This is our third study of Proverbs 6. During the past three weeks of studying this section of Scripture I have learned that this chapter lays out for us a progression of dangers. Let me explain to you what I mean. In the first week of our study we learned about the dangers of co-signing for someone else’s debt. Even though guaranteeing someone’s debt was allowed in the Old Testament, Solomon was adamant that his son should never get into this dangerous situation, he had to get assistance from https://www.engineeryourfinances.com/2018/12/get-your-goals-with-an-personal-loan-online/.
The second dangerous step that Solomon warns his son about is the way of the sluggard. We learned about the characteristics of the sluggard as Solomon compared the sluggard?s lifestyle to the ways of the ant. The ant works without someone looking over his shoulder, he?s a team player, and he knows his purpose in the ant colony. On the other hand the sluggard is always craving, but never getting, he is described as a horrible employee, he?s full of excuses, and sooner or later he will see destitution become a permanent resident of his heart and home. We also learned how we need to guard against sluggishness slipping into some neglected area of our life.
In the section of Scripture that we will take a look at today we will learn about the most dangerous of all people?the ?scoundrel? or ?villain.? These folks are going to get you if you aren?t careful. They are scheming and plotting how to take their next victim. Do you see how this progression, from Proverbs 6:1 to Proverbs 6:12-19, has become increasing sinister and wicked?
In Proverbs 6:1-5 the danger rests in getting tied into someone else?s debt. Being willing to help someone out is a noble gesture. There?s nothing inherently wrong with the character of this kind of person. As a matter of fact, he or she should be commended for trying to help their friend. The danger lies in overextending ourselves. Now, in the next section of Proverbs 6, verses 6-11, the danger lies in being lazy. Now we are not trying to help others, we want them to help us. Here in Proverbs 6:12-19 we have a wicked person who is not trying to help anyone, nor is he wanting anyone to help him, he is going to take advantage of other people in any and every way possible. This person is a trouble-maker. Trouble for others, as well as for himself, will follow him everywhere he goes. Let?s read our Scripture for today.
12 A scoundrel and villain, who goes about with a corrupt mouth, 13 who winks with his eye, signals with his feet and motions with his fingers, 14 who plots evil with deceit in his heart?he always stirs up dissension. 15 Therefore disaster will overtake him in an instant; he will suddenly be destroyed?without remedy. 16 There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, 19 a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers. (Proverbs 6:12-19 NIV)
It is interesting to me how Solomon has counseled his son to walk in wisdom, godly wisdom that will protect him and move him towards a life full of peace and the abundance that God desires for His people. In this sixth chapter of Proverbs, Solomon shows his son what happens in the lives of those who neglect their relationship with the Lord, those who refuse the ?fear of the Lord? as the very foundation for their existence in life, and those who choose to use people rather than bless the lives of others. Their future will be filled with anxiety, destitution, and ultimate destruction.
Let?s take a look at the person described for us in Proverbs 6:12-19. Solomon tells us that he is a ?scoundrel? and a ?villain.? The Hebrew word for ?scoundrel? is the word, ?l[;Y:liB.? (beliya`al) and the word means, ?worthless, good for nothing, and wicked.? The word is found 27 times in the Hebrew Bible, what we call the Old Testament. The Bible describes this person as being worthless to society. He is antisocial. He is a detriment to the health and well being of the community. He lives in defiance of societal expectations that are for the peace and civility of the city. He has raised his fist in defiance of God and His ways. He is bent on using others to benefit himself. Let me show you a few places where the word appears. Take a look at Proverbs 16:27 with me.
27 A scoundrel plots evil, and his speech is like a scorching fire. (Proverbs 16:27 NIV)
Do you see what I am talking about? The scoundrel is not looking for opportunities to serve and bless the lives of others, he is plotting evil, the very opposite of God?s purpose for our lives. The words that flow from his mouth are not for the healing and betterment of others, they are like a scorching fire. His words are a detriment to others.
