Monday, April 21, 2014

“SIH’s Think On These Things: Proverbs 26:23-25”

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

Enemies Of The Lord: The Cruel 3: Proverbs 26:23-25
23) Burning lips and a wicked heart [are like] a potsherd covered with silver dross.
24) He that hateth dissembleth with his lips, and layeth up deceit within him;
25) When he speaketh fair, believe him not: for [there are] seven abominations in his heart.

In this chapter, Solomon describes for us three of the greatest enemies of the Lord:
1.  The Fool (vs 1-12), One who does not apply the Word of God to their life.
2.  The Lazy (vs 13-16), One who is not diligent and industrious in their responsibilities
3.  The Cruel (vs 17-28), One who is angry, malicious and out of control 

Before we being this final portion of our devotions from Proverbs 26 a short explanation is necessary.  The title of this final section of chapter 26 (vs 17-28) is “the cruel”.  Although this title cannot be found in our verses, it is a very fitting title for the enemy of the Lord that is being portrayed.  Note the different ways in which this individual is described…
1. vs 17 – one that “meddleth with strife”
2. vs 18 – “a mad man”
3. vs 19 – the “man that deceiveth his neighbor”
4. vs 20 – “talebearer”
5. vs 21 – a “contentious man”
6. vs 22 – “talebearer”
7. vs 23 – “burning lips” & “wicked heart”
8. vs 24 – he that “hateth” and “layeth up deceit”
9. vs 25 – there are “seven abominations in his heart”
10 vs 26 – whose “hatred is covered by deceit” & his “wickedness”
11 vs 27 – whoso “diggeth a pit” & “rolleth a stone”
12 vs 28 – a “lying tongue” & “a flattering mouth”
From these descriptions we can see the great harm cruel individuals can do to Christians and the work of the Lord.

We can see from the above descriptions that the basic principle is the harming of others motivated by hatred.   This is why I felt as if the title “cruel” is the best one to use to describe this individual.  As a matter of fact, one of the ideas behind the title “mad man” found in verse 18 is the idea of “cruelty out of control”.

So please keep in mind, as we study these verses over the next several devotionals, we are looking at different traits of one type of enemy of the work of the Lord. It is one who harms others based upon uncontrolled hatred in their heart… in other words it is one that is “cruel”. 

We now continue in our study on “the cruel”… this entire study extends from vs 17 through vs 28 of this chapter.

23) Burning lips and a wicked heart [are like] a potsherd covered with silver dross.
1.  Kindling lips and an immoral, harmful heart are like
2.  a piece of broken pottery covered with the impurities that are driven from silver

Desiring personal gain by abusing others through fiery, harmful language brings no lasting value.  It is much like a broken piece of pottery covered with the silver remnants … it appears to be of great worth, but in reality is worthless. 

Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!   And the tongue [is] a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.   (James 3:5-6)

24) He that hateth dissembleth with his lips, and layeth up deceit within him;
1.  A person who is an enemy will “show himself as another man” with his speech.
2.  and stores up fraud within him.

An enemy will use speech to make himself appear friendly, hoping to catch the one he hates off guard and defenseless.  By doing this, he is only storing up guilt, responsibility, and coming judgment for his deceptive acts.

And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee [as] my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, [but] their heart goeth after their covetousness.   (Ezekiel 33:31)

25) When he speaketh fair, believe him not: for [there are] seven abominations in his heart.
1.  When he utters words that are pleasing and beautiful, do not trust them because
2.  within his desires are filled with things abhorred by the Lord.

When the hateful enemy speaks deceiving words that makes him appear kind and friendly, do not trust in what he has to say.  This is because he is motivated to speak those words out of desires that are filled with sinfulness, rebellion and selfishness against the Lord.

For even thy brethren, and the house of thy father, even they have dealt treacherously with thee; yea, they have called a multitude after thee: believe them not, though they speak fair words unto thee.   (Jeremiah 12:6)


In our study of the cruel, we have seen that he is:
1.  a person who desires to “stir up trouble” between two warring individuals.
2.  a person who with uncontrolled hatred that floods others with acts and words meant to destroy.
3.  a person who make the harming of others through deceit a contest that entertains and pleases them.
4.  In the absence of the cruel gossip there is peace and harmony.
5.  Quarreling and arguing continue when those who love to fight are present
6.  The lies of gossipers can be devastating, cause great pain and permanent wounds.
7.  a person who is full of hatred
8.  a person that uses deceptive speech to take his enemy off guard
9.  a person who is abhorrent in the eyes of the Lord. 

If we were standing accused of cruelty in a court of law would there be enough evidence to convict us? 
Or put another way, would there be others, who have watched our lifestyle, stand and testify that our life exhibited the attributes of those that are cruel? 

By God’s grace NONE of these attributes would be found in our lives.  As a matter of fact, the existence of this type of hateful spirit within us calls into question our very salvation.  

May we all possess Godly wisdom and live our lives for Him.

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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