Pathways Through Proverbs
December 17, 2008
Today's Reading - Proverbs 17
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Today's proverb deals with the correlation between the wicked man and the people that he listens to. There are several principles that stick out to me here. First of all, a man's character will determine what he listens to. A man who loves the Lord will not want to hear that which is false or naughty. He will only want to think about those things which honor God, so he will only want to listen to those things that honor the Lord. However, a man with a wicked heart will want to feed that wickedness, so he will listen to that which dishonors God.
- Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices with strife.
- A wise servant shall have rule over a son that causeth shame, and shall have part of the inheritance among the brethren.
- The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts.
- A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue.
- Whoso mocketh the poor reproacheth his Maker: and he that is glad at calamities shall not be unpunished.
- Children's children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.
- Excellent speech becometh not a fool: much less do lying lips a prince.
- A gift is as a precious stone in the eyes of him that hath it: whithersoever it turneth, it prospereth.
- He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.
- A reproof entereth more into a wise man than an hundred stripes into a fool.
- An evil man seeketh only rebellion: therefore a cruel messenger shall be sent against him.
- Let a bear robbed of her whelps meet a man, rather than a fool in his folly.
- Whoso rewardeth evil for good, evil shall not depart from his house.
- The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with.
- He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the LORD.
- Wherefore is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, seeing he hath no heart to it?
- A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
- A man void of understanding striketh hands, and becometh surety in the presence of his friend.
- He loveth transgression that loveth strife: and he that exalteth his gate seeketh destruction.
- He that hath a froward heart findeth no good: and he that hath a perverse tongue falleth into mischief.
- He that begetteth a fool doeth it to his sorrow: and the father of a fool hath no joy.
- A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.
- A wicked man taketh a gift out of the bosom to pervert the ways of judgment.
- Wisdom is before him that hath understanding; but the eyes of a fool are in the ends of the earth.
- A foolish son is a grief to his father, and bitterness to her that bare him.
- Also to punish the just is not good, nor to strike princes for equity.
- He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit.
- Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.
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Second, we see that a wicked liar listens to that which is sinful. He enjoys listening to the lies of others. He wants to hear the latest gossip or slander. Undoubtedly he enjoys hearing the dirty jokes and the perverse comments as well. His own heart and mind are in the spiritual gutter so he enjoys listening to others whose words are in the same place.
Third, I believe that the first half of the verse also indicates that a wicked man can be deceived by false words. He does not have the Holy Spirit guiding him, nor does he comprehend the teachings of the Word of God, so he really has nothing within himself to compare the false teaching to, and thus he easily falls prey to it. In addition, the Bible teaches the principle of sowing and reaping. If a man has sown a life of wickedness, it only makes sense that he would reap a harvest of deception at the hands of others. He has rejected the Truth of the Scriptures, and thus will fall for the lies of men.
What a man listens and responds to reveals what kind of man he is.
Pastor Mark J Montgomery