Turn with me to 2 Chronicles 13:4-7 and we will see the next reference to the destructive nature of scoundrels. Let me give you a little background on this story. When Solomon died his son Rehoboam was next in line to become king over all Israel. While the Israelites were coming together at Shechem to crown Rehoboam king, a man named Jeroboam, along with a crowd of other Israelites, came to Rehoboam to ask him to lighten the tax burden that his father Solomon had instituted. Sounds like a scene from our own day of politics and taxes huh?
Anyway, Rehoboam sent them away for three days and consulted with some of his childhood friends instead of the elders of the community. They told him to make things tougher on the people and not easier. The people led by Jeroboam revolted, ten of the tribes withdrew from the United Kingdom of Israel, and they made Jeroboam their king.
Now, fast forward to the day when Rehoboam?s favorite son, Abijah, grows up to become the second king of the southern kingdom of Judah. The day came when Abijah?s troops were going to go to war with Jeroboam?s troops. Before they went to battle Abijah made a speech within earshot of Jeroboam and all Israel. Let?s read what took place.
4Abijah stood on Mount Zemaraim, in the hill country of Ephraim, and said, ?Jeroboam and all Israel, listen to me! 5Don?t you know that the LORD, the God of Israel, has given the kingship of Israel to David and his descendants forever by a covenant of salt? 6Yet Jeroboam son of Nebat, an official of Solomon son of David, rebelled against his master. 7Some worthless scoundrels gathered around him and opposed Rehoboam son of Solomon when he was young and indecisive and not strong enough to resist them. (2 Chronicles 13:4-7 NIV)
Abijah pulled back the veil and showed the people what had really taken place back when his father Rehoboam was opposed. Some ?worthless scoundrels,? namely Jeroboam and his cronies had plotted against Rehoboam. The real issue wasn?t really taxes; it was Jeroboam?s willingness to use anything to bring Rehoboam down. If he wouldn?t have had the tax issue as his opportunity, Jeroboam would have found something else to use to hurt Rehoboam. When Jeroboam and the others came to Rehoboam to ask that the taxes be turned back, their motivation wasn?t the common good of the nation, they were merely trying to topple Rehoboam?s rise to the throne.
The word that we?ve been taking a look at in these verses became such a description for those who were opposed to God that it became a description for Satan himself. In 2 Corinthians 6:14-16, Paul uses this very word, ?Belial? for Satan. Take a look at this Scripture with me.
14Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? (2 Corinthians 6:14-16 NIV)
To be a scoundrel sets you in opposition to the things of God. The opposite of righteousness is to be a scoundrel. The opposite of holiness is to be a scoundrel. The opposite of godliness is to be a scoundrel.
There is a second word in Proverbs 6:12 that describe these kinds of folks. Take a look at verse 12 with me and see there that we are talking about ?scoundrels? and ?villains.? The Hebrew word for villain is the word, ?!w
7 ?Consider now: Who, being innocent, has ever perished? Where were the upright ever destroyed? 8 As I have observed, those who plow evil and those who sow trouble reap it. 9 At the breath of God they are destroyed; at the blast of his anger they perish. (Job 4:7-9 NIV)
Job is exactly right?those who plot evil will reap what they sow. You and I can?t ?work? people and not expect to get worked over by God. God has continuously and consistently showered us with mercy, grace, and lovingkindness. If we refuse to relate to others in the same way then we will reap what we sow.
We see the same end result for those who plot and plan iniquity and evil for others in Psalm 28:3-5. Read along with me from David?s prayer.
