Thursday, November 14, 2013

SIH’s Think On These Things: Proverbs 12:21-23

He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous (Prov 2:7)

Wisdom’s Opposing Counterparts: Harmful Speech (Part 2): Proverbs 12:21-23
21) There shall no evil happen to the just: but the wicked shall be filled with mischief.
22) Lying lips [are] abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly [are] his delight.
23) A prudent man concealeth knowledge: but the heart of fools proclaimeth foolishness.

In this section of our study, we are presented with the second part of Solomon’s teachings on harmful speech which is the counterpart to a lifestyle that uses uplifting, truthful, wise speech to help others and glorify the Lord …. 

If you remember in our last study, Solomon began a section of teaching on harmful speech.  In the previous study we saw that:
1.  Those who consistently bear an untrue testimony for personal gain displays himself as being guilty of fraud and treachery – vs 17
2.  There exists those who are fools whose words will cut and devour like a sword – vs 18
3.  The words of a deceitful tongue will only last a short period and then, once proven false will become useless.  So, too, the speaker of lies will not be trusted by others but will be ignored due to the unreliable nature of their speech. - vs 19
4.  The root cause of deceptive speech is a deceptive heart.  It is due to a set of desires that long to take advantage of others that evil plots are borne.  Lying speech is many times an integral part of these evil, fraudulent plans of the wicked. – vs 20

He now continues the study in verse 21….
21) There shall no evil happen to the just: but the wicked shall be filled with mischief.
1.  Those who have become new creatures in Christ, and whose speech is now conformed to the desires of God, can be assured of lasting security and peace with God and others around them. They can know that the Lord will bless them with temporal blessings on earth, as well as blessings throughout eternity, because they have chosen a lifestyle of wisdom and obedience to the Lord. 
2.  In contrast, because the speech of fools brings harm to others (vs 17-20), many times, those who are harmed attempt to retaliate in like kind.  This fills the fools life with trials and heartaches.  Even more importantly, fools cannot expect the temporal blessings of the Lord due to their rebellious and sinful speech.  But of utmost importance, they will face eternal judgment at the hands of Almighty God as they enter into eternity. 

Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;  Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours;  And ye are Christ's; and Christ [is] God's.   (1 Corinthians 3:21-23)

Thou art filled with shame for glory: drink thou also, and let thy foreskin be uncovered: the cup of the LORD'S right hand shall be turned unto thee, and shameful spewing [shall be] on thy glory.   (Habakkuk 2:16)

22) Lying lips [are] abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly [are] his delight.
1. Fraudulent, deceitful speech is disgusting and abhorrent to the Lord.
2. Those who speak sincere, transparent, honest words find acceptance, favor and pleasure in God’s sight.      

Because with lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life:   (Ezekiel 13:22)

But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I [am] the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these [things] I delight, saith the LORD.   (Jeremiah 9:24)

23) A prudent man concealeth knowledge: but the heart of fools proclaimeth foolishness.
1.  A man who applies the Word to his life will limit his speech to that which is beneficial to man and pleasing to the Lord.  His vain, sinful, and idle thoughts he will choose not to reveal because he realizes they will only harm others while disobeying the Lord.
At times, he will even choose to withhold his knowledge of the Word of God, realizing the hearer’s heart has not been prepared to receive it. 
2.  A man who is a fool, will desires to say everything that is on his mind, regardless of the end result of his speech.  He will display an attitude of selfishness, putting his fleshly desire to “speak his mind” over the desires of God and the needs of those around him.

Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.  Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. 
 (Psalms 34:13-14)

If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion [is] vain.   (James 1:26)


In all of the above examples we find one general basic principle… a wise man learns to control his speech based upon his determination of the following:
1.  What will be the future results of my speech? – vs 21
2.  Is my speech truthful ? – vs 22
3.  Will my speech meet the needs of others?  Will my speech please the Lord? – vs 23

Our speech will reflect the genuine concerns of our heart.  Our speech will reflect our true priorities of life.
What does our speech teach us about ourselves?
By God’s grace, let us all study these proverbs diligently, giving them the value that they deserve.

May the Lord bless us as we receive this sound wisdom and then “Think On These Things”.

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