twin (Pr 18:8). Repeating the rule today will be valuable, for backbiting, gossiping, slandering, talebearing, or whispering are not condemned anymore. For reporters today, talebearing is falsely called journalistic liberty, or even duty. For fools, it is “letting you know the truth about so-and-so.”

God does not care if what you tell about another person is true or not – both are sins. If you tell something false about another person, you have slandered them. If you tell something true, you are a backbiter, talebearer, and whisperer. God hates all three. Talebearing is telling secret facts about another person to defame or hurt them (Pr 11:13; 20:19), so do not think you are innocent because you know the information is true.

Of course, you have not heard or read anything against talebearing in a long time. This generation is addicted to it, because there is little restraint on wickedness or wicked men. Tabloids, newspapers, news programs, and news websites all race to discover whatever secrets they can find about anyone and spread them as far as possible. It is a journalistic objective to make money from the salacious lusts of a hateful and wicked generation.

Every man has secrets – private matters – such as sins, faults, failures, losses, a firing, a criminal record, a bankruptcy, his salary, a divorce, a disease, or even a birthmark. They are his secrets, and no one else needs to know them or should know them. To tell even one person that does not absolutely need to know for God-given reasons is talebearing (Pr 11:13; 20:19). It is violent raping of another’s reputation out of envy, hatred, malice, or worse. It is your duty before God to protect anyone’s secrets as if they were your own.

Where does the vicious and vile desire come from to spread secrets about another person? It comes from pride, the devil’s sin, to exalt yourself at the expense of another. If you can make him look bad enough, then you might appear virtuous to fools or talebearers like yourself. It also comes from hatred, which is the devil’s work in the first family, when he moved Cain to kill his brother Abel, simply because Abel was the better man.

Telling secrets about another person deeply wounds his heart and soul, which is intended by “belly” (Pr 20:27). There are truly two wounded – the one having his reputation hurt by the report and the listener having his opinions sinfully altered (Pr 16:28; 26:20). God will severely punish these verbal murderers (Pr 26:20-26; Ps 55:21-23). Since Christians should not include such men (Ps 15:3), tattlers are obviously going to hell (Rev 21:8,27).

The wound of talebearing is quite irreparable, so it is like murder in another way. Once you spread a secret to others, your apology to the person you hurt does not bring back your words or repair the damage done. If you apologize to the person you told, and they forgive you, they still have information in their mind that should not be there. You have murdered a reputation.

Reader, you have two duties. First, you must avoid and reject talebearing yourself. How? Regard the reputations of others with Christian charity and love, and protect them with holy zeal. Carefully say only good things about others, especially when they are not present. God will see your efforts to protect and build others up, and He will bless you.

Second, you must reject talebearers from your friendship or church, for they are poison to the souls of men and destructive to the unity of a church (Pr 25:23; Ps 101:4-5). God hates these wicked souls that sow discord instead of unity, and you should hate them as well (Pr 6:16-19; Ps 139:21-22). Get angry about their sin and drive them far away.

Instead of being a talebearer, be a praise-bearer! Rather than spread bad things to hurt a person, spread praise to build up his reputation. Instead of being a backbiter, be a back-kisser! When others are not around, tell lots of good things about the person. Imagine the result if those that know you only said good things about you in your absence. How can you get this blessing started? Tell someone today something good about another person.

 


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 26:18 As a madman shooting firebrands or deadly arrows.

What a wild and dangerous man! Handcuff him! Lock him up! There is a simile here, indicated by the word “as.” What kind of person resembles this crazy mad man? A man wildly throwing firebrands, arrows, and death? Anyone who deceives his neighbor and uses a jesting cover-up of his evil intentions is just like this mad man (Pr 26:19).

Imagine an insane man, like the devil-possessed Gadarene (Mark 5:1-13). He is naked, powerful, savagely wild, masochistically violent, untamed, and living among the dead. Now imagine him on your property. Imagine him in your house. In your business. Solomon created this picture of a neighbor who deceives you and lightly excuses it.

Wicked men think their actions are not very harmful. So Solomon described them in terms to get your attention and rightly classify their actions. Neighbors, due to close proximity to one another, must trust each other. They should be able to trust each other at all times. But a deceitful and ambitious neighbor is comparable to this wild enemy.