3 Do not drag me away with the wicked, with those who do evil, who speak cordially with their neighbors but harbor malice in their hearts. 4 Repay them for their deeds and for their evil work; repay them for what their hands have done and bring back upon them what they deserve. 5 Since they show no regard for the works of the LORD and what his hands have done, he will tear them down and never build them up again. (Psalm 28:3-5 NIV)
What kind of people are we talking about this morning? What kind of people is Solomon warning his son about? It?s quite obvious isn?t it? We are talking about those who want to take advantage of others rather than put others at an advantage. We are talking about those who plot and plan ways to get ahead at others expense. We are talking about folks who use other people, rather than bless other people.
Now that we understand what kind of person we are talking about, let?s take a look at verses 12-14 so that we can understand the commitment of the scoundrel to this kind of lifestyle.
12 A scoundrel and villain, who goes about with a corrupt mouth, 13 who winks with his eye, signals with his feet and motions with his fingers, 14 who plots evil with deceit in his heart?he always stirs up dissension. (Proverbs 6:12-14 NIV)
Did you notice how committed this person is to their desire to take advantage of others? They speak with a corrupt or crooked mouth. They wink maliciously with their eye, use their hands and feet to signal their wicked ways, and plot evil in their hearts. These folks are thoroughly committed and yet ultimately their commitment is to their own destruction.
I?ve known folks who were committed to this type of lifestyle and I?ve often wondered why they didn?t channel their passion for wickedness, greed, and manipulation in a more positive way?like a passion for excellence, determination, and hard work or a passion to bless, encourage, and inspire others. I will promise you that it takes more of an effort to keep up with the lies, schemes, and diabolical dealings than it does with a life of blessing and encouragement.
These folks may get over on you and me for a little while. They may work folks to their advantage for a time. They may prosper because of their wicked-genius ways for a season, but verse 15 sums up the final end of those who live this kind of life. Solomon writes,
15 Therefore disaster will overtake him in an instant; he will suddenly be destroyed?without remedy. (Proverbs 6:15 NIV)
How many times have we seen this take place? Those who try to manipulate, maneuver, and malign others to somehow gain an advantage end up destroying their reputation, livelihood, homes, heart, and soul.
I know a man who lived a double-life?he lived a crooked life. On one hand he was a respected man in the community. He was married and had a good job. There was a part of his life that those who knew him best did not know about. When they finally did find out it was through the police department and the local news. Everyone who knew and loved him was stunned. They were appalled that he could do such a thing, humiliate himself and them in such a selfish and destructive way. He lost his job, he lost his wife, but worst of all, he lost the trust and confidence that others had placed in him. Today he lives like he is an alien, and he is?he is an alien to God?s ways, he?s alienated from his family and community.
During the past week I did an internet search of the most evil people who have ever lived. There was one name that came up again and again almost without exception?the name of Adolf Hitler. There were other names on the lists, people like Josef Stalin, Pol Pot, and Jim Jones, but Adolf Hitler, the Fuhrer of the Third Reich, consistently topped the charts. Is it any wonder? Adolf Hitler was responsible for starting World War II and for the deaths of more than 11 people during the Holocaust.
During the beginning of World War II, the German war machine seemed unstoppable and it looked like Hitler was on his way to achieving his goal of ruling the world and setting up the super race. However, things began to change at the Battle of Stalingrad in the beginning of 1943. As the allied forces moved in on Hitler in Berlin, he retreated to an underground bunker where he controlled his forces.
This man who many adored and worshipped, the man who was feared by many who had seen their loved ones exterminated because of his evil intentions, they never dreamed what would take place in April of 1945.
Hitler saw the handwriting on the wall, he knew that the allied forces were soon to topple Berlin and that he would be taken prisoner, so he wrote his last will and testament and on April 30, 1945, Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun committed suicide. Solomon says, 15 ?Therefore disaster will overtake him in an instant; he will suddenly be destroyed?without remedy.?
In Proverbs 6:16-19 Solomon lists seven things that are hated by God. Each of these seven characteristics are embodied in the heart of the trouble maker described in Proverbs 6:12-14. Let?s read the Scripture together and then we will list these devilish characteristics.
