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Proverbs 10-31: Character Sketches

If none received the slander in the first instance, it could not be propagated. It has a maker, and it is the gossip, the talebearer , the contentious man. Even so, we often find a juicy tidbit of defamation irresistible. This evil may be welcomed in certain circles that thrive on scandal. But that does not alter the real character of a gossip, who is detested by both God and man.


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They go down into the inmost body : When we receive the words of a talebearer , they normally have an effect on us. God gave a strong word regarding the confirmation of testimony Deuteronomy , 2 Corinthians , 1 Timothy Once we start eating these tasty trifles , it is hard to stop. Fervent lips with a wicked heart Are like earthenware covered with silver dross. Fervent lips with a wicked heart : There are people who are able to speak with power and persuasion, but they have a wicked heart.

Why Our Post-Truth Society Needs a Dose of Proverbs

The ill effect of their wicked heart is made much more effective because of their fervent words. Wicked men are said to speak with a heart and a heart, [Psalms , marg. Like earthenware covered with silver dross : This is an example of something that loos superficially good with a silver veneer; but it is worthless earthenware on the inside. So the man mentioned in the first line may attract people superficially, but inside he is worthless. He who hates, disguises it with his lips, And lays up deceit within himself; When he speaks kindly, do not believe him, For there are seven abominations in his heart; Though his hatred is covered by deceit, His wickedness will be revealed before the assembly.

He who hates, disguises it with his lips : It is common for those who hate others — God or men — to disguise it with their words. He lays up deceit within himself : The secret hater deceives others, but he also deceives himself. He imagines himself to be a better man than he really is. When he speaks kindly, do not believe him : This secret hater should not be trusted. Even if he speaks kindly , his words do not reflect the true thoughts of his heart — his hatred is covered by deceit. His wickedness will be revealed before the assembly : Whether this assembly is in the world or the world to come, the wickedness and evil heart of the secret hater will be revealed.

God will wash off his varnish with rivers of brimstone. In Proverbs justice is meted out in an indefinite future that outlasts death. Whoever digs a pit will fall into it, And he who rolls a stone will have it roll back on him. A lying tongue hates those who are crushed by it, And a flattering mouth works ruin. Whoever digs a pit will fall into it : In His judgments God often appoints that people reap what they sow; that He will treat them the same way they have treated others.

They will fall into the pit they dug for others; the stone they rolled against someone else will roll back on them. But while this wretch was attempting to do it, the stone, with its weight, drew him down, and falling upon him, dashed him in pieces upon the pavement. A lying tongue hates those who are crushed by it : The liar does his destruction without sympathy for others.

He does not feel sorry for the ones he crushes; he actively hates them. In one way or another, lies destroy those whom they deceive. Therefore the liar despises not only the truth but his victims as well. A flattering mouth works ruin : Flattery is another way the lying tongue brings ruin. Their flattering mouth builds pride and manipulates others for deceptive goals. This will be our security.

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Add to that the background selection and data monitoring of algorithms, we end up being fed more of what we like and less of what might challenge those predilections of thought, ethics or political perspective. To use the language of Proverbs, we would be fools not to recognize this and seek to guard ourselves from being so easily duped, set up and manipulated. It is a profoundly enlightening exercise to read the book of Proverbs while staying aware and alert to our current cultural realities. Just consider this list of constantly urged actions and attitudes: truthfulness and justice, care for the poor, the dangers of wealth, stewardship of words, trust and trustworthiness in relationships, integrity of character, use and abuse of power.

The Simple: Proverbs 14:15; 22:3; 27:12; 14:18

The way of wisdom is the way of righteousness, but the way of the fool is in an altogether different direction. Some of the most acute, critical problems facing Western democratic societies are now so embedded in a social-media worldview that it is more and more difficult to have rational discussions in which both protagonists are appealing to a shared view of truth.

And it is that erosion of truth and, indeed, loss of faith in truth as anything other than the view I already hold, that makes some of the most dangerous cultural shifts so intractable. The book of Proverbs is a very handy collection of diagnostic wisdom for a society such as 21st century Western democracies. The two ways is one of the great moral images in the Bible, and, indeed, elsewhere in other religious and philosophical traditions. Jesus spoke of the narrow and broad ways, and the foolish and wise builders.

Matthew 5:22

An important feature of the book of Proverbs, which also speaks of the two ways and the choices that determine which way we travel, is that it offers guiding wisdom not only to individuals, but to communities. Its warnings and guidance, and its diagnostic applications, reverberate with contemporary relevance to our own times. After you log in your content will be available in your library. Viewing of. Cancel Save. Print Twitter Facebook Email. Click the button below to continue. Close this window.

Fools in Proverbs

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