What is the lesson? Deceiving those who trust you is a horrible sin and crime. Neighbors, employers, and others trust your integrity. You live close enough to take advantage of them, so they must trust your integrity not to use that nearness against them. It is your duty as a Christian to live honestly with all men, but especially those nearest to you.

What else can you learn? Covering and excusing sin by lightly claiming it was just a joke reveals an extremely profane character. Such persons have no conscience; they laugh at sin; they do not comprehend the pain their deception causes others. You can oppose this folly by keeping a sober and serious approach to all relationships, especially neighbors.

What else can you learn? Only fools joke about sin (Pr 10:23; 14:9; 15:21). Sin is a horrible thing – it defies your Creator God, hurts your fellow man, is inconvenient for profitable relationships, and leads to eternal punishment. Only hopeless scorners and rebels laugh and jest about sin. Sin is to be avoided, hated, and repented of.

What else can you learn? God hates foolish talking and jesting. He will destroy the world for these heinous sins. He lists foolish talking and jesting with fornication, uncleanness, and covetousness, three other abominable sins (Eph 5:3-7). And he describes foolish talking and jesting as He does sodomy – both are not convenient (Eph 5:4 cp Rom 1:28).

These wicked men, like an insane man hurling fire, arrows, and death, can show up even in Jesus Christ’s churches (II Pet 2:13; Pr 6:19; Gal 5:15). Therefore, it is your solemn duty to identify them and stop them in their tracks, for such conduct is destructive to the peace and prosperity of the body. Lord, save your people from such sins and sinners!


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 26:02 – Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an underserved curse does not come to rest.

When pain and trouble come in your life, it is not an accident or pagan Fate. The LORD blesses, and the LORD curses. And He does not curse randomly or foolishly – there is a just cause for His perfect judgment. Curses come to rest on men and their homes for good cause, just as surely as wandering birds and flying swallows end up back at their nests.

Though not obvious to you, the bird and the swallow have a purpose in their wandering flight patterns, so trouble from God falls on no man without a holy reason. Your view of life’s events and its ebb and flow is like observing the apparent random flight of birds, but their flight has purpose, and they always arrive at their appointed destinations.

If you choose a carnal life of selfish interest in this world, the Lord will curse you (Pr 3:31-35; 11:26; 21:12; 28:27; Ps 37:22). When God curses a man, a family, or a nation, it is horrible (Lev 26:14-40; Deut 11:26-29; 28:15-68; 29:14-29). He knows you and your worst fears; He knows what will make your life worse than death. Fear Him, dear reader.

Paul agreed with Solomon, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Gal 6:7). The way of transgressors is hard (Pr 13:15); do not think for a minute judgment will not come or your troubles are mere chance. As God cursed Adam’s ground with thorns (Gen 3:18), so He can curse your life with thorns (Pr 22:5). When He sets His face against a man, great evil is coming (Lev 20:5; Jer 21:10).

Regathered Israel neglected God’s worship, so He threatened and cursed them (Hag 1:5-11; Mal 1:14; 2:2; 3:9; 4:6). He warned them of a curse that would consume the stones and timbers of their homes (Zech 5:1-4). He can tear your foundation down, reader! Beware lest He curse you for trusting in the flesh and departing from Him (Jer 17:5).

In the day of adversity, consider well (Ec 7:14). Your troubles are not an accident or a random event; they were prepared and sent by the most High. To warn of His curses, Israel had a public assembly to list them in responsive reading (Deut 27:11-26). And 42 children should have considered before they mocked Elisha (II Kings 2:23-25). It is an ignorant man who does not know that the LORD purposes good and evil (Lam 3:37-38).

The LORD’s greatest curse is for your sins, and it brings a certain eternity in the Lake of Fire (Matt 25:41). But the Son of God was made a curse for the elect (Gal 3:13), so they will be free from all curses in heaven for eternity (Re 22:13)! Hallelujah! And those who do not love Him should be appropriately cursed – Anathema Maranatha (I Cor 16:22)!


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 26:11 As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.