16 There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, 19 a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers. (Proverbs 6:16-19 NIV)
?Hate? is a strong word. I?m sure some of you were raised with parents who told you never to say that you hate anyone. That?s a good principle for us to adopt as a rule for living life, but there are characteristics that we can exhibit that we are to hate with the same intensity that God hates them. Let?s list them.
? Haughty eyes
? Lying tongue
? Hands that shed innocent blood
? Heart that devises wicked schemes
? Feet that are quick to rush into evil
? False witness who lies
? People who stir up dissension
This list of seven character flaws is nothing more than a description of the scoundrel and trouble maker. I noticed something as I was studying this section of God?s Word this week. In the first four verses we see that the trouble maker is totally committed to his devious, diabolical ways. Solomon talks about his mouth, eyes, feet, hands, fingers, and heart. In the last four verses we see what the trouble maker is doing. You merge the two lists and see that, with his mouth, the trouble maker lies and stirs up dissention. With his hands the trouble maker shed?s innocent blood. With his feet, the trouble maker rushes into evil deeds. With his eyes the trouble maker looks deviously and condescending at other people?the people that he is going to take advantage of in life. Lying at the heart of both of these two sections of Scripture is the heart.
Throughout Solomon?s sermons to his son he has emphasized his heart. ?Guard your heart,? ?store up in your heart,? ?write them on your heart,? and on and on he goes. Just to review the passionate plea of Solomon for a moment turn back with me to Proverbs 3 and let?s be reminded of the importance of the heart in living the life God desires for us to live.
1 My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, 2 for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity. 3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:1-6 NIV)
The trouble maker knows nothing of surrendering his heart to the Lord. His heart is hard. His heart is self-serving. His heart is thoroughly and completely committed to one cause?his own.
Our hearts are not only prone, but they are predisposed to the very characteristics that Solomon lists for us in Proverbs 6:16-19. If we do not surrender our hearts to Jesus and pursue Him with all of our hearts then we will see our eyes become ?haughty,? our tongues speak lies, our hands hurt other people, our feet rush into ungodly activities, and our hearts become like stone.
I?m not referring to the Hitler?s of the world; I?m talking about folks just like you and me. ?Good? folks who go to church, head off to work each morning, mow their lawns, love on their kids, and pay their taxes. Our hearts are inclined to seek what we want and with each step we take in that direction we will become more and more of a scoundrel.
As we close out our study this morning I want to show you some folks who stand out as examples of what I am talking about. Let?s begin with a man named Haman. You can read about Haman in the book of Esther. He was the Prime Minister of Persia serving under Xerxes. Haman?s family had a long history with the Jews and to make a long story short they were prejudiced against them. Haman hated Jews.
The book of Esther is the story of how God used Esther to foil the plot of Haman to exterminate the Jews. Haman looked upon the Jews with haughty eyes. The Hebrew word for ?haughty? means, ?proud, high-browed, or arrogant.? The Jews were second class citizens in Haman?s haughty eyes. They were worthy only of being done away with, exterminated.
God would not allow that to happen and Haman ended up being hung on the very gallows that he had erected to hang Mordecai and the other Jews in Persia. The lesson we need to take from this story is that we are prone to follow in Haman?s steps. Don?t get me wrong, I?m not saying that you or I want to exterminate any group of people, although there have been those throughout history who had this as their ambition. Some of those folks are still with us today.
What we must guard against is arrogance and pride. I see each and every day how this arrogant, haughty attitude invades the hearts of people who know better. People who are educated look down on those who are uneducated. Wealthy people look down on those who are poor and poor people look down their noses at wealthy folks because ?they think they?re something.? Different ethnic groups look down on people of darker or lighter shades of skin and the list can go on and on. None of these are from God. All of these are nothing more than a manifestation of pride and arrogance and we need to be reminded that God hates it with a passion.