A disgusting trait of dogs is to eat their vomit. When their belly must reject offending matter, they return and eat it again. It is a shame we do not have the same sickening horror for sin that we do for this picture of a dog vomiting his filth and eating it.

Peter declared this to be a true proverb (II Pet 2:20-22). He used it to condemn those who forsake their conversion and return to the vomit of this world. To escape the pollutions of this world and then return to be entangled and overcome in them again puts a man in a worse condition than before conversion.

A bad heart attack will get a man’s attention. A couple days after bypass surgery, he wants the intimate details of super nutrition and the best exercise program. He makes resolutions, plans his schedule, and orders a year’s worth of pita bread and lettuce and two treadmills. But after three months of no angina, he is again a couch potato inhaling pounds of cheese nachos and candy! Did he forget the crushing pain of his heart attack? Or does he crave the poison that almost killed him? Or both?

Consider a drunkard (23:29-35). He has woe, sorrow, contentions, babbling, and wounds from his binges. He loses his job, his driving license, his wife, his children, and his reputation. He gets sick and feels as if he spent the night lying on the top of a ship’s mast! Yet he says, “When shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.” Fool! Dog!

What filth have we vomited up and cast away by the grace of God and the conviction of His Spirit? What folly have we rejected? We will be tempted to return to it. Which vomit tempts us? Complaining? Pornography? Ungodly music? Drunkenness? Lustful fantasies? Gluttony? Television? Bitterness? Fornication? Disobedience to parents? Marital defrauding? An unscriptural church? Lack of submission? Backbiting?

There can be no partial turning from sin. It never works! It never will work! You can still smell the vomit, and you will turn to it again. We must flee from our temptations and sins with all our might and speed! We must eliminate the sources of the temptation! We must completely satisfy your appetite with spiritual things, so we have no hunger for vomit. There are no shortcuts. If we hang around the filth, you will take it up again.

If a dog had a conscience, it would be ashamed of its vile nature. But what of human sinners! Our return to defiling sin is worse! Where is their shame? We will soon have everlasting shame and contempt, unless saved by the Lord Jesus Christ (Dan 12:2).

Only by the grace of God and the gift of repentance can a man be saved from his folly and the snare of Satan (II Tim 2:25-26). If you have the least degree of conviction about any sin at this moment, repent immediately and take drastic measures to rid your life of that folly. Flee to Jesus Christ. Perhaps the grace of God will save you today.

Let us say with the psalmist, “I will hear what God the LORD will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly” (Ps 85:8). Let us hear the warning of our Savior, “Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee” (John 5:14).

 

 

 


Under Gods Command

 Proverbs 26:17- Like one who seizes a dog by the ears is a passer-by who meddles in a quarrel not his own.

Seizing the ears of a stray dog is a good way to get bitten, and interfering in arguments is a good way to get hurt.  Many times both arguers will turn on the person who interferes.  It is best simply to keep out of arguments that are none or your business.  If you must become involved, try to wait until the arguers have stopped fighting and cooled off a bit. Then maybe you can help them mend their differences and their relationship.

Even a friendly dog will bite, if you grab and pull its ears! And here is the busybody, stopping to get involved in the strife of others, who will soon be bitten by both parties! The Preacher taught you the wisdom of not getting involved in the conflicts of others.

Peacemakers are wonderful (Matt 5:9). But the greatest work of making peace involves your own fighting. If you have offended another, you are to make peace with him (Matt 5:23-26). If another has offended you, you are to make peace with him (Matt 18:15-22).

By great care, and only after wise reflection, should you get involved in others’ conflicts and try to make peace for them. For even your own strife, which you know well, is to be resolved with caution, let alone that of which you are ignorant (Pr 25:8). After wise thought, make sure your words are good ones spoken in due season (Pr 15:23; 16:20).

Spiritual and wise men should try to help others with their conflicts and problems (Rom 15:1-3; Gal 6:1-3), which includes fighting and strife. You are your brothers’ keepers in such things (Lev 19:17; I Thess 5:14). And those in authority, as parents and pastors, have the honorable right and obligation to search out matters (Pr 25:2).