Another behavior that God hates is a ?lying tongue.? I mentioned to you earlier that we are predisposed to these behaviors. Let me illustrate. Did any of you have to be taught to lie? You may have, but I will testify that I never even attended the school of lies. I was born with a Ph.D in the subject and have since done post-doctoral studies. Lying comes as naturally as breathing to us doesn?t it. We have to teach our children not to lie. We have to remind ourselves not to lie. Oftentimes we have to go through severe consequences brought about because of our lying to learn to tell the truth. This is certainly how Gehazi learned not to lie.
I?m sure most of you are wondering, ?Who in the world is Gehazi?? I?m so glad you asked. Gehazi was the understudy of Elisha the prophet. There was a man named Naaman who was the commander of the army of the Arameans, he was greatly respected in Aram, but he had leprosy, a horrible disease. A young girl from Israel who had been taken captive told Naaman that he ought to go to Israel and see Elisha the prophet so that he could be healed.
Naaman went to the king and received permission to go to Elisha. When he arrived at Elisha?s house, the prophet sent a messenger to tell Naaman to go and dip himself in the Jordan River seven times. When Naaman finally did what Elisha told him to do he was cleansed of his leprosy.
After Naaman was healed of his disease he was so grateful that he went back to Elisha?s house to pay him for his kindness, but Elisha wouldn?t accept his gift since it was God who had healed him. This is where it gets really interesting. Gehazi overheard the conversation and was thinking to himself, ?Come on Elisha! How could you turn down a payday?? Gehazi kept his comments to himself, but he had a plan. Turn with me to 2 Kings 5:20-27 and let?s read what took place.
20Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said to himself, ?My master was too easy on Naaman, this Aramean, by not accepting from him what he brought. As surely as the LORD lives, I will run after him and get something from him.? 21So Gehazi hurried after Naaman. When Naaman saw him running toward him, he got down from the chariot to meet him. ?Is everything all right?? he asked. 22?Everything is all right,? Gehazi answered. ?My master sent me to say, ?Two young men from the company of the prophets have just come to me from the hill country of Ephraim. Please give them a talent of silver and two sets of clothing.?? 23?By all means, take two talents,? said Naaman. He urged Gehazi to accept them, and then tied up the two talents of silver in two bags, with two sets of clothing. He gave them to two of his servants, and they carried them ahead of Gehazi. 24When Gehazi came to the hill, he took the things from the servants and put them away in the house. He sent the men away and they left. 25Then he went in and stood before his master Elisha. ?Where have you been, Gehazi?? Elisha asked. ?Your servant didn?t go anywhere,? Gehazi answered. 26But Elisha said to him, ?Was not my spirit with you when the man got down from his chariot to meet you? Is this the time to take money, or to accept clothes, olive groves, vineyards, flocks, herds, or menservants and maidservants? 27Naaman?s leprosy will cling to you and to your descendants forever.? Then Gehazi went from Elisha?s presence and he was leprous, as white as snow. (2 Kings 5:20-27 NIV)
I can see it now: ?Where you been Gehazi?? Gehazi looks around and says, ?Who me?? ?Yeah you. Where have you been?? ?Oh, I?ve just been hanging out. Kind of a slow day.? Yeah right? He was nailed. He had been caught and he learned from the consequences that it just doesn?t pay to lie.
When we stop to allow the Lord to search our hearts we will quickly learn that we are trouble makers, we are rebels, and we see and have experienced destruction in the lives of those around us and even in our own lives. We?ve seen our homes destroyed, we witnessed the destruction of our reputation, some of us have seen the destruction of our livelihood, and others have lost relationships because of our wayward hearts. I want to ask you this morning, ?Knowing what you now know why in the world would you hesitate for another second to fall at the feet of Jesus in humility and confession? Confess your need for Him. Confess the sin of your heart. Confess your abject poverty of righteousness and holiness. Confess that you know that you will be destroyed apart from His grace and mercy. Confess your dependence upon Him this morning and invite Him into your heart.