But some people are busybodies. They love to be busy in other men’s matters (I Peter 4:15). This is a sin, and it is to be strictly avoided by wise men and women. Consider Peter’s strong warning by association, which compares murderers, thieves, and evildoers!

Meddlers love to get involved in disputes between others. They love digging up evil between others and spreading it. It makes them feel important to be involved in others’ problems, though they are always the worst at solving their own problems. They love the inside information of private controversies. It gives them a perverse sense of worth.

Some at Thessalonica were so eager for this sin they even stopped working. Paul wrote, “For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread” (II Thess 3:11-12). He had written in the first epistle, “And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you” (I Thess 4:11).

Women have a great temptation to be meddlers, or busybodies, in strife not belonging to them. So Paul recommended marriage and children for young widows, to keep them from idleness and the temptation of such folly (I Tim 5:12-15). A busy woman who is conscientious about her duties will not have time or interest in such dangerous things. Idleness is a curse on any people, as it was in Sodom of old (Ezek 16:49). The true adage declares, “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.” Stay busy, and do not meddle.

The Lord Jesus Christ was perfectly virtuous in this matter. “And one of the company said unto him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me. And he said unto him, Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you” (Luke 12:13-14)? Dear reader, follow this holy example of Jesus today. The difference is very great between suffering as a busybody and suffering as a Christian (I Pet 4:14-16).


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 26:28 A lying tongue hates those it hurts, and flattering mouth works ruin

Good words do not prove good intentions. Liars and flatterers are out to destroy you, no matter how good their words sound, no matter their excuses (Pr 26:24-25). A wise man rejects both kinds of men, just as David did (Ps 101:3-8). If you tolerate these deceitful people in your life, they will take you down (Pr 20:19; 29:5). They are hiding hatred and destruction behind their lying words, and noble and prudent men will stay far from them.

A man lies for advantage or to protect himself. He is selfish and wicked, so he feels no guilt about deceiving you in order to advance himself. It does not matter what his relationship is to you or how kindly he speaks at other times. If he has lied to you, then you should run far from him, whether it is a slander about you or a lie to your face. His deceit proves that he hates you. He is out to hurt you or use you. True friends never lie.

Flattery is praise designed to deceive you into doing what the flatterer wants you to do. It is a form of lying, but it is harder to detect and resist. Men love praise, so they are easily lulled to sleep by flattery. It is poison in a spoonful of honey. A flatterer is more dangerous than a slanderer, for he is crafty, friendly, and subtle in working his deceit, while liars are more easily detected by their open malice and wickedness.

Are you vigilant and intolerant against deceivers? Aggressive salesmen may lie or flatter to sell an inferior product. Many girls have lost their virginity or women their marital fidelity to lying flattery of whoremongers (II Sam 13:1-13). Many men have been led to hell by flattering lies of whorish women (Pr 2:16-18; 5:3; 6:24-26; 7:5,21-23). Many citizens have voted for corrupt politicians due to flattery and false promises, for the election process in most nations is based on words rather than character or performance.

Parent, you must punish lying and flattery, and you must teach children to reject liars and flatterers (Job 32:21-22). Teach them that God hates liars, He will judge them, and liars are going to hell (Pr 6:16-19; Job 17:5; Ps 12:2-3; Rev 21:8). Teach them that friends who tell the truth even when it hurts are better than kisses from an enemy (Pr 27:5-6). Teach them that men should be judged by their actions and lives, not words (Pr 20:11).

Religion has many lies and flattery, for the devil has used it since Eden (Gen 3:1-13; John 8:44). The Jews flattered and lied to Jesus to trap him (Luke 20:20-21). False teachers use good words and fair speeches to deceive simple hearers (Rom 16:17-18). Rome tells the lies of abstaining from meat and marriage (I Tim 4:1-3). But God’s faithful pastors and teachers never use flattering speech or lies (II Cor 2:17; 4:2; I Thess 2:3-6).

Jehovah is God of truth, and so is His Son Jesus Christ, Who is Faithful and True (Rev 19:11). He expects honesty and truthfulness from His children, and He punishes all liars and flatterers. All who take His name must make sure their every word is honest, sincere, and true – and obviously so in the ears of all others (Deut 32:4; Rom 12:17; I Pet 2:12).